mardi 28 juillet 2009

What is an Oriental Jewish Boy doing here ...


at the second oldest european settlement in Nebraska? at a Church Hall?
PM is a patient of mine, and had impressed me with his curiosity about his medical condition and his willingness to try various natural remedies to combat the diseases of the civilization which was forced upon him. His curiosity combined with generous medical help from the Indian Clinic and his faith were a good combination for me to talk to him, soon after I arrived from Cambodia after witnessing the Peer to Peer Programme run by Maurits van der Pelt.
Couldnt PM get together a group of people in the village he lived in, educate them with the fact he had learned from his curious wanderings over books and Internet and from us in the clinic? On my next monthly visit to the Clinic, there was a message from PM wanting to talk to me, would you, as you promised me come and talk to my group? Your Group? yes, i have gathered together seven people from my village and we have met two or three times already where we discussed health related matters, how to prevent diabetes if we dont have it, and how to prevent complications if you already have diabetes...and educate ourselves about nutrition outside the channel of conventional nutritionists, the dangers of plastics.. in short the dangers of living in an artificial food environment.. among other things. would you come and talk to us about Sugar.
I was very proud fo him, a new begining among the ordinary people, who are tired of the propaganda of big companies and their emissaries in the medical profession..
I arrived as promised at 7 30 pm, I had asked only for fifteen minutes to explain to them the various sugars, sugar additives and sugar substitutes.. but the talk went on for one hour with multitudes of questions and a grateful small group of people, connected to each other through their faith, their isolation and their integrity..
Do you eat more sugar now than in 1980? the pastor replied, they put it in everything now.. yes sugar substitutes are added to everything, but the actual amount of sugar, as it was known before the 1970 corn revolution, has actually decreased per capita in the united states to the tune of about 35 pounds per person per year...
I explained to them the various sugar additives, all derives from the plentiful corn in their backyard.. The dangerous artificial additives.. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Corn syrup solids, Crystalline Fructose, Corn syrup solids... all affecting our metabolism in unpleasant ways.. why invite unwanted visitors to our bodies? Then i told them the stories about sugar substitutes and the american model of stressing calories without revealing the ingredients.. One such example was a package of Stevia powder in packets sold in bulk at Walmart Supermarket.. on the cover was words like Natural, no sugar and other ornate words to fool the audience.... with caloric content displayed prominently.. then if you look under ingredients... Maltodextrin appears.. Why like in a bottle of Peanuts sold as Dry Roasted peanuts, this corn by product of hydrolysis, the effect of which on our bodies are at best dubious appear? What drives the manufactures to pollute peanuts and stevia?
I gave them a guarantee, try avoiding these artifical foods and also hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and especially palm oil and within a month, a sensation of well being will overtake them.. I told them it would be difficult to do, since an average american consumes 75 pounds of these products per year per person...
This hour spent with these kind and gentle people of Bohemian and european origin, children of dreamers who left Bohemia for a better life in America.. now being poisoned.. was so satisfying to me.. as i drove back to the Indian reservation where I was to spend my last night of this visit to them, I felt a glow inside of me, matching the fading lights of the horizon and i thanked Maurits van der pelt of Mo Po Tsyo in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The SweatLodge prayers for Little Froggie, MM, my sisters and loved ones..


The phone rang as soon as I entered the Blue House at the Reservation. Hey Doctor, we are going into the Sweat in about half an hour, would like you to come. The voice belonged to a good Indian friend of mine. I had felt a need to pray, in face of the multiple sickness related news that had plagued me for the past month and just this past week I had asked her if there would be a Sweat Lodge ceremony during the week I was to spend with this group of Indians.

The fire had been prepared and the rocks shone brightly with embers flying off. A gentleman was affectionately attending to the fire and the stones that were being heated. Even the stone by suffering through the heating process is sacrificing itself for you, a Indian teacher had said. They have been around for a while, he had added.

They were sitting around, the man who was to lead the ceremony, his back still fresh with marks of the Sun Dance. The others sat in silence, with occasional small talk.

