Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend in Chi-Town

I'm getting very bad at posting. I don't feel like writing lately. Not only that I don't have much to say.

I went to Chicago this past weekend. I love the city. It has the most beautiful architecture. And so much history. We were there for a conference. The SPSSI conference. (By "we" I mean myself, a grad student colleague, and my supervisor). I was able to make it to the Taste of Chicago festival though I didn't eat very much. Better that way considering there was so much soul food at the festival. And we all know how fattening soul food can be. Probably why it's so tasty. The people of Chicago are so nice and friendly. If I were to ever move to the States (very unlikely to happen) Chicago would be one city I would be OK living in. I think it may be the only city. Though I've heard the state of Vermont is very Canadian-esque. May not be a bad choice, if I HAD to chose.

I had to share a room with my supervisor. Didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought. We had our own beds so it worked out fine. Though I have to admit, seeing my supervisor in her jammys was a little awkward.

The conference went well. I made a few contacts which is one of the perks of conferences I enjoy. But this conference also made me realize the differences we have with our neighbours to the south.

For one, my colleague presented a poster on her research for which she took a socialist-feminist perspective. Apparently, some of her American readers were shocked and uneasy with the word 'socialist.' Funny, considering one of our main political parties, the NDP, is really a socialist party. Socialism is something we Canadians have become very comfortable with whereas our neighbours still seem to shake in their boots. Very curious.

Second, presenters kept referring to Indian people as Asian Indians. Asian Indians? Technically they are the ONLY Indians in this world. In Canada, Indians are East Indians. Indians as our neighbours know them are Natives, First Nations, or Indigenous people. Only old school people and insensitive, clueless people use the term "Indian" when referring to our indigenous people.

It was also interesting how I was lumped into being Indian. In one talk I attended on "Asian Indians" the speaker noted how many Indians there were in the audience. She included me in that count. I love my Indian counterparts and I believe we basically have the same culture, but I don't like my Pakistani heritage being denied. Then another researcher, when informing a third party about our mutual research interests said "We're interested in studying South Asians, mainly Indians." No!! Not mainly Indians! I want to study all South Asians. If anything mainly Pakistanis. I found this extra emphasis on Indians especially interesting since in Canada most psychological and/or sociological work on South Asians, as limited as it is, seems be being conducted on Muslim and/or Pakistani South Asians, by Muslim and/or Pakistani South Asians. I found my Pakistani-ness being denied. Strange.

Overall a good experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lol @ seeing your supervisor in her pajamas!