December 20

Close-Up Look At What Happens When Tourists And Maasai

Close-Up Look At What Happens When Tourists And Maasai

My research on interaction between tourists, Maasai communities and researchers raised questions about the boundaries of tourism, entertainment and research. One thing is that the Maasai usually classify all foreign visitors, regardless of whether they are NGO workers, tourists or researchers, as one category. Cross-cultural interactions are not always helpful in breaking down stereotypes, according to me.

This study was part of an entire year of fieldwork in Northern Tanzania with Maasai who were involve in a small-scale, locally own ecotourism venture. Tourists can enjoy camel safaris through the project.

As part of their safari, the mostly American and European tourists visit a Maasai family homestead. Local people often surprise when tourists walk into their villages, as there are few tourists in the area. It is also difficult to give advance notice. The tourists usually stay 20 to 30 minutes, looking at the cattle corrals and people’s homes.

My research provides a detail description about Maasai’s and tourists views of one another and how they influence by their interactions. It shows how and why people have different ideas about the Other.

My research lead me to make a short film called Eliamani’s Homestead. This film highlights some of my most important findings about host-guest interactions. The film follows the experiences of a group Dutch tourists who visit Eliamani and her family. All conversations subtitle and four languages spoken Swahili Swahili Dutch English and Maa.

Parallel Fears

These encounters are possible, but why? Tourists claim they visit Maasailand to learn about cultural differences. Because of their economic differences with visitors, the Maasai in Tanzania and Kenya primarily resort to tourism. They also sell safaris and other artifacts to supplement their income. There are striking similarities between their motivations and fears in interacting.

Tourists and Maasai fear being seen as ignorant or naive by the other side. They fear being exploit. Both sides exaggerate how much each side makes from the encounter. Maasai underestimate the amount of money tourists can make by taking photos. Maasailand is a place where tourists overestimate the value of their money.

Both sides worry that the other side is acting only out of self-interest. Tourists fear that Maasai only engage with them to sell beads, while Maasai fear that tourists only want to take photos. Both sides wonder if the other’s friendliness may be fake.

Details of the exchanges about prices and payments reveal that tourists aren’t triggered by the few Euros required to purchase artifacts. Instead, it is fear of losing face. Maasai also fear that tourists might be only interested in their cultural otherness and treat them as a spectacle. Eliamani running behind the house, fearing ridicule by tourists, is a clear example.

Confronting The Maasai Gaze

It isn’t all about exploitation and material interests. Both sides care about how they are perceived. They aren’t acting on their own image of the other, they react to what the other thinks of them.

Psychology has known for a long time that the presumed image of another person is crucial in intercultural interactions. Psychologists Joshua Aronson and Claude Steele described the phenomenon as the stereotype menace in this context. This was relevant not only to stereotypes of minorities, but also to those regarding powerful majorities.

Marie-Francoise Lanfant, a sociologist, explains that the tourist context forces the recipient society to reflect on its traditions and values by confronting otherness through encounters with tourists. This is also true for tourists who are host by hosts. People can imagine themselves in the shoes of others and create an image of what they might look like.

After fifteen minutes, Eliamani suddenly looks at the camera and complains that he is being film too often. The filmmaker and the viewer are ask to consider whether they have contribute to the problem of cultural tourism’s voyeuristic invasion.

The film and my research raises questions about whether viewing a documentary or conducting research is different from entertainment or tourism. What does this mean for us as tourists researchers?

December 20

Sad Song Of Musical Censorship In India And Pakistan Music

Sad Song Of Musical Censorship In India And Pakistan Music

The largest Indian entertainment music organization, the Indian Motion Picture Producer’s Association. Declared a ban on Pakistani artists at the end of September 2016. Pakistani authorities responded by banning all Indian content from its television channels. This includes Bollywood movies.

This cultural war, which was spark by the September Uri attacks on Kashmir, is not new. It is sad to recall last year’s incident when an Indian ultra-regionalist party Shiv Sena, based in Maharashtrian. Threatened to disrupt the performance of Ghulam Ali, a celebrity singer, and force the concert to be cancel.

What can we make of episodes that happen now with depressing regularity and enjoy prime-time television popularity in India. But then fade away, only to be remember when another event occurs? Like so many other things, there is a historical reason for the appropriation and performance of music. And practices as part the nationalist project in India and Pakistan.

As a historian, my research has focused on the complex and controversial history of music in North India with Partition. Which when India and Pakistan split in 1947. These music disputes reinforce the artificial borders that nationalism established then.

Music From North India Mixes Complex Social Worlds

Music, specifically classical music in North India, was part of a complex social world until 1947. It was perform and written in courts, princely establishments, and the bourgeois public spheres of cities. It was found in both Hindu Vaishnav temples as well as Sufi Islamic silas, which social circles that form around certain teachers and followers. Music was an integral channel to experiencing mystic bliss.