When the white man goes to church, he gets dressed up, I remember an Indian teacher of mine saying, but we feel humble and we become as naked as possible while praying to the Great Spirit. The men were dressed just in shorts, and the women protected their modesty. Two children were present, a boy and a girl.

The singer entered and secured his position by the entrance of the sweatlodge. The inside had been cleaned and there were blankets covering the earth, surrounding the depression on the earth where the stones are to be laid. The Lodge was covered with blankets and heavy tarpaulin, can be completely sealed off from the outside light and the world, as usually happens.

We crawled in one by one in the anticlockwise direction, the women sitting together and the men on the other side. With seven adults and two children, it had just enough space. The water, the pipe were brought in, and the fire tender began bringing red hot stones one by one. With deer antlers, the singer organized the stones, praying and showing respect to them by showering sage and touching them with the pipe. The temperature inside began to rise slowly.

When there was sufficient stones in the central depression, the fire tender himself got in and sealed the lodge and now there was pitch darkness, only the embers of the stones flickering. The ancient songs began drifting in.

They must have done this hundreds and thousands of years ago, this getting together to worship the Great Spirit.

You cannot see each other inside, but one could hear people talking to themselves or praying or singing along with the well known prayers in the Lakota language.

Soon the discomfort of being in intense heat disappeared and I began concentrating on what I had come here for: to pray for some dear ones to my heart.

Without effort tears began to flow, the heat, the songs, smoke arising from the sage.

Oh my Little Froggie, come into this world, make this world a better place, come and comfort all of us, bring your mother contentment and happiness. Bring people around you the happiness they had not known before you were there.

Oh Great Spirit, take pity on this poor mortal, this humble human being, and bless my sister, make her suffering less, let her go through the treatment with dignity and ease and without much pain. If you take pity and grant my sister this request, I can be confident on what would happen next Thursday when she receives her first chemotherapy.

My little sister who is lying at a Denver Hospital, pinned and mangled, with her pelvis reconstructed from the accident which also injured her sister, my good and close friend. I cried for them, I felt the pain, and also the pain of their mother, a wonderful human being, who sits and waits and waits substituting her own suffering for the suffering of her children.

I thanked my best friend in Asia who had just been with me, for honouring me with a visit, getting the spirits of this air and territory know her, and for bringing her close friend from Istamboul. They had gone back to their respective homes, but I know that Indians will have touched them. I thanked them for their love.

Then without efforts, those who were important to me, began to appear in the vision of the darkness..my mother in India… my mother in Malaysia.. my mother in Cuba.. Cari and her family and little sofia in Havana, amaparo eager for a reunion with her son.. my lovely friend Loraine with a bakery of dreams in her deep eyes, my affectionate friend Adriana with strings of love for her son and her husband..

These are people who are close to me, who traverse daily through the trajectory of my emotional sky.. then faces began appearing at random..

The face of the dentist, East Indian in origin, who had come to the Rez with a group of other humanitarian dentists, I thanked them for their generosity towards the Indian people.. An Indian nurse from the Clinic, who had wanted to talk to me about some health related matter.. A lovely dancer of a grandchild of a close friend of mine…my HoCank sister who was at that time sitting next to me and her daughter..

The minutes dragged on emptily, eerily and the lack of sense of time or space, one began praying over and over again , beseeching friends and lovers for their love and understanding, for their forgiveness for the intransigencies, trying to see the face of a little girl who leaped like a baby orca, black and white in her skin, her mother holding her close, an eagle demonstrating the power of its beack against the dark marks in the lungs of my sister, Sandra kennedy and her husband John in my native Australia… all those who meant something put on an appearance to demand justice in this world of humility.. or to say a kind word with their looks and disappear into the oblivion of this darkness…

Raise your hands, the singer advises and the healing song is sung.. the heat is very intense, and I beg the Spirits, please forgive me, please forgive the times I have not been the best of the persons for those who love me and depend upon me.. forgive me if I have committed an error of omission against you..

