207 thoughts on “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. I’ve recently seen this ancestry DNA video of a Bangladeshi:
    A few questions came to mind.
    – Why Ancestry DNA hides 10-15% east Asian of Bengalis?
    – Why is her result also highlighting Srilanka/Maldives alongside Bangladesh? I expect Bihar/Up or Orissa to be the closest south Asian groups to Bangladeshis.
    – Why these DNA testing companies don’t build algorithms optimized for non-Europeans?
    Bangladeshis, for example, take the DNA test mainly to seek why in the same family there’s diversity. So south Asians might find helpful if DNA result shows %age of ancestral components like Iran_HG, AASI, Sintashta, etc. instead of 100% South Asian. I think FamilyTreeDNA has an ancestral origin algorithm, but that’s also optimized for Europeans only.

    1. This video of 3 BD girls was interesting from a different pov.
      At 5;35 she reads, this Region has majestic Hindu temples … there she freezes and asks ‘what has that got to with me’. That reaction gives more info about the present outlook of (majority) of BDs raised in UK with a British accent to boot.

    1. No consensus but everything points to a second population from Central Asia which arrived after the Aryans as the source.

      There are other theories, but they either don’t answer all questions posed by this riddle (haplogroups, shudra/mleccha status of Jats), or raise even more unanswered questions (if Haryana is the Vedic homeland of steppe admixture why do no other Haryanis have outlier steppe levels).

      1. what goes against they were on IVC periphery for awhile in a zone that wasn’t so dense so they retained steppe and then moved into the plains when caste was already established? eastern mixed less with outsiders since less strict endogamy in sikh and Muslim Jatts?

        1. Haplogroups show a lot of Q and L, not much R1a, indicates ancestry from different group than the original R1a Aryans.

          Groups in South Asia that have high steppe that existed on the periphery of the IVC (parts of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan) show very high West Asian ancestry as well. Jats/Rors don’t show more West Asian then you would expect from the average Punjabi or Haryanvi.

          1. FYI Balochis can have more L than Jats do and Q is found throughout India albeit at a lower frequency from Northern Brahmins to Gonds to Sri Lankans. Most importantly, using an extra kind of steppe component doesn’t account for all of the extra steppe. The non-recent steppe input ancestors of Rors and eastern Jats would still be around 30% Sintashta and for some comparison if we do the same for other north Indians, the non-recent steppe input migrant ancestors of Brahmins would be about 20% Sintashta.

            Not only does this fail to accomplish the goal of accounting for the extra steppe, it makes things more complicated. You will still have to fall back on my theory to account for the majority of the extra steppe.

          2. Dathang,

            What is your theory again? I’m not that concerned if we can’t make the admixture stuff work yet, its possible we don’t have (or aren’t using) the right steppe samples.

          3. Well in order to get the ‘right’ steppe samples for the second pulse such that the second pulse when taken away leaves the first pre-Ror/Jat population as steppe rich as first pre-Brahmin population, the next steppe population will have to be basically Sintashta so we will be back to step 1 with one important steppe input 🙂

            There might be low levels of something else which is also present in other north Indians but this supposed actual trace amount would barely influence the amount of total steppe ancestry.

            Anyway, my theory is the rival tribes theory- some Indus-Ganga group held it’s own against the Aryanization of north India and this resulted Jats. This is why Jats have Dravidian-like ancestral worship (seen in Kodava) along with high frequencies of L-M20 and why upon their late integration into Indian society, they were basically still outsiders to the Aryan defined society.

          4. Dathang

            If the Jats were able to resist the Aryans, I would expect them to have retained pre Aryan language groups like the Brahui and possibly Burusho. That these groups are found in isolated mountain valleys, while the lowlands of Punjab all speak Indo Aryan languages (and have as far back as records go) makes me skeptical of this theory.

          5. Not sure about the language bit, Kalash speak an IE language in spite of having more IE female than male lineages, were they conquered by feminist Amazons? Doubt it, there are many things that can lead to the final state of language. Maybe in the case of Jats it was a matter of the assimilation that happened within the last 2,000 years that lead to a loss of language (partially because of utility) but certain Dravidian traditions were preserved (because there would still be a directive to preserve some kind of group identity).

  2. modi is biting the bullet and opening up the economy, hope fully it will end well.

    1. Nah, long after Modi is gone, Manmohan will be still seen as the “economist” PM despite having no legislation in his 10 years, while Modi years especially his 2nd term will be seen as low growth years as economic failure. Just like ABV years were.

      We think that the economic intelligentsia in India is without their their biases. They all do.

  3. Some personal observations over time that I found rather sad was that many Indians (thankfully not all) I have spoken to don’t really have much of an idea how the political system runs or know factual info about the country that’s easily accessible in the age of the internet, not to mention a discernible disinterest as to how things work coupled with a lack of self-awareness. A few examples of note:

    Straight off the top of my head, many well-educated people don’t even know the difference between the central, state and concurrent lists in the Indian constitution. For example, I had an acquaintance a few years ago who blamed agricultural failures and farmer suicides in Andhra/Telangana on the central government, it was then pointed out to her that agriculture was a state subject and the centre didn’t really handle it apart from setting some general policies. Additionally, she was from a major city but didn’t know about stuff the municipal corporation did, what the local MLA was responsible for, the things the state government had control over, the policies falling under the purview of the national government and so on. Her voting pattern was purely based on what she saw on TV with a sprinkling of groupthink from friends.

    Next, a friend of a friend from a comfortably wealthy family who happened to be a business student studying in a western country for undergrad who openly claimed to be ‘middle-class’. It wasn’t stated in humility as she was quite showy about brands she bought and vacations she went on, and her reference point was India and not the West. This view also wasn’t uncommon in her friend’s circle who had similar tastes as her and self-referenced the same way. I asked her about which percentile of the population she fell under and she guessed ‘upper 10%’. Then I told her that India had 1.3 billion people and asked whether she’d be in the top 130 million. ‘Probably top 25 million’ she replied. So a business graduate who’s in the top 2% of the population didn’t really have much of an idea of what the middle-class in India was. Living in an environment where one only socialises with peers in the same income bracket tends to lead to this sort of tunnelled thinking, even when they specialise in a subject related to the flow of money.

    A long time back when I was in still in high school, I once visited a classmate’s house for a birthday, again from a reasonably well-off happy family. He was an ok kid who was mediocre in academics but friendly and decent in sports, more or less the average guy you’d run into. His mother then asked me how he could improve his grades. When I looked around his house I couldn’t see any books outside of the regular issued school material. Then she told me her son doesn’t read other books and said something to the effect of ‘what is the point of reading something that won’t get him higher marks’, and that he just watched movies on TV and played cricket in his spare time. He also never practiced english outside of school. That’s when I politely tried to point out to her the need for him to improve his language skills via external reading and on increasing his general interest about the outside world through books.

    There is a noticeable dearth of critical thinking in the general population, and the inability to decipher complex phenomena and interpret events and scenarios with nuance leads to a talent pool functioning at levels severely below potential.

    1. That describes Pakistan’s upper middle class\elite too. My WhatsApp group of old schoolmates from Pakistan easily has the lowest intellectual content of any group I am part of. Harry Potter and the Kite Runner are probably the only books you can expect them to be familiar with.

  4. No consensus but everything points to a second population from Central Asia which arrived after the Aryans as the source.

    this is my hunch. i haven’t been able to figure it out tho i guess i can run qpwave a lot idk

    1. Interesting that the steppe people even in the second wave of admixture that created jatts were also likely dark haired and brown eyed (there aren’t any blonde rors or jatts running around haryana).

      Also very interesting that one group of steppe people were able to establish control and dominance in society but the second group of steppe ended up as shudras/mlecchas. This likely created a situation where people with more AASI (due to their earlier arrival) were higher on the caste ladder than the newcomers who ended up on the bottom.

      Goes to show that its not enough to be Indra’s scion and have a war chariot… you gotta show up when the dasas are weak (i.e. after IVC collapse or Mauryan empire collapse or Mughal empire collapse in the case of the east india company).

  5. I know that Razib has been keen on Sullaposting as of recent. I have a question for you Razib: Do you see America’s Republic heading down the same line as the Roman one? If so, who will be America’s Sulla and Marius?…..eventually leading to America’s own potential Julius Caesar.

  6. Those, who after switching on today their computers got Bing’s Stonehenge screen, can try to answer what is the S’s connection with Jatts.

  7. Bosnia&Herzegovina faces a new security threat. 3,000 Pakistanis entered Bosnia with visas forged by the Bosnian ambassador in Pakistan. This information was disclosed by the Serbian member of the Presidency of B&H, Milorad Dodik. He points out that he revealed that this information was presented by the representatives of the Ministry of Security at a recent meeting in the Presidency. Pakistanis, with fake visas, move among migrants, and that was apparently made possible by the B&H ambassador to Pakistan.

    Security experts assert that these people are Pakistani soldiers. They are making a long-term strategy. An example is the Pakistani Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, who fought with Kuwaiti documents in B&H during the civil war, and after that, with B&H citizenship, on September 11, 2001, organized a terrorist attack in America. Therefore, security experts warn that migrants from this country must not be underestimated.

  8. I was thinking are there any South Asian meat dishes (and bread, dairy heavy dishes and deserts for that matter) indigenous to the subcontinent without colonial or Mughal influence? And regarding the Mughal influence were the majority of chefs in the Mughal kitchen Pashtun/Persian/Indians (like this article attests https://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/28th-anniversary-supplements/the-lifestyle-parenthesis/news/the-imperial-kitchens-food-fit-the-mughals-1706239, also says that many Mughal dishes predate them during the Sultanate period) or Turko-Mongol looking and descended foreigners?

    1. I am not expert in cuisine but you can start to look for deserts on West coast going south from Gujarat. Hard to find heavy meat though till you get closer to Kerala

    2. I don’t understand, does roti not count as bread and kheer as dairy based dessert ?

      Meat eating is a low status thing in northern Hindus, but tribal people for eg. have unique meat curries and methods of preparation.

      But the thing is cuisines change a lot depending on availability of ingredients, cost etc.

      A lot of Indian food that people may think of as ‘indigenous’ is actually very impacted by colonization of the Americas.

      Imagine old world cuisines, including Indian, without peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts and corn. As they are all new world crops.

        1. I mean for dairy there are lots and lots of sweets and foods, I don’t even know where to begin.

          The female cow is considered sacred in Hinduism because it gives milk. Bulls are not sacred in the same way.

          Panch-Amrita: Used in orthodox Hindu puja is made up of 3 dairy ingredients + honey + jaggary (historic precursor to modern sugar).


          Hindu gods like Krishna are described as loving dairy products and being cow herds.

          Did the Mughals even have a tradition of using makkhan and dahi in their curries before coming to India ?

          1. Interesting. Do you know if Mughal chefs were basically Pashtun/Persian/indigenous Indians or Turko-Mongol looking peoples (I’m guessing Delhi sultanate chefs were Arab and indigenous)?

            I think some dishes like murgh makhani, daal makhani, saag paneer are generic Punjabi rather than Mughal.

            What about dalut ki chaat, ras malai, mava jalebi, malpua with rabri, shahi tukra?

          2. Also Turkic nationalists think they invented yogurt despite indigenous words for it in languages from Greece/Levant/Caucasus/Iran/India

          3. Panch-amrita, used in vedic rituals, includes yogurt, ghee, milk it pre-dates mughals.

            Notably also includes sugar which originated in pre-historic india, the greeks / egyptians / babylonians only had honey.


            So I guess Turk Nationalists can thank Indians for Baklava.

            But realize that you and I as individuals you and I had nothing to do with these discoveries, kinda silly to get into online flame wars over them.

            I am kinda hesitant to provide you with more culinary firepower for this reason.

