Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bjork and the Mystery of the Silk Ikat

Of course, Miss Talibonita adores Bjork! Recently, she came across this outlandish Bjork fashionism... and guess what she's wearing? Yep, Silk Ikat from CenAsia! Silk Ikat could be the national flag of Greater CenAsia -- its that distinct! Unfortunately, the beautiful fabric (which is showcased nicely in the film Mongol) is put together like some warning flag. This outfit has the shape and at least for the top, the fabric of CenAsia. The flouncy top with a pair of tighter pants underneath (here its leggings) is common especially in Afghanistan. But the rainbow skirt attached demeans the fabric and makes it look like a circus show. On EuroNews there was a clip with her hat on, which looked like a Rainbow Brite version of a Turkman female headdress.

Oh Bjork, such beautiful politics! Such a push at tribalism meets the Big Apple Circus on outfits.

Silk Ikat has turned into a Silk Ickie on this stage!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ariana Delawari: Lion of Panjsher

Miss Talibonita is loving this band: Lion of Panjsher, named after the late Ahmad Shah Masood. Ariana Delawari has spent quite some time in reconstruction-era Afghanistan spreading love and understanding through music. If beauty is as beauty does... then she is the perfect example.

And here she covers Madonna's "Crazy for You." In this video she connects LA with Kabul (so beautiful!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

7 Songs Tag

The Super High Fashion Diva, Vain & Vapid tagged me to put up 7 songs and then to tag 7 people. Now, Miss Talibonita has a small blog circle, but here it goes:

1) 8bit (the electronic CenAsian musical Sufi master)

2) The Smiths: Ask

3) The Blow: Hey Boy

4) Le Tigre: Deceptacon

5) Gogoosh: Hejrat

6) Ahmad Zahir (the Afghan Elvis): Lailly Jan Jan

7) Setara: Dukhtar i Herat (Girl from Herat)

And these are my favorite CenAsian & American songs... yay! I am sure all put together sound like an odd mix. But that's whats on my ipod! Thanks Vain & Vapid for the fun tag!

I have to make some new friends to tag in the blogosphere.

Mongol: Film Review

Mongol directed by Sergei Bodorov

Miss Talibonita had to see this film three times to quench her thirst for the steppes of Central Asia. Each viewing had a different impact on her:

1) While watching this with her buddy Tartarous the Noble, she exclaimed in the movie theater "OMG, I love my face!" Yes, as vain as this sounds, the film made her love high cheekbones, klik klaki language, and the textiles in her home.

2) After watching it with her students, she felt that she could articulate her experience with her students intellectually and within the context of postcolonial studies. Miss Talibonita also loved her students expressions after the film. Soon, she will be posting her students responses on this entry.

3) With her Daddy jan, Miss Talibonita was able to piece apart the linguistic connections between Uzbek/Farsi and Mongolian.

In one of the blissful domestic moments, out in the middle of a field with his two children and his wife, Timudjin says: "Mongolian is a beautiful language. Soon the world will be speaking it." Although, the world doesn't speak it, his empire spread many Mongolian words into Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, India/Pakistan. My Indian students said they were able to pick out some familiar words (thanks to the Mughals) and Miss Talibonita's Daddy was able to pick up a lot more.

Here are some similarities (Mongolian will be listed first):

Akha: Aka (Uzbek for brother)
Manekheh: Manekeh (Mine)
Otur: Otu (Hindi/Urdu Get Up)

In another scene Jamukhai says "My liver hurt when I heard your wife was kidnapped." In Farsi, we say "Jigar khoon" to describe something sad or tragic. Meaning: Bloody Liver.

Also Paiposh, boots (literally: foot wear) in Farsi, was used to refer to boots in the film "bebesh." In Uzbeki we use the term bebesh for shoes, but I heard it more when I had to get baby shoes.

These are all based on what was heard in the movie theater. Of course, more research would be necessary, but the familiarity of the language was just a wonderful experience.

On a last note, they kept saying "A Mongol does this..." or "A Mongol would never do that..." which made the film reveal itself as a film for outsiders or a crash course for Mongolians who want to know what they are like and were like in the 12-13th centuries. Mongen was Borte's daughters' name. I imagine it meant something like little Mongol or something. But I can see why she was named this since she was born in China. The emphasis on Mongol identity in a foreign land makes sense in this case. But the continued discussions of what a Mongol is like and not like amongst each other felt like they were foreigners in their own land, or aware of foreign eyes... ahem... like Miss Talibonita and company in the audience!

This was the only pebble in my paiposh about this film.

(The softer side of Jingiz Khan: "Honey can you please pass the yak milk?")

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tartarous the Noble

Life Magazine issue on Sinkiang

Tartarous the Noble (from Life Magazine Dec 13, 1943)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Finally! An Afghan American Comic!

Move over Kal Penn is right (this from his myspace blurb) Fahim Anwar is hilarious! Please be famous so we can have more things about us Afghans (other than boy-rape and bearded terrorists!)

This was such a hit on youtube (of course being in academia made me a year late in discovering this gem):


This one is my favorite:

Here is his myspace page:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Adventures in Afghanistan for Boys: or the Predominance of Moustaches

Adventures in Afghanistan for Boys by Lowell Thomas (1928), one of Miss Talibonita's favorite book-finds (bought at Strand for $.50) is chock full of American pomp and bravado.

This book, written by the same 1920s moustached-journalist who made Lawrence of Arabia a household name, is definitely amusing to read.

Thomas visited Afghanistan under the reign of Amir Amanullah (1919-1929).

Here is our late Amir in his tennis suit hanging out with members of cabinet (he is the one with the moustache, first one on the left).

This photo was taken about the same time as Thomas' visit to Afghanistan. Unforunately, even after being a guest at the Western oasis in an "Oriental" land, the palace, Thomas did not portray a flattering image of Afghanistan. At least he was a little better than the Canadian journalist (and contemporary) Gordon Sinclair who called Waziristan "The Homeland of Homicide".

Here is a clip found on youtube with Lowell Thomas narrating a show on America's growth and potential in the 20s.

What a collection of moustached men! Eat your heart out Tom Selleck!