The fingers were burning, the legs were numb, the body bathed in sweat, surrounded by blackness and the rising smoke and hot air purifying you inside and out, what better time than that to beg on behalf of those you love …bring happiness to those who strive for contentment, bring Little Froggie into a world of equality and sharing, let my sisters body free of invaders… and my friends in KL and NY blessed with more than their sense of balance… my mothers.. my sisters.. my loved ones…

The tears were pouring stronger than the sweat… the lodge slowly opened, the darkening sky from outside peeked in.. the breeze blew in, there was still silence… just a marvelous sensation of accomplishment on behalf of some human beings who tug at your heart…

It was a powerful reminder for me of my space in this universe, solidifying contact, each of us touching the corners of other hearts, defining and redefining ourselves in terms of our relationships with birds,beasts, trees and human beings and the other elements…

It was an important evening to me, on this Monday at the centre of their ancestral land they call the Turtle island.

lundi 27 juillet 2009

The Third Day of the Hocank Pow Wow July 26th 2009

The third day of the 143rd annual HomeComing Celebrations of the HoCank tribe coincided with the 56th anniversary of the Begining of the Cuban Revolution in 1953.
It felt good..to think of the revolution that freed an enslaved people while being with the most oppressed group of people ... there is a common thread, both the cubans in cuba and the indianz in the indian territory laugh from their hearts, are content and willing to share..
much closer to the goodness of what a good human being can be, despite all odds ..

samedi 25 juillet 2009

Second Day of the Hocank Pow Wow


Indians are very happy when you come to their Pow Wow, it is the time of gathering and social mingling. they are even more happier when you bring your friends, they take it as an honour that you thought so well of them that you wanted to introduce your friends. So when my two friends, MC from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and SY, from Istanbul via New York were being presented to my various friends and it was gratifying to see the reactions of the indians.

jeudi 23 juillet 2009

143rd Annual Pow Wow of the HoCank of Nebraska



Today begins the four day ceremonies of thanksgiving and celebrations and getting together offriends and relatives among the HoCank in Nebraska. This is one activity in which Americans have very little influence or say. It is INDIAN in every respect and it is one of the few occasions they can truly feel feel and self confident in their Turtle Island which was usurped from them 300 years ago.
It is a joyous occasion, not a sad occasion , mainly getting together of friends and relatives. Many Indians from near and far come to participate, dance and eat together for the next four days.
Each time when all the dancers enter the arena, tears come to my eyes, thinking of the time when they had lived their own way of life and when they were free. It is a privilege for me to be here and it is a privilege to say hello to so many young and old indians and enjoy the ancient ambiance of these celebrations.

lundi 20 juillet 2009

Reading Pablo Neruda among Los Indios

it is incredible how beautiful this part of the world looks, especially through the eyes of a stranger, after rain and fog rising out and at dusk, many cotton tail deers darting in and out.. you feel you are in an entirely different country...
there is indeed a magical quality to it all..

when i was a student, i had the habit of carrying a book of poems of Pablo Neruda with me and reading and reciting it when the appropriate moment arose.. Once someone said to me; This is the first time, on a date, someone is reading poems to me..
so you can imagine my surprise and my happiness when i found three of my favourite of Pablo Neruda's book of poems and i started reading them with all my heart.. pronouncing each word, enunciating with proper tone and feeling that sense of loss i had felt in many places.. Melbourne, Australia; Miami, Florida...
Who does not know Viente Poemas de amor...? Poema 20... on a night like this, i too loved her...
what triggered me off was that i was drinking a glass of white wine ( sauvignon blanc made in RSA by Penfolds).. memories of my days as a trainee doctor in Melbourne and a certain dr JT.. the poema 20 would always bring her to my mind..
How can not think of a great friend of mine with whom I had gone to Jamaica, Australia and Fiji islands.. ah such a long time ago and the poem was Josie Bliss !.. i remember her saying to me distinctly... if this poem is what you would use to remember me, please do me th favour of forgetting... i remember reading the poem to my brother while we were dining not too far from the river Irrawaddy.. Pablo Neruda was a consul in Rangoon and the passion shows through...
The third poem i read aloud tonight... a certain love poem called LOVE... once again my mind transformed itself as wind and passed through the tunnels of love and forgetting..
and i put down this on the paper..
I am just a traveller in this galaxy of stars who are carving out their oblivion in this endless sky.. that line for SY whom I had met recently , who would adore the lines of Pablo and if she doesnot, it would be her loss.. she is a star and if she is not careful, the world she would create would be filled with the silence of the darkness..
All the time I was reading the poems, my mind was fixated on just one person.. who has become more important to me than any one else, who fills my life with poems of infinite variety and strength..I wish her well, over the waves that separates us..
Pablo Neruda is about passion and love, sensuality and the universe, tenderness that can be found everywhere..

