Browncast Episode 110: Kala!

69 Comments

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify,  and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

You can also support the podcast as a patron. The primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else. This website isn’t about shaking the cup, but I have noticed that the number of patrons plateaued a long time ago.

I would though appreciate more positive reviews! Alton Brown’s “Browncast” has 30 reviews on Stitcher alone! Help make us the biggest browncast! At least at some point.

This episode is a bit of a “brocast”, as Razib, Mukunda, and Suraj, a Bengali, and two Tam-Brahms, talk about being dark-skinned and South Asian. But there are lots of other topics that were touched upon.

– Incomprehension and prejudice from Punjabis toward Tamils
– Is “black Madrasi” really insulting?
– Indian American hypocrisy in terms of “social justice” discourse
– Being the children of immigrants and having to negotiate different value sets
– Is Indian color fixation going to persist?
– What characteristics should people look for in a mate?

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69 Replies to “Browncast Episode 110: Kala!”

  1. The conversation on local tamil leaders being depicted light skin in billboards reminded me the incident where a N-Indian BJP leader said on Al jazeera that Indians are not racist because they were willing to live with dark S-Indians.

    And funny enough tamil leaders riposte to that was on the lines as who said we are dark skinned, look at our leader Jaylalitha she is as fair skinned as N-Indians.

  2. I am listening to this podcast , even tho it is 1hr. some quick reac

    Iyer/Iyengar – I come from Iyengar family. Their difference is religio/philosophical. It also manifests in some ritual and even dress differences. basically both Iyer/Iyengar have all the usual gotras and all vedic sakhas. Iyengar caste was formed around 12/13th centuries when Srivaishnavite sects got dynamic with philosophic output. Iyengars were formed mostly out of Iyers; so I guess there is no genetic difference between Iyer/Iyengar. Razib, is there genetic difference between Iyer and Iyengar.
    In earlier centuries when brahmins had political and social pull, there was much rivalry between these two as it payed to play up the differences . With the Dravidian movement against both, they have buried their rivalry – well almost – to make a ‘united front’ .

    Tamils in Canada. Most of them are from Srilanka, and they fled the civil war there. Apart from civil war in SL, they had to go as miserable refugees to other countries. Then the SL Tamil political differences also came into play. LTTE sympathisers against other militant sympathisers against moderate Tamil sympathisers. This difference gave rise to violent cliques . In Britain too. Till SL tamil In 2008, LTTE sympthisers were violent towards other SL Tamil groups. One SL Tamil journalist DBs Jeyaraj (http://www.dbsjeyaraj.com/) was atatcked badly on his marriage day as he wrote something critical of LTTE
    BTW DBS Jeyaraj would be a good catch to talk about SL Tamils as well as SL Sinhalese .

    48:00 razib is spot on about dating someone – or trying to- who does not care about colour

    24:00 about Colour fixation of Dravidian leaders is also spot on. DMK leaders – alleged progressives and rationalists – used to mercilessly mock late K.kamaraj who was a Congress politician – calling him black crow and buffalloo and what else. Kamaraj had a totally black skin and in Congress he rose to be ‘king maker’ when he proposed Indira gandhi to be Congress President and PM. It is also rumored that late MGR used to take a folk medicine called ‘chittukkuruvi lehiyam’ , a potion made out of bird brains – to make his skin fair. –

    1. I actually think it is the opposite. Looking at the Tamil Country prior to the Cholas, it seems the dominant cultus was Vaiṣṇava. Most of the Mahabalipuram temples are monuments are either dedicated to Viṣṇu, or the figures proximate to him and this mythos. The Nayanars seem to broadly post-date the Alvars by a few decades, if not a century.

      As I look at the history of the region, I think it is clear that the Cholas, while not exclusively Śaiva, were primarily followers of Śiva’s cultus, and he came to rise in prominence as their dynasty’s tutelary deity (kuladeva). It wasn’t a violent religious overthrow, but rather a slow reorientation of patronage.

      I think the Iyers, despite being Smarta, were more willing to reorient themselves to the King’s patronage, leaving behind the Iyengars who persisted in following the less “lucrative” cultus of Viṣṇu. It makes sense on why the Iyers aren’t really Śaiva but somehow have that impression hovering about them.

      1. After Cholas. and pandyas who were more often than not Saivite oriented , came Vijayanagar rulers and Nayaka rulers who were more often than not Vaishnavite supporters. After them came British rulers who were neutral , then came Dravida movement who were anti-brahminical and somewhat pro-saivite as the main support for the movement came from those castes which were the backbone of saiva Siddhanta.

