Friday, November 12, 2010

Signs in India & the Indian Head-bob

Indian advertisements and propaganda lack tact and subtlety. Typically, they aren't clever, and those which attempt cleverness often come off as cheesy and funny. For example, outside of a police station in a congested area of the city, there was a sign with an acrostic poem warning passerby of the myriad of potential dangers that awaited them; I forgot each of the letters, but one line instructed drivers and passengers to be careful when stepping out of vehicles, "lest they fall into the lair" (i.e. they step down onto the street and get hit). I wish I had a photo of that odd sign. And then there was the sign advertising the Hotel Hilltone in the Himalayas.

Here are some other striking ads and signs I've come across:
Modern? Really?!

Not sure this would be the first place I'd go to if I broke my arm. Perhaps going to these smaller outlets is cheaper than seeking treatment in hospital. There were actually a few folks inside here when I passed by.

 I wonder who financed or created this. Smoking and chewing tobacco or betel leaves is a significant issue in Bangalore, especially among the poorer folks. It is often clear who smokes/chews because the resulting teeth stains are pretty awful and noticeable.

I guess the owner felt it unnecessary to name this hotel near the mountains; sometimes all you need to say is the basic information, especially when catering to low-budget travelers!

 The government is trying at least!

Water issues are complex in India; the poor especially face the brunt of water shortages.

Tomorrow morning our group is going to a rural village about an hour away as part of our mandatory Service Learning class. Like many aspects and expectations of our classes, what we'll actually be doing is a bit fuzzy, though we know we'll be spending the night; regardless, it is always a plus to go somewhere new and experience how others live.

On another note, today I had to take a mid-semester viva voce exam (oral exam) for my Indian Cultures and Traditions class. All of the material covered in the course was fair game, so the class was nervous with anticipation of the questions we'd each have to field. I got the questions, "How does Indian dance reflect Indian culture?," " Can you tell me about the Indian political structure?," "Indian literature?" "Indian geography?" I knew a fair amount about all four questions, minus the one about Indian dance (I could only talk about three dance forms...). The funny thing about Indians, which I never knew before I came to India, was that they use a head-bob not seen elsewhere; in the U.S. we have the nod (yes) and the shake (no), but here they have a combination of the two movements which consists of moving their heads from side to side by controlling their necks. The problem with the head-bob is that it can mean "yes" or "no," depending on the situation, so when the teacher was doing it during the oral exam I had no idea if he was giving me positive affirmation or showing me that I was on the wrong track. When I asked him, he just did more head-bobbing!

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