dimanche 19 juillet 2009

New York New York




charming and seductive
energetic and draining
eclectic and futuristic
polyglot and fusion cuisines

with a price to pay
hard work
with little time to enjoy

so if you are a visitor to this magnificent city, come and stay with a friend, have friends with you, taking you and showing you around, and in the evenings, settle down for nice dinners and glasses of wine..

then you could say, you have enjoyed New York.. New York is not only Museums, street life, food and restaurants, buildings and book stores but it is all of the above plus your friends who know the right places to go.. try to enjoy New York like a local does, not like a tourist does...

special thanks to MC from KL, and SY with whom I stayed in W54th in the midst of everything and new friends with delightful minds and manners, and NW, who still maintains her balance despite it all..

vendredi 17 juillet 2009

The Excitement of being in New York City

it has been a very long time since I have felt this excited about being in a city..New York City, that imagination in the minds of so many millions of people all around the world. It is raw energy, and one sees what will happen to the world all over... and hopefully so. I saw two old friends and made four new friends in NYC today. it was just exhilarating just to walk the midtown manhattan area. Ate a very juicy burger ( I normally dont eat burgers) at rue 57 Hotel, a nice cup of coffee with some cakes, watched Todd's tonsorial elegance at a Salon, ended up at The Turkish Kitchen.. with an array of turkish delicacies.. A wonderful day indeed..
When we got into the taxi, the driver who was talking on his handphone, took a minute off and said.. You look like you are from my country.. I tried to look at his physiognomy and was trying to figure out the language he had been bellowing into the phone... I am from Australia and where you might be from? He said, Bangladesh.. a nice chat and then the usual litany of immigrant's complaints, being slotted into the bottom, things being expensive.. and he said: for you it might be very exciting, but for me it is Hell.. this city. So there is always another side ot the view..
My first hours in New York City has filled me up with a great satisfaction.. I am glad to be here..

mercredi 15 juillet 2009

what makes a person happy?


almsot every one would agree that it has something to do with the relationship one has with others..with human beings, animals and the trees and other environmental representatives.
It was good to observe latin and caribbean families waiting for their dear ones to come out of their day surgeries, whereas american families waiting had much fewer members. I saw a latin family with grandmother, grandchildren and other generations waiting for their relative to come out and one lone american man waiting for his dear one..
In richer countries, including Japan, it has become customary to have nuclear families and forget the joy of extended families.
sometimes extended families can include visitors from the islands. In the house of my sister in Miami, the presence of Miss A, whom I have dubbed Miss Amazon because of her huge size, proportionately enough... she is kind and gentle and a good person to have around..
We are lucky to be mixing with people from the islands ...here in Miami

mardi 14 juillet 2009

Immigration Officers at New York.. not representative of USA

Where do they get them from?

Arrived at the EWR international airport after a swift and smooth flight from Paris. There were only two people in front of me at the line so I was happy but when I went to face the immigration officer who had an appropriate face to go with his name PAGAN, I knew I was in for some trouble. He does not ask me any questions. Writes something into the computer and calls over another man who takes me into another room.