    3. Jatt scythian, there are a vast array of meat preparations that have nothing to do with mughals. Check out KT Achaya “Indian Food” , its a history, although I should hope there are even better works out now. There are also primary texts like “Manasollasa” which was a kind of encyclopedia of the 12th century deccan which has chapters devoted to hunting and gastronomy. Indians have always eaten big game and and all kinds of seafood. Another note, even among the dishes in India that show the influence of west asia many have nothing to do with mughals per se. There are rice dishes that have roots in arabian “mandi” and the layered leavened egg-dough of a malabar parota, often called a murtabak is a play on the arabian mutabaq. I imagine that cultural dissemination wasn’t always through imperial decree or darbari fashion. The turnover of commerce on the coasts was massive and the columbian exchange was just one dimension of it.

      1. Very interesting. I think butter chicken and Kerela beef fry (just had if for the first time recently) are among the best South Asian meat dishes and those were invented by Punjabi Hindus and Kerela Christians respectively.

  9. Tutmos III was the sixth pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty. He ruled Egypt from 1486BC until 1425BC. At the temple of Tutmozis III and his sister Numt Amena, we find his colourful fighting with the nations: Ruthenians, unknown in N.Africa and HETI in Hanan.

    Setos (ruled from 1445-1394 BC) and his son Ramesses II – on their buildings we find again a recorded victory over the people of Ruthen, Remn and the people of Shaza, and again HETI with their city Kedem, etc. They conquered the countries of Asia and Europe to the Black Sea, and in Finland to the Lika River, conquered Scythia and Thrace in Europe, and considerable part of Asia till India. These victories against Livy, Nubian and HETI were again written on their tombstones.

    The tribes: HETI, Ruteni were Serbian speaking tribes. The remains of these Heti or the ancient Hati in India were known as overly cruel and wild, but at the same time warlike and brave, all travellers in India describe them. They were known in today’s Serbia (and Tripoli – Tripolye) during Emperor Trajan’s ruling and in other places, such as Venice and Italy, etc. whom everyone recognize as Serbian and called various Slavic names. Roman poet Ovid wrote about them (Ex Ponto) during his exile in Serbian Dacia (today’s Constance – Romania).

    The tribes – Sarmatians, Goths, Sakas, Getae, Massagetaeans (from Danube) are all Serbian speaking tribes.
    The names: Heti (i.e. Hati from N.Africa), Geti from Danube (i.e. Goti=Goths) describe the same tribe which spoke Serbian language.

    In India, this name is JATS.

  10. What subclade of Q is common in India (and is it all associated with Central Asian IE tribes) or is some attributable to Sino-Tibetans and Mughals and such?

    Also I’m guessing the SWAT people were a dead end giving no expansion of y E and I2 in South Asia.

    1. That is one problem- we don’t know about Q’s complete details in India. Q1b2 was not found on the steppe, only in Turan as far as known ancient DNA is concerned, so it would likely be associated with the eastern Iran HGs. IDK exactly about Q1b1’s origin but it wasn’t found on the steppe either.

      Q1a on the other hand is most likely from Siberia recently so it’s presence in south Asia would have to have some link to the steppe.
      So far I have a hunch that most of the Q in south Asia (with Jats being no exception) is of the Q1b type and hence is more likely to be linked to the Iran HGs as opposed to the steppe.

      However I cannot be completely sure since no one has undertaken a very large study on south Asian Q. All we know is that most of the Q1b2 in the world is either in or around south Asia and most of the most divergent Q1b in general at least on yfull is associated with both middle eastern and south Asian groups. Looks like Iran HG to me based on intuition, but I cannot be 100% sure.

  11. @Sumit
    Baklava is Assyrian (and has been altered by Greeks and Persians) anyways. I don’t like Turkic nationalists thinking they invented North Indian cuisine especially when it is likely Mughal chefs were mostly Persian. And I’d hope there was some contribution from Indigenous Muslims.

    1. I had ‘Chinese food’ in India a couple of years ago.

      Theoretically it originates from Chinese migrants to Kolkata. In practice it’s is Indian flavours in a Chinese form factor.

      I kinda feel the same about stuff like Indian Kofta or Haleem.

      I guess the difference is that Chinese Nationalists would turn up their nose at ‘Indo-Chinese’ Hakka food.

      Not sure why Turkic nationalists claim Indo-“Turko-Persian” Mughal food as their own.

      Turkic nationalists need to up their food snobbery. Lol


      You were right about the yogurt thing appears rly it’s a big point of contention between Greeks/Turks/ Bulgairans.

      Btw: here is a “Greek yogurt” aka desi dahi dish dating back to atleast 400 bce


      The source linked in that article credits India for inventing ‘dahi’ in 6000-4000 bce. And Turkey for inventing ‘yogurt’ in 800 ad, and bunch of other regional yogurt like foods…


      If Turkic ppl only started using yogurt in 800 ad then Indians definitely beat them to it lol.

    2. ” I don’t like Turkic nationalists thinking they invented North Indian cuisine”

      Lol. You don’t need to entertain their parochialism.

      Mughlai is just one of the cuisines of North India but it’s often used as a generic term to cover Punjabi, Awadhi etc cuisines.

      It’s good for marketing because anything ‘royal’ sells and that’s why it has gained popularity.

      But there are a lot of excellent north Indian dishes that are sufficiently distinct from it. You can search for Lal Maas from Rajasthan or Champaran Mutton from Bihar.

      These are not as famous yet but give it a few decades.

      If you move further east, Bengali cuisine is pretty sophisticated with well defined courses. There’s some input from the dispossessed nobility of Awadh but it is only one of a diverse set of influences.

      If you’re interested in stories about Indian food, you should check out Vikram Doctor’s podcast:

  12. The Brahui and Burusho are certainly mixed with Indo-Aryans and I think the Burusho are mixed with East Asians too.

  13. the burusho r 10% e asian. well mixed.

    the brahui…they’re off-cline along with baloch. i can model them when really really small % indo-aryan but the whole model is a bad fit. i need to test zagros and anatolia_n

        1. That’d be interesting. There’s only 87000 of them so I don’t know if that theory still applies. I do remember reading they have some y C3.

  14. If the Jats were able to resist the Aryans, I would expect them to have retained pre Aryan language groups like the Brahui and possibly Burusho. That these groups are found in isolated mountain valleys, while the lowlands of Punjab all speak Indo Aryan languages (and have as far back as records go) makes me skeptical of this theory.

    anglo-saxon house of wessex (king alfred the great) were clearly de-christianized brythonic warlords. they assimilated to anglo-saxon culture in toto. so not implausible.

    1. And they re-Christianized within 100-200 years. So they went from Celtic Christian->Anglo-Saxon Pagan->Anglo-Saxon Christian in the span of a few generations. 7th century England is very fascinating. Fierce competition between Insular Christianity, Roman Christianity, Anglo Saxon Paganism and Celtic Paganism for the English soul.

  15. So they went from Celtic Christian

    i bet they were nominal Christians though. remember romans left Britain early 5th century so Celtic xtianity was very much developing organically against a pagan landscape. their Christianity might already have been heavily indigenized

    1. Yeah that makes more sense. Nominal Christianity with emphasis on local saints such as Saint Alban.

      Also any books you would recommend about that period?

  16. What are you basing the idea that Kalash had more female IE ancestors? Mtdna U4 frequencies?

    I kind of wish we had more female IE ancestors. It certainly wouldn’t allow Europeans to brag and take pride in Aryan invasion the way they do. Even though the migration in their region was male mediated as well.

    1. U4 + U2e. IDK about the J2 specific subclades, could just be non-steppe. R0 likewise is most likely not steppe. Still U4 + U2e alone are like 50% of their mtDNA lineages.

    2. trust me. I troll the high steppe R1a gang constantly with “reverse cucking order” of my Y H and Mt K1a. It’s lots of fun because a lot of them care a lot lol

        1. I identify as dosa not dasa. I may have a crispy exterior, but I have a sensitive potatoey inner self. Please respect my cultural identify and emotional sensitivities.

      1. The irony is y H people were probably more typically “Caucasian” looking originally than y R people who were probably ANE with ENA admixture.

  17. “It certainly wouldn’t allow Europeans to brag and take pride in Aryan invasion the way they do”
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< ????

    Which Europeans? Europeans did not exist at Aryan times. The name of Europe itself did not exist. At that time existed only tribes which spoke Serbian language. From this Serbian roots much later evolved so-called Slavics, first Russians in the 8.c.AC and others much later. Greeks still did not come to Europe.

    And what pride? What is the pride in some tribes’ movements 4000 year ago? Unless, someone is impressed by Anglo-German propaganda that they are Aryan ubermensch descendants although, they actually did not exist at Aryan time. Their languages are 800 and less than 600 years old and what would be their connections with Sanskrit?

    The main point is that SA people (those who believe in Aryans) are mentally not ready yet to find out who Aryans were although the genetic map (and linguistic and mythology and toponyms) says all. Because we have in every second comment meaningless expressions such as – steppe, Indo-Europeans, Indo-Aryans, etc.

  18. WIKI (re – St Alban):
    – “The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle lists the year 283,[14] but Bede places it in 305, “when the cruel Emperors first published their edicts against the Christians.” In other words, it was sometime after the publication of the edicts by Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian in 303 and before the proclamation of toleration in the Edict of Milan by co-ruling Roman Emperors Constantine I and Licinius, in 313. Bede was probably following Gildas. English historian John Morris suggests that Alban’s martyrdom took place during the persecutions of Emperor Septimius Severus in 209.”


    Diocletian, Licinius, Constantine and Severus were Serbs. Severus was the first Serbian Roman Emperor and there were all together 18 Serb Emperors in the West Roman Empire. They mostly came directly from the army.

    1. Slowly but steadily, BPundits are progressing in their knowledge about ‘ancient’ Europe. A great leap forward in their knowledge, I guess, (unreachable to general population and suckers) is that 18 West Roman Emperors were Serbs.

      A reward question – why NOT ONE ‘classic’ Greek was a West Roman Emperor?

  19. Remember Jatt_Scythian asking if any Indian has developed a programming language on the previous open thread. There are a few-

    One of the co-creators of Julia is Indian, he’s also currently the CEO of Julia Computing (a company founded by the creators of Julia). It’s gaining popularity pretty fast.

    Then there’s another language called Kojo that was developed by an Indian programmer, it’s also an IDE. It’s mostly popular as an educational programming language though, good for introducing programming to beginners (the developer also happens to be a teacher).

    There was another transitional language called Visual J# developed by Microsoft India Development Center at Hyderabad, but it was discontinued in 2007.

    1. Interesting. Julia is going to be one of the next languages I learn so that’s pretty cool.

      1. Did Indians also independently discover negative numbers after the Chinese or did they get them from the Chinese?

  20. Jatt_Scythian and girmit

    are there any South Asian meat dishes (indigenous to the subcontinent without colonial or Mughal influence

    Sri Lankan eat many different kinds of wild game, including peacock, wild boar, deer to name a few and fish. All wild game is illegal, to protect wild life. Still available, if you know the right connection. I think hunting Wild boar and peacok should be allowed. To many of them.

    As you can see much of game would be an anathema to India. However, I suspect rural South Indian, the non Aryanized probably eat the same.

    The Veddas used to cure venison and wild boar with bees honey and bartered with villager. Even in the early 1900’s.

    Fish: We eat squid, octopus, crab and are sought after delicacies. Unhappily quite expensive, probably being exported.

    Two very Sri Lankan dishes.

    Pork pahi (now also called istew (stew)). No red pepper. Just black pepper and fresh ground mustard and maybe some other spices. I have not seen a recipe for this online.

    Ambul Thiyal; Skipjack Tuna or Yellowfin tuna. Very slow cooked on light fire. With Goraka (Garcinia cambogia) and black pepper and other spices.

    It was very down south, made during the tuna season. Abmbul Thiyal can keep for about 2 months without refrigeration.

