Author Archive
Digital
Humor

The Toaster Era

This entry was given to the interviewer through digital means. The interviewer asked the informant, Sahit, about any superstitions in the NBA he knows because of Sahit’s die-hard obsession to the sport. He replied with a comment about the “winningness” of the Golden State Warriors.

 

 

“I can’t think of any pregame superstitions or anything like that, but there is this thing that recently came up about a toaster that Klay [Thompson] signed. Some guy on Reddit went to a Klay autograph signing but instead of a shirt or a basketball, he had Klay sign his official Warriors-branded toaster. This kinda became a meme in itself because Klay was just so dumbfounded about signing the toaster that there are pictures of the awkward pause right before he signed it. But, since then, the Warriors are undefeated. This is now known as the Toaster Era and the Warriors are 20-0 in the Toaster Era.”

 

The interviewer had heard about the “Toaster Era” but didn’t know what it was attributed to in the first place. More than anything, this whole thing seems like a passing meme about the Warriors’ insane ability to win against any team in the NBA. I really doubt that the Warriors are undefeated solely due to the toaster, but it is nevertheless entertaining to think of this superstition as a reason for their repeated victories.

 

Digital

Linsanity

This entry was given to the interviewer through digital means. The interviewer asked the informant, Sahit, about any legendary stories in the NBA he knows because of Sahit’s die-hard obsession to the sport. He replied with a certain player’s meteoric rise in the NBA, an era called Linsanity, named for Jeremy Lin

 

“Linsanity started off as a pretty mundane thing in the NBA. One of the more athletic players, Jeremy Lin was rising through the ranks in early 2012 when players like Kobe Bryant were in their prime and no one had heard of Jeremy Lin before this. Players in the NBA do get better, but no one ever did it as fast as Lin did, until his performance against the Lakers with Kobe at his prime. Just a year before this he was considered a poor player, and even a month before he was seen as a bench player, at best. The day of the Lakers game, it was fair to say that no one expected him to put up even 20 points, let alone 38 points. He even forced Kobe to play for longer than he intended to and still outscored him. This was the pinnacle of Linsanity”


The interviewer thought this story was interesting, but he heard a different spin on the Linsanity era. As far as he had known, the reason for the large amounts of attention Lin was getting was due to a minority’s increased prevalence in the league. He can definitely appreciate just how the era of Linsanity must have felt to his fans and NBA viewers. Lin was in the league knocking on the doors of the greats, having been dismissed completely just so quickly beforehand.

Digital

The Godfather of the NBA

This entry was given to the interviewer through digital means. The interviewer asked the informant, Sahit, about any superstitions in the NBA he knows because of Sahit’s die-hard obsession to the sport. He replied with a postseason ritual that he knows Lebron James does.

 

“So every year that Lebron makes it to the playoffs, which is really often, he has a series of requirements that he forces himself to meet in order to get him into that killer mindset. And it all involves the Godfather movies. Lebron watches the entire franchise end to end and he must be alone as he does it. After that, he’ll read a physical copy of the original book while he works out and prepares to be in playoff shape. He’ll also start to treat his team dynamic in similar ways to the dynamics presented in the movie. It’s all some pretty intense stuff.”


The interviewer keeps up with the NBA himself but didn’t know about this admittedly arcane postseason ritual Lebron goes through. He also finds it a little hard to believe that Lebron does this every time he makes it past the regular season because it tends to happen every year recently. Regardless, it is entertaining to know that even NBA stars are subject to some superstitions about their game.

Digital

Fizdale is a Legend

This entry was given to the interviewer through digital means. The interviewer asked the informant, Sahit, about any legendary stories in the NBA he knows because of Sahit’s die-hard obsession to the sport. He replied with a certain coach’s recent interview after a blowout.

 

“So this happened after a pretty bad loss to the Spurs in the playoffs. Coach Fizdale, the Grizzlies’ coach, was asked for a statement after the game and it wasn’t hard to tell that he was pretty pissed off about how the game went because of foul calls that went mostly to the Spurs. In fact at the end of the game, just one player on the Spurs had more calls than the entirety of Fizdale’s team. He got really angry during the interview and made statements like “They ain’t gon rook us” and “Take that for data” that quickly became viral. It turned into meme status overnight. Text-based comment boards for the NBA all over the internet started to apply his statements to every little aspect of unfairness seen in the NBA and it was pretty funny. Still, overall, pretty legendary of Fizdale to go out and say that.”