Qawwali is a type of spiritual devotional music that emerged from these social and cultural milieu. In the 17th and18th centuries, North Indian music thrived. It found in nearly all of Mughal North India (the current state, Uttar Pradesh), the Punjab and the Mughal Deccan. It was part of an Indo-Islamic composite culture known as ganga Jumni Tehzib.

This style combined acoustic elements of different sources with a multilingual repertoire. It conveyed the simplicity of both Hindu and Islamic sufi poetry.

Inspiration For This Poetry

The inspiration for this poetry came from popular devotional movements, such as Islam and Hinduism in the 15th century. These movements stressed personal devotion and the importance of teachers. It was capable of commanding many genres and could move quite easily between court or kotha, which is the most common definition of brothel but also part in the popular entertainment scene.

North Indian music also used musical instruments from South Asia and Central Asia to create new instruments like the sitar or the sarod. They also experimented with new ideas of melody and vocalisation.

These music was nurture carefully by specialist families that had access to a wide repertoire and a multitude of brilliant teachers. They also found support in small courts, which lasted even after the Great Mutiny (1857), when the Indian army rebelled.

After the mutiny, musical family’s power and stature were greatly reduced, but they found new fans among a growing middle class gentry, whose rise was facilitated by western education and colonial work.

Modernity And Music

The increased appreciation of music by the middle class was made possible by the experience of modernity. This inevitably led to new anxieties about heritage, culture, and inheritance. It was necessary that these concerns were appropriately project in a modern, spiritual, and chaste manner.

The practice of music by courtesans, Muslim Ustads (teachers, masters) had to reconcile to the new aspirations for a middle-class, western-educated Hindu society. They had to adapt this entertainment to fit a Hindu-accented notion of Indian-ness.

It was a series if experiments that led to the resolution of the problem in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. These included publishing primers on music and establishing music appreciation societies. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, Vishnu Digamber Paluskar were the first to initiate these experiments.

December 20

Celebrity, Melodrama And National Politics Are Deeply Entangled

Celebrity, Melodrama And National Politics Are Deeply Entangled

Since Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016. The international media has been very interest in Philippine politics. His controversial character and apparent disregard for protocol have attracted much more attention than usual to the country.

A serious examination of the role of celebrity and media in Philippine politics and Duterte’s. Success is necessary to better understand the country’s political system.

Duterte is the beneficiary of a political climate where policies and processes are less effective. Electorally than the glamour of showbusiness and personal charisma.

Celebrity Factor

Duterte is the latest in a long list of macho politicians who evoke cinematic style. This has been a successful formula in the Philippines since Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda. A glamorous couple with a film star look and flashy performances, rose to power in the 1960s.

Duterte’s reputation for being a tough-talking man, who doesn’t take hostages. Echos the imagery and language used by Hollywood and Philippine action movie heroes. His nicknames are The Punisher, and Duterte Harry.

Not only do Filipino politicians mimic the celebrity look to get votes. But it’s also not a matter of them adopting celebrities’ looks. Many times, they were already celebrities before becoming politicians.

Many actors, singers, comedians, and news anchors win political office in the United States. 44 celebrities from the show business ran for national or local office in the 2016 elections.

Celebrities are often the only candidate who can create enough momentum in a political landscape. That still dominate by dynastic family dynasties many of which control entire provinces or whole regions.

Manny Pacquiao is the current Philippine senator. He is a world champion boxer and recently reclaimed his title belt at welterweight in Las Vegas. While taking a break from his senatorial duties. Vicente Tito Sotto III is a senator. He is one of the most prominent stars in the country and has hosted a noontime variety show. That receives high ratings for over 30 years.

Investigations And Politics Scandals

Instead of entertaining viewers at sporting events or comedy shows, senators Sotto & Pacquiao were seen on TV screens throughout the country in 2016 cross-examinating witnesses in a televised investigation into the murder of a mayor held in his cell. Many Filipinos were captivated by the daily proceedings, which resembled a courtroom drama.

For many weeks, Senator Leila De Lima’s private life, which is rare among opposition voices against Duterte was subject to intense discussion in congress and in the senate. There, investigations were underway into the drug trade as well as corruption in prisons.

De Lima was previously the Secretary of Justice. She was accused of leading a drug trade through prisons using the help of her driver

After much evasion and complications, the driver was call to testify at the house hearings and the senate hearings. He claimed that he had received bribes for his work from drug dealers. De Lima and her defenders insist that such claims are fabricate.

Dramatic testimony also given by Kerwin Espinosa (an arrest drug lord) who want to atone in the death of his father. He testified against corrupt officials and the charismatic National Chief Of Police.

The close ally of Duterte, The Rock is the nickname for the police chief. He was move to tears when he spoke to the senator after hearing testimony about corrupt police officers.