    My late wife who was from a community some 100 km north did not know of the dish.

  21. I came across a paper from 2012 titled “Fluvial landscapes of the Harappan civilization” by Giosan et al.

    The paper explains that drought forced the settlements near Indus to move eastwards towards Ganga. How widely is this accepted or is this just common knowledge? Because I’ve barely even seen it being discussed anywhere (I can understand if it irks staunch Pakistani nationalists) at all.

    The presence of a large number of late-Harappan sites near the Ganges and away from the Indus in itself seems good enough evidence to me that people moved away from the Indus. Nevertheless, I wanna know what you guys think/know about this and if there are any contradictions to this.

    And if there are any geologists here, I would also like to know what you think about this paper.

    1. Yeah I remember reading something like that but it wasn’t a case of a population moving into a low population hunter gatherer zone since the eastern region had it’s own settled populations. Maybe this could explain elevation in violence before the invasion.

        1. You could come up with a plausible scenario where this could be tied in, but the validity of it would be ultimately dependent on the timing of the extra AASI input.

  22. jatt_scythian and girmit

    South Asian dairy heavy dishes and deserts for that matter indigenous

    Take most dairy dishes and replace with coconut milk and you have dish much more richer and flavor full.

    eg: I guess you know flan. The indigenous version is Wattalapan.
    Replace, milk with coconut milk, and sugar with coconut jaggery and cardamom and clove and you have a exotic desert. (if in the west can replace coconut jaggery with dark brown sugar.

    French Toast: Replace milk with coconut milk. Local adaptation. Bombay Toast

    Scallops with milk, lemon and saffron. Very chic and high end.
    Story: 1990 in transit at Paris. There was a request for someone to give their seat. I did and 3 hour layover became 16 hrs. Very pleasant because I had long chat with Afro indian woman from london. Later she was the actress in Mississippi Masala.

    Anyway got a business class in an Airline I would no fly, as too expensive. When the meal came around, most on the menu I knew. There was one I didnt, French. So I asked the steward what it was. Explained and I said I will have that. He asked me twice, are you sure. I guess, FOB polyester pants and patent leather shoes threw him off.
    Anyway, ate it and was excellent. Compliment ed the steward. He complimented me even more, saying I was one of the very few who had picked this expensive dish.

    The point was when the steward explained the dish, it did not sound unusual, except for the scallops part (dont have scallops in Sri Lanka). We make many seafood dishes with coconut milk and turmeric and lime/lemon or tamarind. Can be absolutely mild to spicy according to ones taste Thais and Malays do the same, but tend to add more lemongrass.

    In the I have made scallops in coconut milk, lime/lemon + tinge of lemon grass + turmeric. All of 10 mins. Served with red rice stringhoppers (pasta is ok too). Absolute hit.

    Not a hit with Indians, most would not eat the types of sea food, Sri Lankans eat. Mussels, squid, octopus (takes too much time) etc.

    You need to know what kind of fish to cook in spice less coconut milk. Otherwise, too fishy most tastes (not us). Seer (Kingfish/King mackerel) or Shark are good.

    Kiri Hodi is the base. Unlike regular Sri Lankan style I dont cook the fish/scallops in liquid. Cut fish/scallops in small cubes and pan sear with salt and lime. (lime essential removes the fishy taste). Then make the Kiri Hodi separately. Once it is done add to the pan with fish and simmer for about a minute. 15mins

    1. Very interesting. Either way the meat heavy Mughal cuisine is likely a product of Persians/Pashtuns and Indian Muslims. Turkic nationalists can fuck off especially Anatolian pseudo-Turks.

    2. I love fish. Got to check out some Sri Lankan restaurants.

      Coconuts were also domesticated in South India/Maldives/Sri Lanka. Wonder if the same is true for mangos.

      1. Malaysia and Thai have great coconut based curries and soups. Be careful with Thai, can be very very spicy.
        Many Malay, Thai coconut based dishes are very similar to Sri Lankan, with a slightly different spin. eg more lemon grass in Thai.

        Koreans also have some nice spicy dishes. I love the 6 or so veggies they give with any meal.

        In terms of usefulness, a coconut tree is so much more than a cows. Milk, oil, water, liquor (toddy), roofing thatch, carpets. Activated carbon for water filtration and many more.

        In Sri Lanka, in general the Sinhalese dont have herds of cattle (or goats). They will have coconut trees instead.

        Muslims and Tamil will have cattle and goats.

      2. Coconuts’ versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is kalpa vriksha (“the tree which provides all the necessities of life”). In the Malay language, it is pokok seribu guna (“the tree of a thousand uses”). In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the “tree of life”.[89]

        It is one of the most useful trees in the world.

        A well maintained 5 acre coconut land with some inter cropping will earn you about USD 1,000 per month. Very comfortable in Sri Lanka.


  23. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46960-9

    “Ancient origins of low lean mass among South Asians and implications for modern type 2 diabetes susceptibility

    We analysed proxies for lean mass and stature among South Asian skeletons spanning the last 11,000 years (n = 197) to investigate the origins of South Asian low lean mass. Compared with a worldwide sample (n = 2,003), South Asian skeletons indicate low lean mass. Stature-adjusted lean mass increased significantly over time in South Asia, but to a very minor extent (0.04 z-score units per 1,000 years, adjusted R2 = 0.01). In contrast stature decreased sharply when agriculture was adopted. Our results indicate that low lean mass has characterised South Asians since at least the early Holocene and may represent long-term climatic adaptation or neutral variation. This phenotype is therefore unlikely to change extensively in the short term, so other strategies to address increasing non-communicable disease rates must be pursued.”

  24. “Stature (length z-score) fell by 1.2 units (p < 0.001) between Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and all later populations once agriculture was adopted (Fig. 5). This step change was followed by a slower, linear decline from 5,000 years BP up to the 20th century. Restricted to the last 5,000 years, regression of bone length z-score on date, adjusting for latitude, indicated a decline of 0.22 (standard error = 0.05) z-score units per thousand years (adjusted R2 = 0.12, p < 0.001). To put this in context, the standard deviations of femur length are 30.1 mm and 26.5 mm for males and females respectively, and using stature prediction equations33, one z-score difference in femur length equate to 7.5 cm and 7.0 cm difference in estimated stature for males and females respectively. Thus we might predict total average declines in stature from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to later populations of 8.5 cm and 7.7 cm in males and females respectively, and a decline of the same magnitude across the 5,000 years since agriculture was adopted….

    Unlike the temporal stability in relative lean mass, the marked decrease in mean long bone length z-scores (proxies for stature) between the Mesolithic and subsequent periods coincides with changing patterns of niche construction associated with agriculture, and echoes other studies of South Asia25,26 and other parts of the world23,24. This decline in stature in South Asia following the adoption of food production is estimated elsewhere to be ~9 cm in males26, similar to our results. The decline in stature with the adoption of agriculture appears to have been particularly marked in South Asia (e.g., compare24), although uneven spatial and temporal distribution of the data in different world regions complicates any direct comparison. Decreased stature may indicate an additional increase in underlying NCD susceptibility among South Asians on top of that resulting from low lean mass. Short stature is thought to be associated with T2D susceptibility because, like low lean mass, it is linked to poor early life conditions (potentially across multiple generations), which are also known to increase NCD susceptibility18,61. Interestingly, the relationship between T2D risk and stature is reportedly strongest in Asians and native Australians compared to other populations62….

    Although Mesolithic South Asians were generally tall, 4 out of the 5 Sri Lankans, one individual from Damdama and one from Deulga Hills, India63 (the latter could not be included in this study due to poor preservation), had very low bone length z-scores before latitude adjustment. This may indicate some interesting variation in hunter-gatherer body size within South Asia, whereby some populations were extremely short while others very tall. The potential causes of this variation require future investigation."

    ^Very interesting. This height differential among ancient groups might point to different sub varieties of AASI.

    1. About the leg length, I made some random observations during my high school tuition days. Some patterns I noticed while comparing 3 groups of boys, Bengali + east Indians, Punjabi + north Indians, and Tamil/Telugu + south Indians: assuming individuals from these 3 ethnicities were of equal height, the Bengalis would have the highest sitting height and the shortest leg length (i.e. the knees would be lower than the other 2 groups, and the thighs won’t stick out as much), the Punjabis would be somewhere in the middle with roughly proportionate leg and upper body length, and the Telugus would have a low sitting height but long legs (they would stick out and be higher at the knees). There were variations of course, these were just my observed averages.

      When I traveled overseas I came across groups with an even greater difference in proportions. Japanese I met would quite tall sitting down but had relatively shorter legs. By comparison, I sat next to a Senegalese man from the Wolof group in a plane, his legs were massive compared to the Europeans and the Asians relative to height, they would hit the seat in front even when he sat fully back. The most extreme version I saw was of a guy from South Sudan, I think he was a Nuer or a Dinka, his legs and arms were ridiculously long and they looked rather…frail. If I hadn’t seen him I wouldn’t have believed those body proportions existed.

      1. limb length to torso ratio is associated with climate adaptation. hotter the climate,longer legged people tend to become. This maximizes surface area to volume ratio for heat dissipation aka lanky structure. West Eurasians are somewhere in the middle. SSA people and southern E Eurasians (papuans, australian aboriginals, and E Eurasian part of Indians aka old term australoids) are hot adapted. Interestingly, northern e eurasians (used to be called mongoloid) are among most cold adapted, with very short linbs and long torso.

        Smaller bones and gracilization occurs with transition from HG to farming because the latter doesn’t select against smaller and weaker frames as much and is more malthusian with food constraints,exhibiting famine and booms more often, thus a smaller less energetically demanding bone structure is preferred.

        Indians in the end are a hot climate, farming adapted people. Small boned. Long limbed. Small boned from Iranic component of IVC and long boned from AASI. Steppe is shorter limbs and bigger bones but this is the smallest minority of most S Asian DNA. The S Asian build is similar to Somalian and Ethiopian one,

        good for distance running, cycling, famine survival

        E Asians are cold farming adapted mostly, besides some far northern groups (what were called tungids, chosonids, etc in old anthropology). They tend to be good at low weight class power sports where shorter levers but lower levers are preferred. This means low weight class weighting and gymnastics.

        West africans are hunting and warm adapter. They are long limbed but bigger boned. They make for good power sports athletes in things that benefit longer levers. This would mean stuff like track and field.

        West Eurasians have a range of small to big bones based on HG and farmer ancestry and cold to neutral climate adapted but most of the big stars are cold adapted limb leverages and bog boned. They are good at high weight class weight lifting, swimming, and strongman naturally.

        Indians I think have more potential even in power sports because that paper had a sample size and likely sampling methodology not large and sophisticated enough respectively to capture diversity of the subcontinent. So there is room for growth. And again Indians have variants. Most indians lack even a single allele of ACNT3 (fast twitch fiber gene) but a good minority have it, including heterozygotes myself.

        1. > Small boned from Iranic component of IVC and long boned from AASI.

          You mean small boned from the agricultural adaptation right? The implication here being that farmers moved in with their own grains, ditched them and then started using local wild grains and waited a few thousand years for the wild grains to be domesticated 😉

          1. Don’t you see that the logic of FARMERS coming from Iran doesn’t make sense? Why was 90%+ of early neolithic Mehrgarh’s crop produce in the form of wild grains being cultivated? The domesticated ones were a small minority. This points to a scenario of local HGs beginning the farming on the south Asian stage. The Iran component would have come from hunter gatherers. Hunter gatherers whose females were bigger boned than medieval era Norwegian females.
            So the small boned trait doesn’t come from any HG. It is a byproduct of the local agriculture in south Asia.

