Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Punjabi Culture: The Pervy Uncle and the Kala Mu Wala

A social circle would be incomplete without a token pervy uncle. You know the ugly man old enough to be your father and should be drinking whiskey with the other 40 somethings but instead he spends half the time at a party walking past your table and leering at you. Or (in)conveniently busts a move behind you when you're on the dance floor. Pervy Uncle may even be bold enough to cop a feel when you go in for a polite hug. It is usually the moment you realize how nasty old men are and maybe hugs should only be reserved for the kids.

In my dad's tales from the pind, there was a sort of vigilante justice performed when a man was caught bothering a young lady. Nowadays we hear it as the cuss, "Kala mu wala." The accused would be hog tied and roughed up. They would blacken his face with the ashes from the dung fires, string a garland of rotting shoes around his neck, saddle him on a donkey and send him on a ride of shame through the village. Unfortunately, stoning wasn't involved. Somewhere safely on the outskirts of the village he would squirm off his ass and a merciful friend or stranger would cut him loose. Publicly humiliated, and with his tail between his legs, the dog would hide out for a while before showing his face around town.

As much as I wish this tradition was still in effect, it's not. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has to deal with Pervy Uncle, other girls have and have been through worse. Some might be too scared to say anything in case they get in trouble, or perhaps they are too ashamed. I empathize with them. But that does not mean they are helpless. Always try to avoid situations in which you can get hurt, and be constantly aware of your environment.

1) This is the most important rule: get angry. It'll empower you, and make you feel like you can do something about the situation. Feeling angry is a thousand times better than feeling helpless.

2) Don't go somewhere or do something you're not comfortable with. Follow your gut feeling, it's there for a reason. You're allowed to say NO.

3) If you are somewhere and you've got that uneasy feeling stay with someone! A sister, a cousin, someone's biji. Start up a conversation, or just politely tag along. They'll look out for you.  This has always worked for me in any situation I have ever been in, regardless of culture!

4) If all else fails get a shank/tazer/pepper spray. And then use it 'on accident.'

Lastly, invest in some sort of defense training, whether it's a one day course or martial arts or boxing. Your body is a tool and you should know how to use it, especially to defend yourself! 

1 comment:

  1. wooooooo! You go girl! Man how hilarious would it be to see that ass that insults you get strung up on another ass and dragged thru the pind like that?? lmao!