tger greenhaddock: The wrong Indian

Monday, April 23, 2007

The wrong Indian

A while ago Mrs H booked us on a Volkshochschule (night school) class about Indian culture and herbal remedies. As I enjoy a good curry and use spices from the sub continent in cooking I thought a 4 hour lecture on Indian culture and herbs would be pretty interesting for me.

So last Thursday before the class began I was joking with Mrs H about how I used to add curry power to almost everything I ever cooked including fried eggs. I was even talking about cricket and how India hadn't done so well at the recent World Cup. Imagine my surprise then, when the lecturers entered the room and neither of them looked remotely related to Mr Gandi. When I saw the man had a pony tail, the penny started to drop, when he announced he was from the Cree nation I finally twigged it. I had the wrong Indian. I explained this to Mrs H who finally realised why I had been talking about curries all the time. She knew all along that this was about Native North American culture and not about bum burning vindaloos.

As it turned out the lecture was really interesting and John 'Blackbird' Summers spoke English which was a real bonus for me. The woman lecturer did translation when needed and presented the herbal side of things which was also very interesting. So all in all it wasn't the evening I expected, but in a way it was better, and I certainly learnt a lot.

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Blogger vailian said...

Now that is something I have never seen in Germany! (I grew up near the largest Indian reservation in the US, and in our community it was tacitly understood that while the Indians had a long history and noble culture, their reservation lifestyle included a lot of alcoholism.
I can highly recommend a book "Love Medicine" by Louise Erdrich-- she is a fabulous writer and the daughter of an Indian mother and German missionary father.

April 23, 2007 7:54 AM  
Blogger christina said...

LOL! I would have loved to have seen the look on your face when you twigged it. :-) Sounds very interesting. I also grew up very close to many native (Canadian) Indians (now called First Nations People)and found their traditions fascinating.

April 23, 2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Maribeth said...

ROFLMAO! Yes, I can see where you would have been surprised!
Around here, I grew up with the Wampanoag Indian tribe in our town. So, I always thought Indians were, well just a part of things.
Now Indians from India? Not so much around here when I was a kid, but many more now, especially in the medical field.

April 23, 2007 1:06 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Sorry, had to laugh :) I grew up in an area where there are a lot of Indian tribes (The town is even an Indian name). The culture is very interesting to learn about, especially rituals and ceremonies.

April 24, 2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Ex-Shammickite said...

Well, I think both kinds of Indians have interesting cultures. I love curry and vindaloo and hot spicy food, but I also live in N America where the native kind of Indian is a way of life.... well, BOTH kinds actually!

April 24, 2007 7:20 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

I'd love to learn about herbal remedies. Someone told me that since I have a White PIne in my back yard, I actually have a whole medicine kit. It's so wonderful to think that much of what we need is right within reach, if we only gain the knowledge.

What was the best thing you learned that night?

April 27, 2007 5:21 PM  
Blogger C N Heidelberg said...

I get really confused when people call Native Americans Indians! I know I should get over it though because even one of my Indian (as in from India) friends calls Native Americans Indians....
I probably would have made the same mistake!

April 29, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger C M C said...

Indians have lot of human heart and they are help in nature indians will never be wrong and a nice article

April 29, 2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger Haddock said...

Vallian - Many thanks for the book recommendation. Like the aborigines in Australia the Indians on reservations seem to have had there lives corupted by alcoholism.

Christina - John 'Blackbird' Summers is actually Canadian. He did say which part of Canada he was from ..... but oops I've forgotten already! (old age creeping on!)

Maribeth - There seem to be a lot of Indians (from India) in the IT field as well :)

Andrea - The native Americans were definately more in tune with the enviroment around them :)

Ex-shammickite - I love Indian food, but I don't eat as much of it as I used to :)

l.l. Barkat - I beleive herbal medicine has a lot going with it. I think the best thing I learnt that night that medicine is really a mixture of both the physical remedy and of the spirt (mind) :)

C N Heidelberg - It was an easy mistake to make! :)

CMC - Indians seem to understand the natural world really well :)

April 30, 2007 2:09 PM  
Blogger TorAa said...

Incredible - but is also tells how easy it is to "malcompris".

Excellent story;))

May 27, 2007 5:49 PM  

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