Cheerleaders cause uproar in India

The minute I read that cheerleaders are being imported to shake their booties at India’s IPL tournament, I knew it would cause trouble: blonde and brunette “goris” (white girls) who are not shy of showing lots of skin is what the average Indian man only gets to see in films. Such girls live, only meters away from them, is enough to leave them drooling and dreaming of you know what. I am surprised that this wasn’t foreseen by Indian organizers before they spent the money to get them there.

Spectators are passing lewd and insulting comments and politicians are disgusted as they find the bopping boobs and and gyrating bums on the cricket field too vulgar for Indian tolerance standards. Having said that, Bollywood films these days are no less provocative so this uproar is a prime example of India’s double standards.

I had to laugh when I read in the BBC this quote by an Indian politician: “This thing is meant for foreigners and not for us. Mothers and daughters watch these matches on television. It does not look nice.” It reminded me of the most famous line Indian men say to other men when they are being lecherous: “Don’t you have mothers and sisters!?” It works wonders in making Indian men being sleazy to stop.

Anyway, security measures are at maximum for these poor girls who thought that coming to India and dancing in a national event would be all fun and games, meanwhile talks are being held to define the “line of decency” or to ban their appearance.

On second thoughts, I bet this uproar was foreseen: sexy international girls jiggying and thousands of Indians strongly reacting to it is enough to get another round of publicity in the international press — which is exactly what has happened.

Latest India craze: Bollywood-cum-cricket

Talk to anyone from India and if you can’t comment on the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament that just kicked off, odds are that you’ll be made redundant for any further communication.

The tournament is the latest craze that has hit the country, and has left people bedazzled with illusion of what will be over 7-weeks of dance, music, and sport “hungama” (madness). This is of no surprise as it involves the two things that practically run the country: Bollywood and cricket.

This is the first time that international cricketers will put aside national loyalties to play in a private tournament wherein the players were selected by a multi-million-dollar auction earlier this year. Over 100 national and international players have been offered bundles of cash to participate in the 44-day, 59-match, 8-city, cricket league in India.

The 8 teams, named after main cities in India, were also bought in an auction by Indian business moguls like Mukesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya, and Bollywood stars like Sharukh Khan and Priti Zinta.

The opening ceremony last Friday in Bangalore was a 45-minute Bollywood-style extravaganza with music, fireworks, light-shows and acrobats flown in from the Washington Redskins cheerleaders group, and attended by 55,000 people. You can watch bits of it here.

Unfortunately, it looks like this event of such hype and hysteria will not be covered by world news agencies because of a brawl over event photo distribution rights.

In India, Bollywood and cricket are as embedded in our culture as chai and squat toilets. You have to understand them to understand us. I have no doubt that this tournament will be a roaring success and I wish I could be in India for some of the matches! Living abroad has its cons. Sigh.

Virgin Holidays & Cricket World Cup 2007

Hopeful fans of Trinidad & Tobago’s Soca Warriors raced over to Germany for the 2006 FIFA World Cup games and returned without a cup, but with more determination than ever for the next installment in 2010. In the meantime they get to lounge lazily on their sister islands whiling and liming away the day until the next big thing, which for Trinidad is never too long of a wait.

Sports fans can continue to cheer and root for their favorite country team during the 2007 Cricket World Cup games being held for the first time ever all over the Caribbean. Trinidad & Tobago is only one set of islands playing host and Virgin Holidays is offering packages to get you there. The matches are being held in March and April of 2007 and packages are going fast. See Virgin Holidays for more details on getting you to unspoiled West Indian beaches, then visit their partner Cavendish Hospitality to find match tickets. Other islands hosting the games include Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. St. Vincent and Guyana will also host games, but it doesn’t look as if Virgin Holidays will be offering packages to vaca in these two tropical countries.

Let the games begin, again!