Why this sudden attention? My brand new Australian passport, issued just a few days ago in Washington DC but given to me in Paris and this is the first international trip with this new passport and this is what attracted Mr Pagan. Why cant he ask a question? Like do you have the old passport with you , which I did, but instead you are in a room full of people, majority of them probably had committed no errors but are there because the recruitment process of the Immigration Officers has its flaws. Why cant they take a few lessons from Israeli Security? Rather than selecting such muscular types with bald heads, with nothing much inside them, it would be good to recruit intelligent people who do not have to spend hours in the gym rather than reading a book and are rude and without manners. The security agent who questioned me at Paris airport when I left for Tel Aviv was a slim, 20 something recent graduate, but she knew a lot and could ask questions and distinguish between innocent clever people travelling and some seedy ones. It takes intelligent people to know who the other intelligent people are and they could do with some recruits to the Border Patrol and Border Security..

All through the wait of only ½ hour, even though the room was full of people, bleary eyed from long flights, and almost all of them were being cleared but you can imagine sitting there up to one hour for two officers working through the papers… and the anxiety of missing flights and in the case of the Chinese in the room.. even deportation.. there were no really suspicious characters around, there was an elderly lady in wheelchair, a Nigerian with a stylish bag, a brasilian with a Portuguese passport, whole lot of dutch and germans.. one or two Indians.. so I am convinced that they were all there because the immigration agent didn’t do a good job at his desk and sent them over here..

Customs was a breeze and the rechecking was done within seconds. The people at Continental Airlines were polite and helpful and .. off to the Lounge..

lundi 6 juillet 2009

Thalasso in Quiberon






In Brittany with its wild coast and a lifestyle tied to the sea, for a couple of hundred of years, they had discovered the medicinal properties of sea water and used it in a form that would let the minerals of the sea be absorbed through the skin. now there are plenty of resort and spa offering thalasso through out France and other places.
I had one session today at the Thalasso institute in Quiberon, Bretagne, France/

http://www.accorthalassa.com/gb/hotel/quiberon_ipix/parcours.html offers you a 360 virtual tour of the thalasso area, in this thalasso which was the first one of the Accor Chain to be built almost 40 years ago. it was opened in 1964 by Louison Bobet, who was a three times winner of Tour de France. He was son a local baker.

You enter and you know that is upscale. everything is quiet and dispensed efficiently. you change into your swimming trunks and wrap yourself in their dressing gowns and go towards the thalasso area.
it is very well appointed with a part of it opening into the outside where the view of the sea and the beach is stunning indeed. The sea water is heated to an agreeable temperature and there are many stations where most of the body parts are massaged: head, neck, back, front, legs and shoulders. the force is considerable and you change the stations every 10 minutes or so. the total session is about 40 minutes and then you can spend time at the onsen style outdoor jacuzzi or the indoor strong water fall which falls on your shoulder with a power.

then after a little rest, you could swim in the indoor pool as well if you wish. After an hour and half you are very tired and then the nice walk along the beach and the busy broadwalk along the sea soothes your soul.

You can go to the market in the morning and buy fresh fish caught that very morning. Bought two large pieces of Lieu Jeune (fish cutlets) about 18 euros per kilogramme. Tandoori powder, Coconut milk, lemon and viola.. a nice meal indeed... as always a nice glass fo wine..

samedi 4 juillet 2009

Last Saturday in Havana and this Saturday...


I am at the Quiberon peninsula, which may have been an island once upon a time but lying across from off shore islands inBrittany, this is a quiet place, to relax and enjoy the sea breeze.
It is a contrast to where I was last week this time, in Havana, the exuberatnt capital of Cuba, hot and rainy and cloudy.. it is a verybright day here in Quiberon, flowers inbloom and blue skies.. lots of restaurants and cafes.. a nice walk by the sea and of course La Roux chocolates..

vendredi 3 juillet 2009

Happy Birthday America and Shabbat Shalom


I have made so many good friends who now live or have lived in the United States of America..some are forgotten and others remain close to my heart as the day I met them
Happy Birthday to all of you there .. I have just lit the Shabbat Candles here in Paris, France.
Gena and Jim and Lina in Yankton South Dakota. Sister Jackie and Joseph in Miami. Roy Llera and his family in Miami. My many friends in Miami, old and new. My HoCank, UmonHon, Kickapoo friends and many others from the Indian Country, enjoy this holiday..Michele, Deb, Tania, Vida, MiHu, Rosie, Noni, Georgia, Marianne, Tina, Pat and many many many others.. my sister friend Dar in Yakima, my good friend Ron in Bellingham, my two brothers and their families in Portland, Oregon. Ian and Vasu and Kavita in Corpus Christi in Texas..my friends at Continental Airlines from coast to coast...
USA has to be one of the friendliest countries and it is very easy to make friends in that country.
My next trip to USA would be on 16th July from Paris to New York, two great cities and I am sure untold pleasures are waiting for me in that city.. to begin with a turkish, a vietnamese meal have been promised...