            Here is the timeline: Epigravettian HGs from Iran move into south Asia over 10,000 years ago. Either the south Asian mesolithic begins immediately after this or it had already begun some time before they arrived. Either way, mesolithic northern south Asia would have seen a mixture of 2 HG populations. By the end of the mesolithic in some parts of northern south Asia (~9,000 years ago), some of these mixed HGs began to exploit wild grains and establishes small trading connections which gave them already domesticated seeds from the near east (the minority component of the early neolithic produce in north India and Pakistan).

            The mesolithic-neolithic transition is probably not completely parsimonious because of certain recent dates from Sindh and Gujarat’s (Langhnaj) mesolithic dates which are more recent than the neolithic dates from Mehrgarh, Jhusi and Bhirrana. Looks like some specific tribes took to it and it would have taken some time for these neolithic societies to get large enough to absorb the remaining mesolithic ones.

          2. yes, you are correct. thank you for that. I see the error in my interpretation. Thanks for being respectful about it 🙂

          3. Last few posts by warlock, dThang, et al makes interesting reading and food for thought, whether ultimately true or not

          1. no idea. The prevalence is highest in West Africans. 80+% of some samples like the Yoruba were at least heterozygotes. E Asians, Whites, and Gujarati Indians in Houston actually all had low quantities.

            ACTN3 governs muscle fiber type rather than quantity of muscle fibers. Quantity of muscle fibers (a number you are born with- muscle cells don’t divide, they can just get bigger to some degree- a gene like myostatin governs that and positivity leads to stoppage of growth at an earlier point- hence those deficiency in it like strongman Eddie Hall are huge).

            The main thing they did was look at S Asian bones. Bone size (thickness, length, width, breadth, etc) is a HUGE determinant of muscle potential. Look at most Indians. They have tiny wrists and ankles. Those are good surrogate markers for bone size. They are not perfect though but close enough. Add in rib cage and clavicle width too. There are formulas where you can take someone’s wrist circumference in inches and put it to the third power and that will estimate their lifetime max bench with good training (in lbs). There are some exceptions like powerlifter Mike Mcdonald who benched 600-700lbs with wrists just under 7 inches, but they are exceptions for a reason.

            Major things for athletic potential for power sports

            1. Muscle fiber type (ACTN is a major factor here- no olympic sprinter is not at least a carrier, when they were tested). Not THAT diff a proportion compared to Whites and E Asians.

            2. Muscle fiber number- this is determined by crossectional muscle area which is largely determined by size of bone structure, wrists and ankles are good surrogate markers in non obese individuals, since they hardly change in size with training

            3. Hormone levels- S Asians have good T levels
            Their receptor sensitivty isn’t great looking at number of CAG post translational mods (a number that is inversely correlated to receptor sensitivity) but it is similar enough to Whites.

            Biggest issue S Asians have with the types of sports you like (NFL, hockey, basketball) is that frame matters (less for basketball but very much for others). Being naturally just thick matters. S Asians just typically are small boned. That’s where this whole extrapolation for lower lean body mass given same height and diet comes from. It is all from the skeletons. The gracile bones result in less area for having muscle fibers. There are fewer fibers.

            Someone like me has average genetics. I am ACTN3 positive and looking and my dad and my grandfathers, I think my T levels are pretty good. This off sets my small bone structure. I am average height at (176cm), and I weigh like 170-175. What people don’t get is that I started at 130lbs. I have 6.25 inch wrists and 8 inch ankles. I am in the 3rd percentile- almost 2 SDs below the mean in the West for bone structure. Yet my numbers in the gym are pretty decent. This is just because I have some advantage in other areas and good dedication.

            Long story short. Bones matter. And btw, steppe doesn’t give big bones. The Gilgit Baltistanis don’t seem to have tremendous bones and neither do N Indian Brahmins. It is something else. I think maybe even Caucus component.

          2. Insightful posts. However as far as the speculations of the ancestral profile are concerned, do you have something to back up the point about Anatolia-Caucasus being more robust? Some studies regarding hunter gatherer era Anatolia and Caucasus with bone metric values would be helpful. I have only seen pictures of one Anatolian HG without the measurements and it doesn’t look like a heavyset (formerly commonly known as mesomorphic or endomorphic) type. But that is obviously not an ideal way to judge, so measurements would be nice.

            The Harappaworld Caucasus component is the highest in Iranians in the list. Though it only had Iran + south + south-central Asian populations.

            “Eastern Euro, Caucus people, and Northern Euros (include Germany here) biggest bones on planet”

            Eastern Europeans and northern Europeans don’t have a lot of CHG. Yamnaya is around 30% CHG proper and 50% of that is just 15%, not more than 20% even if Yamnaya was 40% CHG. Furthermore, they have less of the Anatolian ancestry than southern Europeans do. Northern Europeans have more EHG than southern Europeans do. But even among the EHG males that I have seen, one was described as being robust (fair enough you can probably make links with that) while the other was bordering on a female form (opposite of the Hotu cave female who was bordering on a male form).

            I guess what I am trying to say is that recent selection probably has a bigger role in phenotype (such as gracility) than distant 10,000+ year old ancestors do, so most of it would probably be a function of the recent Holocene selections. Not to say that you cannot establish some links going back in certain cases, but populations have changed a lot, society has changed a lot and both of these changes can drive (mostly) the same population to become physically different from their ancestors.

          3. @Dathang @Jatt Sycthian

            Yeah Dathang makes very good points. A lot of it seems like recent selection. That’s means it can be reversed too like that fast enough lmfao

          4. Not sure if the reversal will be quicker, slower or just as quick, but if it went one way, it hasn’t gone the whole way. The old variants should still be round in spite of being selected against in frequency. Whatever the case I think that it can indeed be reversed.

        2. “E Asians are cold farming adapted mostly…tend to be good at low weight class power sports…”

          Mary Kom from Manipur did win an Olympic medal in the flyweight category, good potential for people from the north-east in low weight boxing, esp. since avenues for regular careers are somewhat limited at the moment.

          “West Eurasians have a range of small to big bones…are good at high weight class weight lifting, swimming, and strongman naturally.”

          Haryanvis tend to be good at wresting and weightlifting, also in middleweight boxing, as Vijender Singh showed.

          For wealthier people from smaller towns, they could go full Abhinav Bindra and sign up for shooting lessons.

          As for archery, India could offer citizenship to a handful of Bhutanese (it’s their national sport) and see what comes out of it, the sport takes years of practice.

          Climbing would also be a new sport for the Tokyo Olympics, perhaps train sherpas and Pahari tribes in bouldering and freestyle climbing?

          Many Indian women are quite petite, and with a proper selection process coupled with government support for a training regime could yield dividends for gymnastics.

          With some well-focused plan, India should be able to pick up ~ 10 golds every Olympics if there is a policy along those lines.

          As for distance running, I really don’t know. Ethiopians and Kenyans are far far ahead of Indians at the moment. I took part in a half-marathon in Europe a few years back. There were some semi-professional runners from various countries, but none of them could beat the Ethiopians and Kenyans. The ones I saw just ran the whole distance and reached the end 10-15 minutes before the next best, it wasn’t even a competition. If you check the marathon records for the last 2 decades it was just people from that region. The thing is, even if a person trains his whole life, shaving off the last few minutes that make a difference between being #1 and #2 comes down to biological factors. You could check up articles on the Kalenjin tribe, they’re an interesting read.

          1. good point. I think badminton, table tennis etc which have some base are even some good starting points. Maybe dominate those at least to get the ball rolling

            A guju Bhavsar represented USA and won bronze at the olympics. Guy is like 5’3. I think gymnastics is possible for the shorter limbed smaller stature indians.

  25. “Interestingly, skeletal remains of East Africans and native Australians show similar patterns of low bone breadth relative to length, and by inference low lean mass35. Like South Asians, native Australians have an elevated incidence of NCDs37, relatively low lean mass, a higher proportion of body fat for a given BMI, and a tendency towards abdominal obesity38,39, although their relatively long limbs attenuate some of these contrasts40. South Asia and Australia were both colonised relatively early by dispersals of modern humans, and both subsequently had long periods (tens of thousands of years) for in situ development with relatively low levels of gene flow41,42,43. Whether there is a similar link between low lean mass and T2D susceptibility among South Asians and native Australians, and whether such phenotypic similarities reflect common ecological factors (equatorial climates susceptible to ENSO effects) or potentially neutral processes/shared ancestry could not be addressed here and are questions for future investigation.

    Evidence that South Asian low lean mass is strongly heritable might indicate a still-unidentified genetic basis. There is evidence for natural selection near the Myostatin (MSTN or GDF-8) gene among South Asians44, which decreases skeletal muscle mass in fetal and postnatal life, but the nature and effect of any changes to this gene in South Asians remain to be clarified. In a sample of north Indian adults, variants at this locus were associated with variability in lean mass and (abdominal) obesity45. Alternatively, the heritability of low lean mass may originate from an intense cycle of inter-generational plasticity that is hard to break: low maternal lean mass may be the strongest predictor of low offspring lean mass at birth46, and low birth weight (associated with lower lean mass) predicts low adult lean mass47. Fifty generations of undernutrition in a rat model led to the development of a similar phenotype (including low birth weight, central adiposity, insulin resistance, and vitamin B12 and folate deficiency) in the absence of genetic change48. The phenotype largely persisted for 2 generations after returning the offspring to a standard diet (although birth weight and fat mass did show partial recovery), indicating that the South Asian phenotype might plausibly result from multigenerational undernutrition. Our study is unable to shed light on the heritable basis of low lean mass of South Asians but does indicate that it is a longstanding characteristic.”

    Indians should stick to distance sports that reward LOW muscle AND LOW fat mass. I think they can be decent distance runners like ethiopians and Kenyans. Maybe distance cyclists and swimmers too. Indians have an endurance heavy build, even if some of this is environmental. Because the epigenetic programming I think will take awhile to reverse.

    Indian sports ministry should test broadly for ACTN3 and myostatin for power sports. The Indian advantage is genetic heterogeneity and big population size. That’s the caveat to all these studies. The samples have to massive and stratified tremendously to really understand these phenomena on a core level. These people need to team up with the Reich lab.

    Strongman Eddie Hall is a known heterozygote of myostatin deficiency. On a personal level, thank god I’m an ACTN3 hybrid.

    1. They didn’t mention Papuans did they? I remember an old report which said that Papuan women had a slightly higher hand grip strength than males from some eastern African ethnic group. Somehow they have avoided the ectomorphic trend seen in east Africans and Australians.

      Within Australians I have read that far southern Australians are more heavily built than other Australians, don’t know how true it is though.

      1. the issue is also that S Asians are super heterogeneous so it is hard to generalize these findings. You have to do it for the many many populations individually.

        and I mean evolution is not goal oriented. Two different populations can adapt to the same environment very differently

        1. Yes I know but what I was saying was the opposite Papuans seemed to have not gone down the same route as this AASI and Australian relatives so the opposite is also true :p

  26. Afrocentrists still arguing Ancient Egyptians were an SSA population on prominent anthropology forums. Not sure why they are tolerated.

    1. Depends on the forum, there are certain ones exclusively made for the topic, those will do what they do. However even generally speaking, there is no autosomal DNA published belonging to an early dynasty and pre-dynasty Egypt so there isn’t enough known information to stop people from talking about speculations.

  27. Recommendation for this week : Amazon’s Patal-Lok

    I would rate it higher than Sacred Games. But that maybe my Jaideep Alhawat bias speaking. Watch if to see “Bharat” instead of “India”, how “Hinduized” subalterns/rural North India is, and how devoid of Ganga Jamuni Tehzib its badlands are 🙂

    1. saurav:
      I keep hearing that most/all of Netflix/Amazon Hindi/Indian shows (Sacred Games for example) are full of left wing bs/Hindu phobia which has put me off from watching them. Your view?

      1. Bro, don’t begrudge whatever few spaces the left has been left with.The enemy should feel that it has a fighting chance because an enemy with nothing to lose is more dangerous (recent CAA protests). Also wouldn;t u want ur enemy overground, to know what they are upto? It all par for the course.

