Re: Racism and ancient history
Judith Stroud (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 21:30:47 -0500
Paul Kekai Manansala wrote:
> In article <01bbf6e9$87dc5f80$67b45c90@preinstalledcom>,
> "William Belcher" <email@example.com> wrote:
> >The association of skin color with social class in South Asia is definitely
> >a complex issue - based on geography as well as many other factors. Based
> >on my experience in Pakistan and India, lighter skin color is more
> >desirable, hence the wide range of skin care products for women that
> >"bleach" the skin. Also many of my fishermen informants always talk about
> >wanted a lighter skinned wife, but they can't afford the bride price (in
> >the Pakistani Punjab, the ideal wife is an Afghani refugee as they have
> >extremely light skin). I have also overheard many of my workcrew refer to
> >an individual as low-caste and that you could tell because his skin is so
> >dark. Nothing academic here, just a few personal observations based on
> >friendships with a large number of working class Punjabi villagers.
> Wanting a lighter-skinned wife does not necessarily have anything to do with
> race. Even in some African societies they prefer lighter skinned brides because
> light skin tends to mean the women haven't been working in the fields. However,
> they prefer lighter-skinned women of their own race.
> If you observe ancient Indian art, male and female couples often consist of
> a dark, or even black-colored male, with a female of much lighter skin.
> In India, in general, they prefer wives of their own kind. Now how matter light
> a woman's skin, if they are non-Indian, there's going to be some trouble with
> the parents. The bride should furthermore be of the same general region in India.
> At least, that's the case for traditional Indians.
> Paul Kekai Manansala
I have to agree - on the same basis that Renaissance-era Europeans
counted light skin and delicacy as finer qualities, as they were direct
evidence of wealth and breeding which the men and women who had to work
outdoors lacked. It is a matter of economics, not race.