Thank you, all of you for making my repeated visits to USA pleasant ones, treating me as an honoured guest and providing me with meals and coffee when i couldnt get either in remote parts of your country, jamaican food in Miami, cuban coffee..etc etc.

jeudi 2 juillet 2009

Cuban Heart and Parisian Mind and Sefardi Stomach






Newly found Love for Paris

One thing you would learn living in Cuba is that you are curious about most things and you become very observant. when you show someone a photograph, they might make remarks on how the hands are held or the jewelry they noticed.
Combined with this, the natural curiosity that comes from being Jewish, which is taught you from childhood, makes one a good anthropologist and also a fine traveller since you tend to observe, not what is being pointed out or obvious but the stories behind what you see.
My excellent stay with my good friends (they are not friends, they are tattoes in my heart!) in Havana, I have come to Paris with a new vigour. Never have I had such an enthusiasm for this city, since Havana enhances this moveable feast, not competes with this feast to the eyes and stomach.

So my eyes are fresh from Cuba, the heart tender as ever and my mind brimming with emotions.. this is the Paris of the day for me..
First, the Lunch
Paris has many food markets, but Marche des Enfants Rouges.. market of red children.. is 400 years old, and is so named for the red uniform of children from a nearby orphanage of yesteryears...offers an array of International dishes.. I had gone there especially to taste Moroccan Couscous with eggplant and steamed vegetables. I plan to return to taste the japanese fare, where the cook and the waitresses are Japanese (many a japanese restaurants in Paris are owned and run by expat chinese or koreans!).. there was a Traiteur Libanaise.. where one could feast on dishes familiar to any australian, there were about ten international places to eat..
The authenticity of these places cannot be questioned, and the price is most reasonable for Paris..
It is in the northern section of Marais, at the northern end of rue du temple and near the junciton of rue bretagne. At the corner there is an excellent bookstore. I bought one book there today Guide du Patrimonie Juif Parisien The Guide to Parisian Jewish Heritage.. of course would be visiting some of that in the future..
Walking around Marais, this old jewish neighbourhood, fastly converting into glassy, kitchy shops and chinese selling wholesale tchotchkes from China is loosing its character, but it has become an excellent place to people watch, with its large gay community and flagrant joie de vivre of the ambience..
Walked down all the way to rue de Rivoli, the bustling commercial street and full of tourists today, to end at the magnificent Town Hall of Paris and then walked towards Chatelet to catch the train back to the house..

While walking towards the M station, came across a small park with a lonely tower of a building where many people had taken refuge in the shades from the heat of the day. turns out to be Tour Saint Jacques, centered in the square of the same name, between boulevard de sebastopol, rue saint martin and rue de rivoli and avenue Victoria. Architects Jean and Didier de Felin 1523.
The remant tower of the Eglise Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie, demolished in 1797 in the continuing fever of revolutionary anticlericalism. Now a meterological station surmounts it all. This is a late Gothic, from a time when Michelangelo was drifting into mannerism in Italy.

Good Food. Good Book to be bought. Cafe at Reinitas with its free wi fi at rue du temple, and this Tower and a bit of history..
That was my afternoon in Paris. 2 july 2009 and tomorrow is a Public Holiday in the USA to celebrate the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day to all my friends in Yuma/Yanquiland/USA!


Cultural Frankensteins of Cuba

Cultural Frankenstein
How the foreigners fail to transact symbols in Cuba.


