Does South Asia really have a Shared Heritage?
Is there anything that links South Asia together? What separates South Asia from Central Asia or South East Asia. There’s some ponderings about South Asia and what (if anything) connects these countries together. From a Southeast Asian’s point of view, I believe I have identified what truly makes South Asians culturally and genetically similar when compared to the others. While Asians from other regions may find these things trivial or even inconsequential, to the typical South Asian, life would just not be the same.
1. The endurance to plan and organise a South Asian wedding and be a South Asian bride or groom. South Asians view getting married as endurance training. And to be fair, weddings in South Asia surely are. Other Asians would crumble at the thought of a week-long affair but South Asians are bred with a different sort of tenacity. Not only are they long affairs but they involve choreographed dance routines which rival any National Dance troupes and often could meet level 2 criteria for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage documentation. While other Asian and Western grooms would scoff at the idea of attending a wedding ceremony lasting over 24 hours, dance and still be expected to perform on the final night (ahem) South Asian grooms would never dare to think of anything less. But someone, please give the man his shoes, I just feel so bad for him. However, these brides and grooms are indefatigable with a hidden source of strength. I’ll come to the source of this strength in a minute.
2.South Asian men and women are filled with passion and zest compared to the rest of Asia. Here groups of men or groups of women burst into dance and laughter is contagious. How can we spread this passion? Scientists have thankfully identified the source of this. The source of this passion comes from the rice. While the rice normally found in China, Thailand and even the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is profoundly sticky…the rice in South Asia is different. Biryani. Long grained and not at all sticky to the horror of housewives descended from other Asian countries. Why doesn’t it stick? How can one make sushi out of Biryani or rice balls or sticky rice balls? The Chinese even have a word describing the degree of stickiness, which is aesthetically and texturally desirable. However, while I initially disregarded the Scientific research, I believe this must be the source of the South Asian passion and confidence that is not very evident in other Asian countries. Biryani. Soon I’ll be able an extra in a movie if I eat enough.
3. South Asians love to talk and eat. What sport actively allows these activities, to the extend that they are incorporated into the sport itself? Cricket. South Korea, Philippines and Japan have the world’s best cast off from the American baseball teams. While in other countries, soccer/football rule. But South Asia is unabashedly a cricket lover’s home. Why? Forget 9 innings….how about 12 or 15 or 30? In cricket after a long strech with the wizkit we get to have tea (probably with a ton of sugar) and eat lots of Biryani before we have to have the arduous task of you know…standing in a field wearing white and wearing hats….while one person runs back and forth.
So there you have it. Fairy tale weddings, Biryani and Cricket. Was it a hodge podge move to link this region 30 years ago or are there other things that are shared across this land? Many blessing all.