        Anyway my view is its not time for Hindu right to fight this fruitless PR and media battles , especially for this minuscule English speaking audience. Where it needs to win this battle, its winning, in Hindi media, whatsapp. That it where it counts. And that’s what Patal Lok shows 🙂

        Last thing, It’s time for Hindu right to consolidate its gains, Modi is a once in lifetime leader, someone who can achieve what Nehru did for Congress. With political power , intellectual elite will form (similar to Congress muscle did for Left intelligentsia) , and Tv shows, books, articles , in short “Hindu views” will automatically prevail. You can already see offshoots, u just need to give it time.

    2. The Indian shows I have liked so far are Delhi Crime and Inside Edge (especially season 2).

      Watched Sacred Games, and it just became too grandiose for its own good. Mirzapur just sucked. And my feeling is that Paatal Lok is along the same lines.

      More creativity is needed. We need to get out of this fantasy documentary mode.

      1. If u liked Delhi Crime u will like Patal Lok.

        Mirzapur is poor man’s Wasseypur. Inside edge season 2 was better than season 1, just IPL isn’t FIFA, and cricket isn;t a global game. Sacred Games S-2 had the same issue, you don’t need to stretch your villain (Hindu nationalism) for parity with other global nationalism, to make ur point.

        1. Patal Lok is good from what I’ve seen so far, have 2 episodes remaining. Defo better than the overrated Sacred Games. And Inside Edge is a joke stretched too far, the less said about it the better lol.

          I’m not a Hindi wallah myself, though I do have some experience of living in small town Rajasthan and Haryana. While they’re not exactly idyllic edens, shows like Patal Lok, Mirzapur and even Made in Heaven seem to me to be tripping over themselves in trying to portray the hinterlands like lawless dystopian saffron-tinted badlands. The condescension of the English-speaking classes is on full display here. It’s also the template set by Movies like Wasseypur, a uniquely Indian version of unhealthy hinterland escapism. In the midst of all this it was nice to see a show with a lighter touch like Panchayat

  28. There is a general tendency in Netflix etc content to have woke and/or anti-establishment themes. But that is to be expected when much of Indian media / Bollywood is chuddified. Actually it is an odd mix of some progressive and chuddie themes. Indian modernity is its own thing.

    1. I guess its all a function of power. India media/Bollywood is too dependent on the Govt to really take a independent stand like they can in US.

      The only mainstream Bollywood actor “coming out”, for the opposite side in the first 5 decades was Shatrughan Sinha. India;s first super model Milind Soman only recently came out that he was in RSS.

      Similarly today actors/directors are more liberal than they let out. Especially the actresses i think, who would face an even bigger blow back than an actor would.

  29. @Saurav, I actually feel that a once in a lifetime opportunity for more creative Indian content is being lost. The whole web series arena is being cornered by hoity-toity lefty types rejected by Bollywood. These people even made a movie about a slap or something.

    Notice how so many American shows are about Americans imagining things about themselves or others. The Man in the High Castle, Star Trek, X-Files, The Blacklist and so many more. Imagination is central to these shows, much more so than ‘fidelity’.

    I cant think of a single Indian series that tries to imagine. It is the same old native informant complex. Inside Edge at least tries to, although the casting lets it down at times. All the other shows are moral science/social studies lesson strangely mixed with gratuitous violence and silly sexual escapades.

    1. LOL, bro already the streaming services are walking on the thin line wrt Hindu sensibilities and all. And you want them to make Man in the high castle?

      Like one of the season finale would be Pakistan occupied Gujrat blasting the Patel statue into smithereens. How would that be received? 😛

      Lets not get to ahead of ourselves.

      1. Things dont get more Hinduphobic than Leila on Netflix, and that released and seen without any hullabaloo. In fact, some lefties were complaining about the show since they didnt see the ‘expected response’. There were some folks saying using yellow instead of saffron in that show revealed political bias and pressure.

    2. “I cant think of a single Indian series that tries to imagine.”

      I have wondered why science fiction isn’t a more popular genre in India.

      1. Mythology fills the gap to some extent

      2. Silo-ed education produces ‘writers’ who don’t understand science or have much curiosity about it. And vice versa.

      3. Other source of sci-fi content is usually under-employed nerds. Some computer programmer or engineer writing in his free time. India doesn’t have a critical mass of this because of bad work culture?

      4. The west has tremendous achievements in science and technology to its name. There is a certain level of familiarity with how science works in popular culture. Writers can draw from that without having to do a lot of research.
      Indians, even well-read ones, are clueless. Scientists are mythical white people who appear on Discovery channel for most.

      Imagining Indians achieving anything substantial seems a step too removed from plausible.

      5. Indians are generally too dumb or attention poor to understand ‘high concept’. We don’t pay too much attention to the details of the world we live in so we do not expect detailed world building in entertainment either.

      6. Precedent also matters. Movies like Star Wars and Back To the Future have established time travel or space adventures as mainstream concepts understood by large number of folks. New entertainment can be created by doing small iterations on these.

      Whatever residual demand might exist is fulfilled by Hollywood, Netflix etc.

      (Tremendous caveats apply everywhere. I am no theoretician. Doing pop-analysis. Also, think South Indian movies generally have more imagination.)

      It is interesting to note that serialized reading is a big trend in China and apps for these have huge engagement numbers. Science fiction is like the #2 or #3 genre there.

      Most of us know of Chinese science fiction because of the 3-Body Problem trilogy but it’s only the tip of the ice berg and there’s a whole ‘scene’ bubbling over there.

      What do the Pundits think could be the reason for lack of sci-fi from India?

      1. I think its a mixture of colonial legacy and a weak economy. We write to report and reflect, not to express and muse. The lure of accessing a dollar market remains strong, selling 100,000 copies in the West, will fetch about 5 million dollars, the same sum would need selling 20 times more copies in India. Our market simply isnt big enough and we dont have much precedent in creative writing in recent centuries.

        With movies, our market is about 1.5 billion dollars, which is decent, but we were lucky that cinema was a part of the independence movement, and then we had a golden generation of gifted performers. With books, we simply havent produced any interesting writers.

        We need a Sachin in literature.

        1. “With books we simply haven’t produced any interesting writers”:

          Looks like Literature is not your forte. Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth even Arundhati Roy herself. Indian writing in English is pretty well established by now.

          As for “hoity toity lefty types”, most creative and artistic people tend to be leftists. This is true the world over. Right Wing people don’t generally produce great art.

          1. “This is true the world over. Right Wing people don’t generally produce great art.”

            Not sure if this is supposed to be descriptive or if you’re implying some causality.

            Doesn’t seem true either way.

            JRR Tolkien or VS Naipaul certainly wouldn’t be considered leftists.

          2. Of course there are exceptions, but on the whole the arts are dominated by left-wing people.

      2. @Prats
        I think Vikram and you have covered most of the points already.
        I think Science is not part of the common Indian culture in the way it is in the West. Much of Sci Fi literature and themes go back to the end of the Industrial Revolution. Even the sub-genre of the dystopian industrial future is Dickensian. And Twain explicitly referred to time travel (and ever since every American who travels in time in a hollywood flick also reaches Europe gratuitously). The modern world is made in the Western image and it is they who came up with this genre.

        When we think of Indian Science, most Indians will instinctively talk about the contributions during the colonial/post-colonial period (Raman, Bose, Khorana et al) or jump to the pre-islamic period. So a punctuated tradition. The neo-Indic practice of Science isn’t driven by the locals, in spite of very large impact Indians have made on it.

        So, just like our scientists, our science fiction authors are also in the Western image. And there is little local Indian appetite for sci-fi. There were some Hindi sci fi shows that I grew up with in the 90s (Indradhanush comes to mind – the whole series is on youtube if anyone’s interested). And there’s Super Commando Dhruv (another childhood fav of mine) who’s meant to problem solve using textbook science. The footnotes were my favourites, where the principle used by Dhruv to beat the super-villain was explained.

        So it is not like creative content cannot be produced. Yet it will take a large critical mass of seriously creative people, usually writing in Hindi/local languages (but also English), with anchors in Indian themes / history for it to take off locally. True creativity does not cater to existing demand but creates demand.

    3. It’s not that science fiction isn’t a popular genre in India among the niche crowd. The main issue is such movies normally require really high budgets that are outside the scope of most studios. Just look at how expensive it was to make Enthiran.

      That’s not all, any studio of science fiction would be competing on a global scale even if the targeting just Indians, namely because:

      1. Indians who are likely to follow science-fiction are probably familiar with English (esp. since so much scientific research and literature is written in the language) and open-minded enough to watch foreign movies. This audience would watch movies primarily based on how good they are.

      2. Following point 1, they have a tremendous choice today, Star Wars, Star Trek, Jurassic Park, the Matrix, Terminator, Planet of the Apes, Alien, Inception, Interstellar, etc. I can’t think of any Indian studios that can compete with any of these movies above when it comes to grabbing attention from the audience. The quality needs to at least be in the same ballpark for people to come to the cinema, in terms of special effects, storyline, acting, imagination, and sundry.

      3. Thanks to the above, any scifi movie would be a high-risk venture. Bollywood is ultimately a profit-making (somewhat nepotistic) enterprise that follows the money. One wrong step in this genre can bankrupt a studio, on the other hand, if they think there’s money in it they’ll make something.

      4. Economics of scale is very important here. Scifi movies tend to require really big budgets, which is why you won’t see that many movies in this genre even from other countries with a mature film industry – France, Germany, Iran, countries in Latin America rarely make such blockbusters because they’ll have to compete with the English movies in point 2 above. As for China, it has a very large audience, so an expensive scifi movie that’s well made can recoup the cost, even if it’s released only in Chinese, thanks to massive revenue.

      5. One area the Indian film/TV industry can aim for is Netflix/Prime shows that are actually achievable in terms of scale. An example I can think of is Stranger Things – it happens in a small town, the storyline and acting is good, and the special effects are possible without a massive budget. It’s well-reviewed and can get regular audiences to watch by appealing to them – American kids in the 80s doing nostalgic things gets views from kids who can connect with them, also from adults who grew up in that time period.

      1. “The quality needs to at least be in the same ballpark for people to come to the cinema, in terms of special effects, storyline, acting, imagination, and sundry.”

        India can do special effects much cheaper than the west and there are plenty of ways to make low-budget sci-fi movies (District-9, Moon etc).
        Plus genre movies open up international markets like China for extra income.

        Zero was a pretty good attempt but was doomed by bad writing. But if you trawl through internet comments, you’d find that westerners who do watch Bollywood actually enjoy Ra-One and Zero kind of movies.

        I feel like we’re missing some trick here.

        The success of Baahubali should embolden filmmakers to take more risk.

        1. A few tricks I know we are missing:

          1) Familiarity/Access to technology/professional-software amongst young people. This boils down to a lack of really world-class animation/CGI schools with good instructors. I have been to a couple of art schools in W.Europe and they have sci-fi level high-end equipment, spaces and most importantly great instructors.

          We don’t have even one great school around which we can build. As for ‘cheap talent’ look no further than choota bheem and scores of vomit inducing Indian animations (eg. Mahabharat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOP3nvxj14A&t=410s).

          2) CGI builds around advances in computer graphics and rendering. You must look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atcKO15YVD8

          These are the kind of things American movie studios are tapping into, it can be easily seen how their quality has improved over the years while we are still watching Rohit Shetty and Rajnikanth. Disney hires proper CS PhD people from Berkley, Stanford etc to do amazing stuff, so on technology we will never catch up. The following two are also amazing(and very doable/achievable) bits of technology that you might enjoy:

          One great feature-length film will happen when our people produce hundreds upon hundreds of short films and videos. You will find no great Indian CGI short films on youtube just kitsch and cheap-ass animations.

