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May 28, 2007

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Susan,

Are you in the mood for a meme? I hope so! HipWriterMama tagged me this morning--and now I'm tagging you. You can read about the meme at Wild Rose Reader.

Hope you and your family had a great weekend!

I've tagged you also - sorry about that ! Maybe I should give up sleeping to be sure of catching people first !?

I like how you included both of those quotes side by side. I am uncomfortable with the term "multicultural" because I think it usually means "not white" as in "not us". Like it's a code for letting a few of them in the room, but it's still our house. Howell's quote especially makes that clear - it's not that many cultures are represented equally, but that white kids get to read about "others" outside the dominant group. That's not what she is trying to say but it is the message undercurrent that I hear many places.

Menon's article makes it clear. He is saying the huge variety of authentic diverse voices of Indian culture have a hard time getting published because there is a limited space for stereotypical "diversity" in the marketplace. Even in India, because of the influence of colonialism, the market pressure is to fit the expected norm (coming from the West) with a little predictable "Indian" flavor.

Anyone else see it this way? Am I making any sense?

I see what you mean, Cloudscome. Pooja Makhijani's review of "Elephant Dance"(which ran here at this blog) came to mind when I read your comment.

Pooja wrote, "Both the text and the art treat India as if the country were a monolithic place. Ravi asks about "India" and Grandfather replies with definitive responses, as if the weather, vegetation, and wildlife were the same throughout the vast country."

The book's editor and the author wrote in, though, to say that the book was intended as an introduction to the country for young children. One used the term "exotic" in referring to India. Now, if you live in India (or Mississippi or Alaska or Brazil or Cameroon), I doubt that you view your state or country as "exotic." It's just home. It was an interesting discussion.

Exactly. It's exotic if you are mainstream. Whatever that means - but I guess it's most of us white folks. It's multicultural if all the people aren't white in appearance.

And I tagged you back!

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