Monthly Archives: December 2013

So, Colonialism and the price of Ghee

Via a Cory Doctorow tweet I discovered the awesome tumblr lol my thesis, which contains such gems as

so when I went to post that on facebook (and got detoured by a feminist critique of the Kung Fury trailer), I saw a suggested link to this food blog which grabbed my attention with its title. There I ran across the word Burpee, the wikipedia article for which linked to Hindu push-ups which are a form of exercise prevalent in Indian and Pakistani physical culture and Indian martial arts, particularly Pehlwani.

And the next thing you know I’m watching a documentary about traditional Punjabi wrestling. Basically a bunch of old guys complaining about how back when the Rajahs and Maharajahs supported the sport all the wrestlers were upstanding and respectable and trained and ate well, but now the government isn’t supporting them, and kids these days are watching movies instead of training, doing drugs and drinking tea (even first thing in the morning!) instead of milk. And then they start bitching about how the wrestlers don’t get enough butter, and how expensive almonds are, and how cows only eat wheat waste products, nobody bothers mixing in cotton seeds, and how much hay costs, and I feel sad.

See, Pehlwani wrestlers were fed a sort of Paleo diet: Ghee, milk, almonds, meat. Whenever I read about Paleo diets, I get a queasy sense that it’s this first-world, privileged-western fad that is economically and environmentally unsustainable. And here you have people who know how much feeding a cow costs complaining about being too poor to feed wrestlers properly and maintain their traditions.

Speaking of wrestling, I’ve got this in another tab: A Mongolian Wrestler Princess who is so deserving of her own Disney movie (via N. K. Jemisin.