Sometimes, it is interesting to see a Cuban walking by, and your immediate thought is
Here goes a cultural Frankenstein

Why?
Fully decked in symbols which he thinks would attract the attention of those who he wishes to trap, mainly the tourists, he borrows symbols out of context and sends an entirely erroneous message.

A tatoo
A hair cut with some design woven into it
Gold chains or something resembling that
A tee shirt with some foreign logo on it
Cleanly dressed with some other accoutrement hanging out: a cell phone, or an mp3 player.

All symbols representing a class of failed people in other cultures, especially in the west or eagerly adopted by people in other continents, who are also destined for failure. These are not considered good symbols in other societies.
You expect Jay Z the rapper wearing heavy gold or platinum chains with some pendant with baggy trousers with baseball cap reversed, but it is in context, he is a rapper, he is supposed to be angry and expressing his dissatisfaction which gives him financial satisfaction.
But you don’t expect President Barack Obama, just because he is black, to be wearing such clothes. But he wears clothes and has symbols on him which are representing his life and his ambition and more importantly that which brings him respect.
There is a famous story in Little Prince about a man who dressed in his oriental clothes who was saying wise things and no one listened to him but when he changed into his western clothes, he was given the ears of the audience.
Perhaps the story about the Turkish ophthalmologist Behcet has a similar ring, dressed in a Turkish fez he presented in the early part of last century, a conglomeration of signs and symptoms, which later was named Behcets syndrome, but only after he presented them in consecutive years wearing European dress.. Viva Kemal Ataturk!
I have also heard a story about an Indian intellectual, was it Rabindranath Tagore? Or father of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was not let into a club in London and admitted to a banquet but was later admitted when he came back dressed in a tuxedo. During the dinner, he refused to eat but tried to feed the tuxedo since it was what was admitted into the banquet and not him.
When I began my studies with the American Indians, I sported symbols which were very important to them, I had long braided hair, I had beads attached to my hair through long tresses, I wore bangles and multiple rings, all from different cultures, from other lands. Indians loved the way I dressed but when I was invited to talk to an audience of predominantly European Americans working for the Indians, my symbolism did not go well with them and my talk on the Aspects of Diabetes among Indians was not well received. But years later, dressed in a nicely cut Italian suit I presented the same information to a similar group and was immediately lauded for my insights into the aspects of this disease among the Indians.

Projected symbolism
I wish to project an image, in this case reflecting my field work
But there is also symbolism as understood by others.

Or misunderstood by others

If I were mistaken for an American Indian just because I was speaking about them or dressed in a non conformist fashion it would be a misrepresentation of the symbols

A good example is the misinterpretation of Cuban behaviour by its symbolism in the streets of Cuba by foreigners
The tourists encounter one of these cultural Frankensteins and begin to believe that he or she represents the culture of Cuba.
In almost all of the western societies the best of their cultures are not expressed in marginalization, there are very rare examples of course, Busquiat comes to mind.
These cultural Frankensteins, or Jinateros as they are locally called, want to extract something out of the foreigner, and the tourist, eager to “go off the beaten track” or “be with the locals”, commits errors which he will not do in his/her own country. Also falsely believe that they had contact with a true Cuban culture, here it is an orchestrated non conformity, it is not a non conformity arising out of an intelligent or intellectual analysis or expression. Here it is a game of distortion and extortion.
Otherwise how can you explain, two young Spanish women, who have traveled elsewhere, would accept the invitation of a bicitaxi driver to go and visit his “poor” family in habana vieja. The women later, on being robbed, could not go to the police, since they did not know the name of the bici driver, except the fact that he was extremely friendly; and the address at which they were, nor the names of any of the people or describe them fully. A simple example of how misinterpretation of cultural symbols can lead you to trouble as well.

So this phenomenon of Cultural Frankenstein is a recent one (but the photo of Walker Evans’ The Negro Dandy of a black Cuban dressed nattily from the 1920s and also Fernando Ortiz’s Los Negros Curros, come to mind… were they also misrepresenting the Cuban culture of that time for their own benefit?) in which there is misrepresentation of Cuban culture but the victims also misinterpret the symbols..