          3) Indians don’t appreciate new genres enough. I can think of Laal Kaptaan, Bhavesh Joshi (Byomkesh Bakshi?) that failed miserably despite being so original. Also, the lack of sufficient casual reading and writing leads to a lack of imagination. There would be no Vinci without the Medicis, no Bernini without the church. Art needs patrons and Indians are not ready yet.

        2. Regarding budgets, all the sci-fi esque movies made in India recently made money. So there should be no dearth of resources. Plus, Prats pointed out that India has in house expertise in this matter now.

          Nobody thought even in 2005 that India will have a lucrative and well viewed sporting event on its calendar. But now the IPL is worth billions of dollars.

          To be fair, some of the stars like Rajnikanth and SRK realize our shortcomings have been trying to push the envelope of our movies via efforts like Ra.One, Zero and Enthiran.

  30. Iranians and Pashtuns are thick boned no? Guess its the Caucasus/Anatolian farmer component then. Steppe probably next biggest bones and Iran_N and AASI/ENA gracile for the most part. I can’t imagine steppe_mlba being small boned. They should have been in typical North/East European range.

    1. yeah that would generally make sense. for whatever the mountainous people don’t retain those steppe medium bones as much. granted steppe is only a minority of their ancestry. but still doesn’t seem to have much impact. They are gracile like rest of S Asia. Brahmins as well for sure.

      But I agree. Big bones is caucus influence. Pashtuns I think have average bones. Many Iranians too. It is those Iranians from northern part near caucus that have big bones and produce more of the wrestlers and weightlifters. Eastern Euro, Caucus people, and Northern Euros (include Germany here) biggest bones on planet

  31. And Samoans. Can’t forget them. Some West African tribes as well. Although, most are just medium boned. They just have higher test levels and more fast twitch predisposition, so that’s why they tend to look more impressive physique compared to say Whites in America

    One thing though is that I notice many Indians have large hands and feet despite small bones. I have pretty big hands myself. It’s weird. Granted, I have an average sized palm, just really long fingers.

    1. Whites in America are pretty unimpressive all around (although they do have guys like J.J Watt, Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce and “White Lightning” himself Matthew Boling). They also have had a few big DL prospects in college which is unheard of (Bryan Bresee (#1 overall 2020), Jack Sawyer(#3 overall 2021), Tommy Brockermeyer (#4 overall 2021). So they’re doing something right in recent years. Also Jason Seahorn was an elite athlete all around.

      I hate how the media pushes the idea of blacks being this physically superior race so I like seeing whites, hispanics, samoans and asians do well at basketball and football.

      1. a lot of it is aesthetics. when you go gyms or parks, black people tend to be the most aesthetic by a mile. it has to do with factors I mentioned. And, they are WAY overrepresented statistically in NFL and NBA. You can look that up and see. That is despite coming from poorer backgrounds than whites do. Blacks are 12% of the population yet the majority of the NBA and NFL.

        black men have average higher testosterone, average higher lean body mass, and the same average height as American whites, despite worse living conditions, especially prenatal (way higher rate of their moms having infectious diseases, drugs, abuse in home, poor diet, etc.). The African American people are truly in a position of even physical disadvantage. Yet their genetic gifts and culture are so good (West Africans) for explosive sports, they excel like crazy.


        1. Yea I know all that. But they definitely have their health issues for sure. THey’re not a superior race by any means.

          Is the average height of white Americans impressive? It’s barely above South Korean levels. Nothing close to height in the Dinaric Alps for examples. Eastern Europeans also produce better weightlifters no? And just better athletes. (Rob Gronkowski, Kristaps Porzingis among Eastern European unicorns)

          1. I mean I think the whole idea of an overall superiority is silly. Benefits and demerits to all structures. Within the framework of power sports, yes Eastern euros, Caucus peoples, and Scandinavians are most elite. They all tend to produce these monsters on the right ends of their distributions

            regardless there is so much variation within groups. just give everyone a shot. whoever rises rises

          2. For the height of white Americans, I believe it depends on which part of the country you are in. In large parts of the midwest and northwest region which were settled by Germanic people the average male height is 5’11ish (1.80m) which is similar to the mean in Germany and northern Europe. Many of the white migrants to the US in the early 20th century were from the south (Sicily, Greece etc.) and more recently from Latin America which may have decreased the average a bit. As for the Dinaric Alps and the Dutch there was probably some natural selection at play that boosted their average even higher.

  32. Interesting discussion on race, physique, genetics, geography and sports.

    Western world gives much importance to sports – there the much persecuted people of African origin have found a niche to go up in their status and wealth

        1. what do you expect? 179cm is like most of northwestern europe. very few more than that

          Average of 175 with an SD of 7.5 cm would be great. That would mean 15% of Indian men would be 6’0+. That’s over a hundred million men (tske out growing kids so maybe 70 million)

          175cm is 5’9. Lol you really think Indians will be mass monsters. Maybe some states will be 5’10. Some 5’8. I don’t seeing push past that on average. That’s the level of a developed nation.

      1. Another point to consider, 18-year-olds in 2011 would imply their birth year as 1993. Assuming the average mother gave birth at 25, their year of birth would be around 1968.

        I believe that there was food scarcity in India well into the ’70s, even in urban regions, so it’s possible that many mothers mentioned here did not reach their potential height while growing up, which would certainly be below the 158.53cm (~ 5’2) mentioned in the paper as 50th percentile for girls.

        So if the average mother grows taller every generation, it may concurrently lead to an increase in the average height for their sons, i.e. the sons of the 18-year-old girls mentioned in the study 30 years from the date it was conducted (2041) would likely be taller on average than the 174.39cm (~ 5’9) 50th percentile figure given here for men.

        1. Cultural factors that might be withholding some of the potential would be:

          1. Diet – even the richest folks in India have a pretty low-protein diet by western standards. Most don’t eat egg/meat daily.

          2. Physical activity – Much smaller proportion of high school kids take up sports seriously. Most are pushed into coaching classes for entrance exams. And the most popular sport is cricket, which does not really require a lot of athletic exertion.
          (I don’t know how much participation in sports affects height but it should. Right?)

          3. Rates of childhood diseases are higher than the west even for richer folks due to open air defecation, air pollution etc.
          I remember after a trip to Sikkim, my brother and some family friends we went with all caught hepatitis-A. We figured it might have been because of soupy noodles that all of them consumed at a dhaba.
          (all were between 9 and 13)

          There’s a lot of room for improvement maybe to push beyond 175cm. We need to start fixing stuff first.

    1. Based on previous example, may I suggest, when Razib next time organize Zoom again, BPundits singing as a choir, could also record online a song. The working title of the song could be “This is South Asia”. I may propose some draft lyrics but someone else should polish it and find some catchy local folk music notes. For example, let’s say:

      This is India,
      This is Pakistan,
      We are the world, we are the Asia,
      We are brown children
      We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
      We can’t go on pundits
      Pretending day-by-day
      That someone, somewhere soon make a change
      We’re all a part of God’s and Alah’s great big family
      And the truth, you know, love is all we need
      Since our Aryan forefathers
      And even before
      Up to Modi and Imran Khannnn,
      Make India great again,
      I cannot breathe, brown lives matter
      There’s a choice we’re making
      It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and #me too…
      Etc, etc…

  33. Is there any ancient Egpytian DNA coming out soon? Someone said the population will be mostly SSA on another forum.

  34. Also speaking of Giligt Baltistanis is it true their language was changed through maternal gene flow? I posted the studies a couple days ago.

  35. @ jatt_scythian
    The above survey is the 2015-16 national family health survey
    You can see that Punjab with hdi of 0.723 still have about average height of 167.5cm
    Countries like Iraq is having hdi of 0.689 which is less than of punjab but still their average for guys is 171-172cm
    I think we South Asians are genetically shorter than west Asians and Europeans generally

    1. yeah and the study I linked above from UK had average height of only 5’8 rather than 5’9 for second gen desis. I just said 5’9 because the stats were a little older, and I assumed some gain. Overall, I think 5’9 overall for S Asia like a S Korea is feasible with some areas being 5’10 and some 5’8. I think groups like Gujus which are pretty middling will be 5’9.

      Now will you find men who are tall and entire villages who are taller because of just tall families sure. And a 5’9 average with a 3 inch SD means 15% of men above 6’0. In a country of over 1.4 billion, say 750 mil men from gender imbalance a third of that is still growing. 500 mil men. 15% of that is 75 million men. Above 6’3 would be like 2.5% so that is like 12.5 million men. I mean it will be enough.

  36. @thewarlock
    Yeah 5’9 is possible, but it will take so much time to reach. In the last 15 years, According to national family health survey average women height only increased by about 1cm.

    If there is correlation between hdi and height, then we are far behind South Korea.
    Because let’s compare Kerala vs South Korea, kerala is having hdi of 0.79, South Korea reached hdi of 0.79 in 1997-8 zone,
    The average 18 year old South Korean already reached 173-174cm in 1997-2000 zone, but Kerala with an hdi of 0.79 is not even above 170cm.
    South Korea average height has been stagnated at 174cm when it reached an hdi of 0.8
    5’9 is still possible though

    1. btw their nutrition is better. Despite lower HDI, they score higher on global hunger ranking. And that disparity in ranking is the best it has ever been NOW. The height stats are the result of stuff going on 20 years ago as well. That tells me their potential isn’t any better. Like I said, tallest in India are Keralites and Punjabis at 170cm in the data. Secular heights study (google it) the highest religious groups are Jains and Sikhs at 5’7. The key to it all is who isn’t poor and eats well.

      Punjabis tend to produce bigger framed and bigger boned people. So they look bigger than they are but height wise, they aren’t anything special. That too this big bone is only certain members of certain agricultural tribes. I have seen enough slender boned Jats, Gujjars, and Yadavs. I think what the NW has though is a very impressive right side of their distribution. Their super freaks truly are incredible. But those are only their super freaks. Humans cling to heuristics so they see these and then apply it more broadly.

      S Asians in general I don’t think vary much based on height. Maybe some groups will be a tiny bit taller.


      India 102

      Pak 94

      Bangladesh 88

      Indian people are fucking starving. It is sad.

      1. I haven’t seen too many of those super freaks.

        Also can we classify some of these South Asians from the North? Do any look atypical in terms of facial robustness? Do any look particularly Iran_N or Steppe shifted?



















        And two interesting looking pashtuns



        1. bro join an anthro forum lol. That’s what they do all day on there like theapracity

          There are atypical looks everywhere. So who knows lol

        2. the issue is that pretty much sums up who is into phenotypic classification these days. genetics really makes the only skin deep stuff not really of interest except for a few normal people but mostly just racialist types. Even the S Asians and MENA on there are into the “white is right” attitude

    2. btw their nutrition is better in Pak. Despite lower HDI, they score higher on global hunger ranking. And that disparity in ranking is the best it has ever been NOW. The height stats are the result of stuff going on 20 years ago as well. That tells me their potential isn’t any better. Like I said, tallest in India are Keralites and Punjabis at 170cm in the data. Secular heights study (google it) the highest religious groups are Jains and Sikhs at 5’7. The key to it all is who isn’t poor and eats well.

      Punjabis tend to produce bigger framed and bigger boned people. So they look bigger than they are but height wise, they aren’t anything special. That too this big bone is only certain members of certain agricultural tribes. I have seen enough slender boned Jats, Gujjars, and Yadavs. I think what the NW has though is a very impressive right side of their distribution. Their super freaks truly are incredible. But those are only their super freaks. Humans cling to heuristics so they see these and then apply it more broadly.

      S Asians in general I don’t think vary much based on height. Maybe some groups will be a tiny bit taller.

      global hunger index rankings

      India 102

      Pak 94

      Bangladesh 88

      Indian people are starving. It is sad.