The interviewer remembered seeing the interview posted online but didn’t know that it had escalated to “meme status” in NBA communities. Taken out of context, I suppose that the statements “they ain’t gon rook us” and “take that for data” would become funny if used for every single circumstance.

Game
Gestures
Kinesthetic

Fistbumping

This entry can loosely be described as videogame folklore. The interviewer (D) and the informant, C, were playing a game called Super Smash Bros for the Wii, a widely popular fighting game with well documented analysis for every character, stage, and since two players tend to face each other from a list of characters, every potential matchup as well. There are many unwritten rules that players follow to observe proper “etiquette” when playing the game. The game is played with 4 lives “stocks” and set to an 8-minute timer. The first to force their opponent to lose their stocks is declared winner. It is proper tournament etiquette to fistbump before games start.

 

This interaction occurred after both players had chosen their characters for the next game. The process of “striking stages” happens in order to preferentially pick stages for the next game to happen on.

 

D: let’s strike stages. I’ll go first, strike Dreamland

C: strike FD

D: strike PS2

C: Alright, so Yoshi’s

*both fistbump*


The interviewer notes the gesture of fistbumping as an unsaid mutual agreement that both players can proceed to the next match. There are no explicit rules stating players must fistbump to play the game, of course, but even in friendly play this simple gesture indicates you have a working level of respect for your opponent. It conveys a “no hard feelings” attitude that works for both parties, winner or loser.

Customs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Prayer for Prosperity

Every year before Diwali, the informant’s father, M, conducts a tradition where he honors the goddess Lakshmi for the wealth and prosperity that he has received throughout the year. The tradition is at once meant to thank her for past blessings and to ask for for more as the next year approaches. The tradition demands that some money be laid out purely as offering to the Lakshmi and can not be touched for the entire year. A book of prayers is also read from. The image attached depicts a standard setup for such a tradition.

 

 

Screenshot_20170426-222401

 

 

My thoughts: The interviewer used to take part in this ceremony and remembers it as a very regimented tradition. Certain rules must be followed at all times, and the marking of money to be set aside for the goddess is strict in kind and in variety.

Folk Beliefs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

How Do We Sleep At Night?

In the Hindu religion, prayers are an extremely integral aspect to daily life. Hindu people attribute every organic substance as an embodiment of God, and as such, we should give thanks as much as we can. The informant, D, asked his religious father, M, about a set of prayers he remembers having to memorize as a child but since then has forgotten. These three prayers are some of the most central to the daily prayers a devout Hindu can practice, called the Trikal Sandhya. These three prayers seek to answer why we wake up in the morning, how we digest food, and how we sleep at night.

 

This particular entry seeks to answer how we sleep at night:

 

Original:

Krushnaya Vasudevaya Haraye paramatmane. Pranat klesh nashaya Govindaya namo namah

Kara charan krutam vak-kayajam karmajam va shravana nayanajam va, manasam va aparadhum vihitas avihitamva me tat kshamasva jaya jaya karunabdhe shree Mahadeva Shambho

Tvameva mata cha pita tvameva. Tvameva bandhus cha sakha tvameva. Tvameva vidya dravinam tvameva. Tvameva sarvam mama deva deva.

Translated:

I bow and pray Lord Krishna, son of Vasudeva, who takes away sorrows, sufferings, pain and troubles.

O! Benevolent Mahadev; please, forgive me if I did anything wrong, knowingly or unknowingly, by hands, by legs, by speech, by body, by working, by ears, by eyes or by mind. Let be Your victory.

O! God! You are my mother, You are my father, You are my brother, You are my friend, You are my knowledge, You are my wealth, You are everything to me.

My thoughts: While I am not especially religious anymore, I can appreciate the mindset behind these prayers. Hindus see that the act of getting sleep and restoring energy is a God-sent process.

 

Folk Beliefs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

How Do We Digest Food?

In the Hindu religion, prayers are an extremely integral aspect to daily life. Hindu people attribute every organic substance as an embodiment of God, and as such, we should give thanks as much as we can. The informant, D, asked his religious father, M, about a set of prayers he remembers having to memorize as a child but since then has forgotten. These three prayers are some of the most central to the daily prayers a devout Hindu can practice, called the Trikal Sandhya. These three prayers seek to answer why we wake up in the morning, how we digest food, and how we sleep at night.

