Wednesday, January 11, 2012

umm....this kind of stuff happens all the time

Headline on Yahoo this morning condemning "human zoo" where indigenous people danced for tourists in exchange for food.

People, to different degrees, this happens all the time all over the world. Mrs. A and I have seen it advertised in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Heck it happens in Hawaii quite a bit!

I don't like it. We avoid such suggested outings, and have at times simply left our hotel when groups were brought in to perform. I feel like the people must hate doing it and that makes me embarrassed to watch/listen. (I have enjoyed gamalan concerts in Bali and traditional dance performances in Bali though (at places where you went and bought a ticket) so maybe I am a hypocrite here?) It is usually very hard to convince local people that you don't want to go to the "show".

But, food is good. Money is good. If the "performers" aren't slaves and choose to do their thing in exchange for the offered remuneration, how is it like a zoo? By my refusal to attend, am I sending people home to be hungry?

Every day, all over the world, millions of people voluntarily do things we generally consider unseemly or unsafe or undignified. This is one reason why, to me at least, global economic growth is still imperative.


Anonymous said...

I quite like to dance. If someone wanted to pay me to do it, I would take the money as long as the crowds were friendly. I don't see any resentment or embarassment here.

Anonymous said...

Go to Central Park, or really any park in NYC, and you will see people dancing for money. Why is it okay in Central Park, but not in India?

Dave Hansen said...

I have more beef with the part of the story where the government has decided that it's not in the best interests of these people to ever interact with outsiders: "Under Indian laws designed to protect ancient tribal groups susceptible to outside influence and disease, photographing or coming into contact with the Jarawa and some of the Andaman aborigines is banned."

Yes, do help them with public health issues, but don't decide for them whether or not they should have any contact with the outside world or adapt their culture from those interactions.

It sounds like the Indian government was the one who literally created a "human zoo" complete with guards to make sure outsiders don't feed the animals.

Richard Stands said...

I hear this guy accepted money and food for dancing too.

MelBall said...

Collegiate athletics?

Anonymous said...

These people are segregated from outsiders because they don't have any immunities to normal diseases. Contact with outsiders would kill them all off.