  37. @thewarlock
    yeah, certainly sikhs and jains are the tallest in india and they are the richest.
    The another interesting thing which i have noticed is, Pakistanis in general have greater bmi than Indians, Bangladeshis and srilankans.

    Srilankans are the tallest in South Asia with average height of 167.5cm for 18-29 year old guys.
    I wonder why everyone call bengalis short, when they are only about 2-3 cm shorter than average. Is this enough to call them short?

    1. anecdotally it isn’t the height that gives Punjabis and Sindhis to some extent rep of “physical martialness” but a combo of excess body and facial hair and slightly bigger bones than S Asian average (meaning thicker skeleton despite same height aka bigger wrists, ankles, wider clavicle, bigger rib cage). This diff is exaggerated because they are among most well fed with also a tradition of grooming men for fighting and army service so more physical stuff is culturally encouraged. But I think diff is there.

      Pashtuns and Balochis are even a bit bigger built.

      Now people of the NW groups get a big head. Reality tho is that average guys is maybe only slightly bigger. It is the right end if the distribution where it gets interesting and you get guys like

      Great Khali, Great Gama, Dara Singh

      1. warlock, the idea that sindhis could be associated with physical “martialness” would be looked at as bizarre in india. They are practically the archetype of the non-rugged, sports averse, physically maladroit type.
        btw, I think someone had conjectured whether AASI, (or certain types of it) are linked to 2a/2b muscle fiber. Something worth surveying is track and field dominance in south asia. Within india, it seems like kerala and TN dominate the sprints, whereas punjab dominates shot put and discus throw. There is talent like amiya kumar mallick, the current national record holder in 100m, coming out of places like orissa as well. In the women’s sprints, theres a bit more diversity, Hima Das is from Assam I believe. Controlling for AASI one could also observe that Sri Lanka outperforms much larger Pakistan (to consider the opposite south asian type) greatly in all track events at regional competitions. At the sydney olympics SL won the silver in the ladies 200m sprint, a feat that would have seen her defeat all the jamaican and americans competing.

        1. “warlock, the idea that sindhis could be associated with physical “martialness” would be looked at as bizarre in india.”

          TBF This can be said abt more than half of Indian ethncities.

          1. Probably so, Saurav, but you must admit the bongs have their roughneck neighbourhood football goons and the tam-brahms their tennis, some first class cricketers, and maybe even a general or two. The most evocative performance of sindhi masculinity one can recall is that time govinda smacked an insolent reporter, which tbf was lightning.

          2. Well a certain chariot riding, mosque breaking demagogue of the 90s would disagree 😛

            Anyways, I think that each ethnicity in India have their own self view of being martial enough. Intra-community wise they have their own martial and non martial folks (like the football goons or tam-brahm generals), who folks outside know very little of. There are few ethnicity who have this pan region image of “martial-ness” .

        2. thanks for correction. And I agree with all your points. I think AASI are more explosive. Just untapped talent. I think I get my ACTN3 from my AASI myself. Like my Y H DNA. But no way to really know

          both my mom and dad are sprint oriented. My mom was a swimmer 100m at. nationals.my dad was a good 100m sprinter. I am less coordinated to be athletic. But I am.def more fast twitch in composition

        3. girmit
          Controlling for AASI one could also observe that Sri Lanka outperforms much larger Pakistan (to consider the opposite south asian type) greatly in all track events at

          At age of 45, overweight (5′ 4″ and 200 lbs) I in a 50m beat a dear friend, African American marathon runner. In school, was slight above average, i.e. 3rd or 4th in Intra school sports.

          Sanath Jayasuriya, in later years was roly poly and didnt look like he could run between wicket. He was fast.

          My joke theory is that, Sri Lankans should be able to sprint to the nearest tree to get away from Elephant. Tall also bad to run in Rainforest Jungles.

          1. Sbarrkum,yes, I know the type. Stocky and explosive, even into the “uncle-ish” middle years, lol. Was looking through Olympic and Commonwealth games results. SL is the only other nation in South Asia to even qualify for sprints and long jump at these elite comps. Given how small the population and that they hold the record in the region for the 100m, and neck and neck with the mallu boys in the relays, there’s something of a regional pattern.

        4. There is another runner in the video who looks very Sri Lankan (plus a common Sri Lankan surname)

          Nova Maree Peris OAM (born 25 February 1971) is an indigenous Australian athlete and former politician. As part of the Australian women’s hockey (Hockeyroos) team at the 1996 Olympic Games, she was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal. She later switched sports to sprinting and went to the 1998 Commonwealth Games and 2000 Olympic Games.

          I wonder, if she is a descendant of Ceylonese who rebelled against indentured labor and pearl fisherman who joined the Aborigines



    1. Nice podcast. Spencer has really soothing voice!

      Any plans to create more such podcast on other ancient civilizations?
      (e.g. Ancient Greece, Ancient Iran, Ancient India, Ancient China)

  38. ‘Ancient Greece’ would be interesting although the term is an oxymoron. The Serbian name (not very praiseworthy) – ‘Greeks’ (btw, the other name – Jelini i.e. Hellens is also Serbian) was first mentioned by Aristotle, but it was in use since Romans came (2nd c.BC). Greece as a state, ancient or else, did not exist until was created by Austrians and English in 1829 AC….Still did not get any answer, guess, speculation, why not one Greek was a West Roman Emperor.

  39. Do these surveys about height, weight, nutrition take caste into account? There will be a significant amount of variance that can be explained if caste is taken into account. I think most middle and upper caste average will be at least 175cm (5.75 ft) for men if not more. Fwiw, I will take these surveys with a grain of salt. Income fueled Caste/Regional disparities are large in India compared to any modern nation. Once these disparities can be addressed then only you can get a decent idea about stats like height etc which are so linked to social structure. I think mostly vegetarian diet might also be responsible for poor height,weight,etc? When I mean vegetarian I don’t mean vegetarian like in the West/American sense. I mean a legit vegetarian who has never eaten meat/eggs in his/her whole life. I think Indians should start eating more meat.

    Many Indians/Indian families in US/Europe are focused in academics and they see it as an easy way up the ladder. This thinking also probably contributes to not so robust physical appearance? I think there are a lot of variables involved here. Perhaps many can be ruled out with a proper study?

    1. I don’t eat meat, and here is a picture from my workout today.


      I am 5’9 3/8th inch (176cm), and I weighed in at 171lbs (78kg). I have never eaten meat. I don’t eat eggs. I am a lacto vegetarian raised in a strict Jain family in the US. I have tiny joints, and I was unathletic growing up. What changed? I started to eat a shit ton of protein from dairy and legumes in college, and I started powerlifting. I can deadlift max 430 (likely higher because all my rep maxes moved during quarantine), squat atg in the mid 300s (no BS half squat depth like you see frequently), and pause bench 250. I am not some elite level powerlifter. But I am doing decently well. I have been training seriously for about 5 years. I started off training seriously, when I was 130lbs.

      Meat is nothing special. It has protein with a certain amino acid profile. You can get that profile as a vegetarian, hell even as a vegan. Just watch game changers. It is harder to do as a vegan. As a vegetarian, it is a joke. Milk is an animal protein. It is just as bioavailable as meat and has a BCCA profile better than beef and comparable to chicken.

      Again, my father worked at Maruti and Isher in the 80s in India. Many large men from farms showed up. About half of them ate meat, and the other half didn’t. On appearance alone, no one could tell who did and didn’t. The ones who didn’t still had one thing going for them. PROTEIN. They drank thick dals, ate tons of yogurt, drank a lot of lassi and milk. And some ate eggs but not all even.

      I legit come from the least martial community in India, Jain Vania from Gujarat. I am trying to change streotype. Desis can lift. Desis can improve a shit ton. Eat meat if you want. But it isn’t necessary.

      Again, on the secular heights study Jains and Sikhs were the tallest. Most Jains are vegetarian. And heck Sikhs do have a lot of meat eaters but enough vegetarians, especially in India. And they are taller than a lot of meat eating Bengali and S Indian groups. What is common between these groups? MONEY. That’s it. Have enough money and knowledge to buy, prepare, and eat good foods and you are good.

      All you need for maximizing your gains

      1. Enough protein (1.6g/kg, not the 1g-1.5g/lb lie that is not evidence based. Research shows 1.6g/kg)

      2. Enough micro nutrients from fruits and veggies

      3. Enough Calories

      4. Sleep

      5. Progressive overload with full range of motion on big movements

      You want a hip hinge (deadlifts), squat (front, back, zercher, whatever), horizontal pull (rows), vertical pull (pull ups), horizontal push (bench), vertical push (overhead press). Do these compounds and get better and better at them. Hire a coach, if you need technique advise. People can get way bigger. Desis maybe smaller on average genetically, who knows. But one thing is for sure. They are way UNDER estimating their potential.

      May the Skyfather give you STRENGTH
      May the Skymother smile upon you
      Jai Shri Ameen

  40. And no robustness physically in terms of skeletal frame size won’t change THAT much with better diet. Japanese are still small boned like before even after height gains over last century. Somalian and Ethiopian 2nd gen people in the US are still very naturally small boned. Maybe lean body mass will go up a bit and height will go up a bit. Perhaps slightly thicker skeleton for most of the upper caste/mid caste immigrants whose nutrition wasn’t perfect, but they likely weren’t starving in India.

    My father, who was malnourished because he was 1 of 5 and my grandfather didn’t make a lot, so he just drank milk instead of dinner many nights. I am taller than him by three inches. But guess what? My ankles, wrist, rib cage, are all similar size. My clavicles a bit wider because I got those from my mom. My bone structure didn’t change much. Indians are small boned mostly. That is just how it is. But there are so many people that big boned people can still be found. And there are sports for more slender frame people. Indians have to develop sporting facilities and interest more and FEED their people.

    couple more just for the hell of it. Not having a bench or squat rack makes chest and legs tough to train. I have to over head press for pressing exclusively. And I can only squat the weight I can clean off the floor.


    1. @thewarlock,

      Thanks for the info on diet and stature and lifting.

      May I request, if you have any info for Indian women? I am struggling to assess what’s possible for an average Indian middle aged female to lift.

      My PR is 185lbs deadlift, 160lbs squat, 50lbs for overhead press, 75lbs bench (all 3 sets of 5).

      Do you think aiming for 225lbs deadlift and 185lbs squat too much to aim? I can’t seem to get there for more than a year now. It is up and down with injury and recovery as I try (as average person who tries to keep it about 2-3 times per week pre-covid).

      There isn’t much out there for representative population subset to get a sense of what I can achieve. Is there any literature out there accessible for a layperson?

      1. You can easily get there. You can 100lbs over those numbers. Can you imagine that I was stuck at a 135 bench my first two years of training? I basically didn’t know how to bench. I didn’t know how to engage my lats, retract my scapula, pause properly, tuck my elbows. Nothing. I benched like a bro and had terrible results.

        Books I recommend are

        Science and Practice of Strength Training by Zatsiorsky and Kramer

        Practical Programming and Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

        Periodization by Bompa and Buzzichelli

        You have plateaued for a few reasons likely. It’s hard to know which one. You may not be recover adequately, due to insufficient food and rest. You are doing more volume than you can do. You are doing the right volume but your technique isn’t ideal and that causes training inefficiencies.

        I would post videos of your lifts on the Starting Strength Forum.


        You can join any basic facebook powerlifting group and do the same thing. People are really nice and help with technique a lot.