 

This particular entry seeks to answer how we digest food:

 

Original:

Yagna shishtha shinah santo, muchyante sarva kilbishaihi. Bhunjate te tvagam papa, ye pachantyatma kernat.

Yat koroshi yadashnashi, yaj juhoshi dadasi yat. Yat tapasyasi Kaunteya, tat kurushva madarpanam.

Aham vaishvanaro bhutva, praninam deham ashritah prana pana samayukta, pachamy annam chaturvidham

Om saha navavatu, saha nau bhunaktu. Saha viryam karvavahai, tejasvi navadim astu ma vidvisha vahai, Om shantih, shantih shantih

 

Translated:

The devotees of God are freed from all sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice, Others who prepare or cook food for their personal enjoyment only, truly eat sin

O! Kaunteya (Arjuna); whatever you do, whatever you eat, offer as a sacrifice. Whatever austerity you perform, do it as an offering to me.

Lord Krishna said in Bhagvad Geeta: “I am the fire of digestion in every living body. I am the sir of life, out going and incoming, by which I digest four kinds of food.

Om, Oh! Lord, protech and defend both of us together. We should stay together and do God’s work together. Let our knowledge shine and become divine in the world. We should never fight with each other, never get envious of each other and stay united forever.

 

My thoughts: While I am not especially religious anymore, I can appreciate the mindset behind these prayers. Hindus see that obtaining nutrition from food is essential to life, and due to that, it is easily attributable to God.

 

Rituals, festivals, holidays

Why Do We Wake Up in the Morning?

In the Hindu religion, prayers are an extremely integral aspect to daily life. Hindu people attribute every organic substance as an embodiment of God, and as such, we should give thanks as much as we can. The informant, D, asked his religious father, M, about a set of prayers he remembers having to memorize as a child but since then has forgotten. These three prayers are some of the most central to the daily prayers a devout Hindu can practice, called the Trikal Sandhya. These three prayers seek to answer why we wake up in the morning, how we digest food, and how we sleep at night.

 

This particular entry seeks to answer why we wake up in the morning.

Original:

Karagre vasate laxmi, karmoole Sarasvati. Kara-madhye tu Govindah, prabhate kara darshanam.

Samudra vasane devi, parvata stana-mandle. Vishnu patni namas tubhyam, pada sparsha kshamasvame

Vasudeva sutam devam, Kansa Chanur mardanam Devaki paramanandam, Krishnam vande jagadgurum

Translated:

Goddess of wealth Laxmi resides at the top of palm, Goddess of knowledge Saraswati resides at the bottom of palm and Lord Krishna (Govind) resides at middle of palm and that is why we must look at our palm every morning.

O! Mother Earth, who has ocean as her clothes, mountains and forests as her body, who is the wife of Lord Krishna (Vishnu) I bow to you. Please, forgive me as my feet are going to touch you.

I salute Lord Krishna, the world teacher, the son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kansa and Chanura, the supreme bliss of Devai.

 

My thoughts: While I am not especially religious anymore, I can appreciate the mindset behind these prayers. Hindus see that they must treat the Earth as if we are its guest, and this prayer intends to thank God for letting us step on his creation.

 

Proverbs

Don’t Speak

Informant: P, the interviewer’s mother. She grew up in India and speaks Gujurati fluently, the language of origin of this proverb. Fluent speakers like herself still use proverbs in daily life whether in conversation or merely in passing. Her parents’ generation is still heavily accustomed to the concept of arranged marriages, and she told the interviewer this proverb about marriages and finding proper suitors that her parents frequently tell their daughters and nieces.

 

Original Script: ના બોઇ ના બોઇ તે બોઇ, હાહારીયે ખોઈ

Phonetic Script: na boi no boi te boi, hahariye khoi

Transliteration: na boi no boi te boi, hahariye khoi

Full Translation: I mentioned that you should not speak, but you did not listen

 

This proverb tells young girls that if they even have a speech impediment, something unpreventable on their behalf, they should not speak, lest they lose a potential suitor they have been primed to marry. The interviewer has a few things to say about this proverb. First and foremost, he believes that in this day and age there is very little need for arranged marriages, and the importance Indian society placed on them 50-60 years ago has certainly died down a bit after an era of migration to America and becoming aware of American ideals. This dilution isn’t a bad thing, either. Objectifying things such as stuttering place a false sense of ideals in growing minds, especially those that are just beginning to form their own impressions of the world and themselves.

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