1. This story, from lawyer/Twitter funny person Priya-Alika Elias on growing up Indian in America, is fantastic. She talks about denying heritage and culture in an effort to fit in. It’s tremendous and I found myself mentally nodding along as she described telling friends that she was a “coconut” (in my case a banana) and the lack of recognizable role models:
“Being Indian in America means you don’t get to see many faces that look like yours in popular culture. You have a handful of reference points: Aziz Ansari, MIA, that guy from Lost, Bobby Jindal. Kal Penn. Mindy Kaling, who has gone on record saying she doesn’t think of herself as an “Indian comic.” When Mindy Kaling is asked about why “there are only white guys on her show,” you can feel her bristle. I understand her intolerance–she’s fielded this question a thousand times. The Mindy Project even references it slyly, in a way that acknowledges the question without answering it. Why doesn’t Kaling go the Shonda Rimes route, and cast lots of different actors of color on her show? Why doesn’t she ever write anything “Indian?”
Priya is a great writer, the kind of self-aware person who I love connecting with. Her conclusion is a true thing of beauty:
Years later, I reject parts of Indianness and Indian culture without worrying that it makes me less Indian. I still refuse to wear saris. I still think Indian desserts are best left to diabetics in need of a quick sugar transfusion. And still, still, there is so much to embrace in Indianness. The sweetness of touching the feet of an elderly relative to show respect. The unparalleled sadness of a raga sung at sunset, the voice of the singer quivering in a note no Western singer has mastered. I had more in common with Natasha Khan than I thought, after all. I think of her sometimes, and the way she folded her hands in the traditional greeting whenever she met someone. “Namaste,” she would explain, “means I honour the soul inside you. That’s how we say ‘Hi’ in our culture. I’m Indian.”
2. This on League of Legends is tremendous. It’s easy for me to get lost in the stories of top level competitors at anything, and LoL is perhaps the most competitive game around. The 18 page diatribe about why he’s leaving the game is fascinating as well.
3. Anyone who knows me has heard my blabbering about investing. I’ve become a huge fan of the Motley Fool and the work they do over there. They put together a wonderful PDF with quotes from Warren Buffett and anecdotes about his strategies which is worth a couple of minutes a day.