        Youtube Channels I recommend

        CanditrainingHQ (he has some great programs too for all levels)
        Trainuntamed (I think that’s the name, just search Alan Thrall)
        Alphadestiny (look at his later work, earlier stuff is goofy)
        Starting Strength
        Jeff Nippard
        Omar Isuf
        Scooby1961 (very good diet advice) He has a free meal plan calculator. There are options for vegetarians and vegans. He has thousands of free videos and articles.
        Strength Camp (old training videos, ignore philosophy videos. Elliot is a good strength coach but turned into a cult leader. So ignore anything that doesn’t explicitly have to do with strength).
        Buffdudes (not a bad one)
        Athleanx (good for technical advice, but he is more a physiotherapist than a strength coach)
        Mark Bell’s training channel. Supertraining
        Megsquats is a great women’s channel


        Also, it sounds like you are doing a linear type program. I would look up conjugate and undulating periodization. Linear only works for so long. Sometimes it works a really long time for people. But then people have to graduate to a more advanced system.

        1. Thanks @thewarlock?

          I read through most of the books above and yeah, followed megsquats, Rippetoe. Allan is very funny and real, and that Athleanx guy looks scary sometimes for what he does. I have frequented most of the lifting forums for many issues, like stretching, weird pains.

          You are right that I stuck to Starting Strength programming and didn’t change anything. I had a trainer to check form in the beginning and occasionally, then continued on.

          Maybe it’s time to try something new. Sometimes I question the level of dedication that is needed for different builds and body types. It’s hard for everyone, but harder for others given the baseline.

          So, I follow Indian women lifters. I even reached 160 squat because I saw it could be done by other regular Indian woman (not sportsperson). But all of that crowd is decades younger than me. There is no way I would think I could do what Scandinavian ladies could do without dedicating my entire life to it.

          1. the other thing is that you have to think about how fat you want to get. powerlifting favors people with big bones and short levers. If you are like most Indians, you have small bones and long levers (like me). You need to put in a ton more time to get similar results to ideally built people. I wouldn’t fret though. Mixing it up with intermediate distance running or cycling could be fun. Try to see lifting as a means of becoming a more athletically and physically well rounded healthy person rather than a competition to be the strongest, an idea reserved only for those with an ideal structure for the sport.

            And some scandanavians are screwed too. Many are lankily built. But yes, the real power houses have huge frames and perfect leverages. I would focus on changing your programming. Most people hit a wall with linear penalization. They also start to get overuse injuries from the movement patterns pretty fast. You are following in those exact same steps. You need to change your programming. I would even suggest undulating periodization. Try a 5 week bock of high volume training and then go back to standard strength protocol. You may be surprised.

            I also post videos on lifting forums every time I get a decent bit stronger. People have strong and weak areas, so they may grow unevenly. Thus technique shifts can occur with changes in strength. Everything needs constant adjustment and modulation to progress ideally.

            Are you doing enough supplementary work? You need good mornings, romanian deadlifts, front squats, back extensions or GHRs ideally, direct weighted abdominal work, etc to progress. Relying exclusively on basic compounds for most people is quite inefficient. You get overuse training easily. And a back and deadlift can be very fatigue heavy lifts, when the weight is high. You have to find a way to increase volume with exercises that have a better fatigue to stimulus ratio. You seem to have a good base. So keep working hard!

            Like I was stuck at a 365-385 deadlift for 2 years. Then I made some switches like I talked about above and my deadlift started rising again. Too often people get stuck in linear mindset of the same basic exercises, not exploring other avenues to break plateaus.

      2. You can easily get there. You can 100lbs over those numbers. Can you imagine that I was stuck at a 135 bench my first two years of training? I basically didn’t know how to bench. I didn’t know how to engage my lats, retract my scapula, pause properly, tuck my elbows. Nothing. I benched like a bro and had terrible results.

        Books I recommend are

        Science and Practice of Strength Training by Zatsiorsky and Kramer

        Practical Programming and Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

        Periodization by Bompa and Buzzichelli

        You have plateaued for a few reasons likely. It’s hard to know which one. You may not be recover adequately, due to insufficient food and rest. You are doing more volume than you can do. You are doing the right volume but your technique isn’t ideal and that causes training inefficiencies.

        I would post videos of your lifts on the Starting Strength Forum. Just google it and join.

        You can join any basic facebook powerlifting group and do the same thing. People are really nice and help with technique a lot.

        Youtube Channels I recommend

        CanditrainingHQ (he has some great programs too for all levels)
        Trainuntamed (I think that’s the name, just search Alan Thrall)
        Alphadestiny (look at his later work, earlier stuff is goofy)
        Starting Strength
        Jeff Nippard
        Omar Isuf
        Scooby1961 (very good diet advice) He has a free meal plan calculator. There are options for vegetarians and vegans. He has thousands of free videos and articles. Google his channel and website. He is a guy who is now almost 60 and looks amazing and trains for triathlons. He is a bodybuilder and endurance athlete at once.
        Strength Camp (old training videos, ignore philosophy videos. Elliot is a good strength coach but turned into a cult leader. So ignore anything that doesn’t explicitly have to do with strength).
        Buffdudes (not a bad one)
        Athleanx (good for technical advice, but he is more a physiotherapist than a strength coach)
        Mark Bell’s training channel. Supertraining
        Megsquats is a great women’s channel

        Also, it sounds like you are doing a linear type program. I would look up conjugate and undulating periodization. Linear only works for so long. Sometimes it works a really long time for people. But then people have to graduate to a more advanced system.

  41. “Saurav, but you must admit the bongs have their roughneck neighbourhood football goons and the tam-brahms their tennis, some first class cricketers, and maybe even a general or two.”

    You are comparing a population of 2 million with 100 million type groups. Also, Britain and modern sports arrived in Sindh much later than they did in Bengal and TN.

    1. Vikram, although i was being a bit facetious, I agree that there is quite a bit of variance between self-conception of masculinity and general perception as saurav noted. For example, to a disinterested 3rd party UP/bihari guys are seen as doughtier than your typical punjabi hindu, despite bollywood idealisations. The haryanvi beau ideal of masculinity is different from the maharashtrian or assamese one.
      Originally warlock had, perhaps from an indian-american perspective, suggested that sindhis have a connotation of martialness, and i was referring to that and not to what i believe their innate genetic potential to be. People in urban india have experience with the community and my impression is that they are seen as distinctly non-martial. Its possible that since their phenotype might be highly prized among certain adjacent communities, that those qualities are not attributed. You might be able to speak to that.

      1. I have to imagine Sindhis are one of the richest, most urbanized communities so it makes sense they wouldn’t exactly have a martial stereotype.

      2. ” For example, to a disinterested 3rd party UP/bihari guys are seen as doughtier than your typical punjabi hindu, despite bollywood idealisations.”

        Also BTW all the recent ultra masculine Hindu characters is being portrayed on screen by a Sindhi only 😛

      3. Yes, these perceptions might exist. But unlike the perception of Jewish success in business and science, which have a modicum of truth to them, these are simply perceptions based on observational biases.

        Haryana does well in sports, just like Maharashtra does, and increasingly Gujarat is doing, because these are wealthier places.

        There is a separate topic of Jatt conflict with so-called Hindu upper castes, which might lead to the adoption of an overly masculine presentation. But this is mirrored by similar conflicts between Yadavs, Marathas and the upper castes in their respective states. Classic clash of demographic weight vs social capital.

  42. Speaking of sporting abilities, Mumbai who have won half the Ranji trophies, have won only twice in the last 10 years. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Vidarbha, Karnataka and Saurashtra are the other winners. Seems like there is a western bias, although this probably has more to do with economics than anything else.

    1. I am pleased to hear Gujaratis are doing better at sports in India. A lot of my life I heard enough people talk shit about Gujaratis, stating they are only good at making money and nothing else.

      What is general reputation of Gujaratis in India?

      1. “What is general reputation of Gujaratis in India?”

        Hindu fascist Baniyas who along with uncouth N-Indians terrorize glorious Scandinavian cousins Dravidians and Bengalis.

      2. Gujaratis are ubiquitous in Mumbai, and have an disproportionate influence on the city’s (and hence to some extent the country’s) aesthetic and culture. Probably explains why they were never really targeted by the nativist Marathi elements unlike first S Indians and then the N Indians.

        Stereotypes include – being rich and conservative at the same time, not particularly academically focused, and of course with a head for business and money. These extend to non-Hindu Gujju communities as well such as the Parsis and Bohras.

        1. They are second largest community in Mumbai just behind marathis. So their contribution is proportionate. Parsis have a disproportionate contribution to the city, so if they are included as gujrati speakers then it does make sense.

          Also the culture in southern gujrat and coastal maharashtra is lot closer than even between two parts of MH (like say vidarbha vs konkan). So even when there is low scale rivalry between both sides, they would prefer each other to other migrants in city.

        2. “Probably explains why they were never really targeted by the nativist Marathi elements unlike first S Indians and then the N Indians.”

          Gujjus were the first people to be targeted by the nativists during the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. (“Su chhe, saaru chhe. Danda leke maaru chhe”)

          Eventually, the Marathis won so they made some sort of peace.

          1. marathis won? lol Gujus never left and own half the city, including some of my own family members

            they make my family, despite being in the US, look impoverished

          2. Ah ok, I stand corrected! Whatever the rivalry was, it’s been long forgotten.

            That’s a hilarious slogan, btw!

          3. @warlock
            The fight was about which state mumbai lands up in and political dominance. In that respect that battle was won. There was no intention to drive anyone out and thank god for that.

            In last election I heard there were hoardings from shivsena saying ‘chem cho Worli ?’ to appeal to gujus. So that chapter is closed for good.

            @ Siddharth
            If you like that here are some more
            ‘Pungi bajao lungi hatao’
            ‘Ek bihari sau bimari’

            Some shivsena/chauvanist guys excel in this art. Sadly that’s all they can do and people don’t get carried away by that too much either !

          4. Woah, slow dowin Ivy, there is now way we are talking about woke-est Indian party ever , led by national youth icon (Aditya Thackrey) , and the best CM of the world (as awarded by UN), are we?.

          5. Haha

            Thats the magic of standing against Modi…
            All your prior sins are washed away !!

            Sau khoon maaf ..

        3. Siddharth, I feel the more violent confrontations with “madrasis” and “bhaiyas” had to do with street power. Its not as easy to motivate the working class to fight the business community, who’s power and influence is more subtle on the street level, although probably felt more acutely by white collar people.

          1. saurav…varadaraj mudialiar? haji mastan? sadhu shetty? In the 90s the UP kids were brought in because they were the only people desperate enough to shoot someone for small change.

  43. @Dravidarya
    “‘Do these surveys about height, weight, nutrition take caste into account? There will be a significant amount of variance that can be explained if caste is taken into account”
    Yeah, They do take caste into account and yes there is significant amount of variation in height among caste groups but not too huge, The national family health survey(NFHS Survey) is a nationally representative survey which take all socio-economic groups and all caste groups into account. These national surveys are more accurate than any other surveys.
    Theres no way average is atleast 175cm among even upper caste groups, I am 176.3cm in the morning after waking up and 174.6cm at night. So, i generally feel above average even at universities where students tend to be very richer than the national average.
    So, here is the survey where can you check out how they sample the population and etc.

  44. Just waiting for the next open thread so that I can make a comment regarding something stated in the most recent insito podcast.

  45. What are some lesser known pork and beef dishes from the subcontinent? I recently had Armenian pork kebabs and Lebanese beef kafta and thought most South Asian (at least the well known ones) use mostly goat, lamb or chicken.

    1. In the northeast, pork is more or less the staple meat. They also eat a lot of bison. smoked pork with fermented bamboo, soy beans and all that. down south in coorg, part of karnataka, you get pandi fry/curry which is a lot of dark roasted spices like clove and black pepper and kokum vinegar with pork. they also do pork with bamboo. In goa and mangalore you get pork sorpotel which is cooked with blood and vinegar. Then theres the classic pork vindaloo of which theres a version in Goa, mangalore, kerala, calcutta, and other pockets.
      Look up beef bafat for a west coast dish. Ive also seen beef dishes in a green curry, lots of coriander and chillies in it. Beef is often cooked the same way as mutton by families. As such its a cheap substitute in biryani.

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