        1. Good point on them, but by that point I think the differences has solidified.

          I would be interested in looking at a genetic study to see when the two groups diverged, but to be frank I think some of our stereotypical “shrewd, cunning, power-grabbing” traits may have been associated with alignments with patronage.

    2. One SL Tamil journalist DBs Jeyaraj (http://www.dbsjeyaraj.com/) was atatcked badly on his marriage day as he wrote something critical of LTTE
      BTW DBS Jeyaraj would be a good catch to talk about SL Tamils as well as SL Sinhalese .

      yes, do agree. He is fairly neutral, with a little bias towards federalism.

      Good possibility that Namal Rajapakse (Mahinda’s) son might do a interview too. No harm asking.

  3. BTW, i was looking forward to hearing from the beautiful girl in the picture , I did not know it was just a hook; only men talking. ANYHOW went thro the cast

    I hope the next talk is with the girl in the picture

  4. Curious as to how you can tell if someone’s an Iyer. I tried to find a way to tell apart Tam-Brahms from others for a very long time, but nothing worked. Maybe your method works for you in the west because Tam-Brahms make up a greater share of Tamils in the west than they do in Tamil Nadu.

    And the only people who told me about the Iyer vs Iyengar thing were non-Brahmins. The Tam-Brahms I’ve talked to don’t really give it any major importance. They acknowledge the ideological and ritualistic differences but don’t really look at it as a competition.

    One of my colleagues actually has one Iyer and one Iyengar parent. And although I’ve seen light-brown eyes in southern India- she actually has greenish-grey eyes and her hair is lighter than average (I’ve seen much lighter hair, but her’s is light enough to stand out a bit).

    1. You can usually, but not always tell apart Iyers and Iyengars by name ; and even within Iyengars , you can often differentiate by name ;
      1) Iyers will name their kids after Shiva , Durga , Karthikeya , Ganesh AND also Vishnu and Lakshmi
      2) Iyengars will only name their kids after Vishnu or Lakshmi , some Iyers will also name their kids after Vishnu and Lakshmi
      3) Iyers wear Vibhuti, white stripe on forehead, vs Thenkalai Iyengars wear Red-White Y shaped mark ( Namam ) on forehead and Vadakalai Iyengars wear Orange-White U shaped mark
      4) Thenkalai Iyengars often, have tamil sounding ( not sanskrit sounding ) names ; Sri in Sanskrit becomes Thiru in Tamil , and Thenkalai Iyengars often use Thiru in their names
      5) Sweet rice, is called Sakkarai ( Sugar ) pongal by Iyers and something else by Iyengars
      6) Iyengars will tend to avoid visiting non-Vishnu temples vs Iyers will visit all temples of all gods
      7) Iyengars tend to be extremely sectarian, in several temples in Tamil Nadu, there are court cases going back 150 years , on whether the temple elephant must wear U Namam ( Vadakalai ) or Y Namam ( Thenkalai )

      1. I know about the differences between Iyers and Iyengars. Usually seeing a Pattai or Namam is more than enough to know who’s who.

        And Iyengars call sweet pongal as akkaravadisal, but it has a slightly different recipe though, at least that’s what I was told.

        I was mainly talking about distinguishing Tam-Brahms from non-Brahmins purely based on facial features.

        1. “I was mainly talking about distinguishing Tam-Brahms from non-Brahmins purely based on facial features.”

          Someone who looks bit out of place in Tamil Nadu like fairer skin or “sharper features” than the rest, but still speaks tamil. Tam Brahms in N-India fit right in, while u can make out other castes.

          As Razib said, they are 75 %N-Indian, 25 % S-Indian. Or something to that effect.

          1. There are tons of fair-skinned non-Brahmins in the south, especially among the mercantile groups. Going by sharp features doesn’t work at all either.

            I heard the “25% native part too”, but based on personal experience, phenotypically they look closer to the rest of the south.

          2. There could be light skinned mercantile grps , it is abt making an informed guess. Won’t be 100 percent accurate.

            Invariably every tam brahm i have met in the North is either of the fairer skin or “sharper features” . Or at-least they somehow dont seem out of place in a N-Indian/Hindi setting. Non brahmin tamils do seem more S-Indian to me. That does not mean i haven’t met tam brahms who dont’t look/behave that different from other tamils.

        2. Visually , I can distinguish between Tam-Brahms and Tamil Dravidians, even with same skin tone, base on facial features about 75% of the time – facial features like shape of nose etc

          Nairs often give a false positive , because they have a lot of Brahmin blood, through Sambandhams ( matriarchal society ) with Nambudhiri Brahmins – Shashi Tharoor can pass as Brahmin, but he is Nair

          then add to it name ( Tam-Brahms have more Sanskritic names and avoid certain Hindu dravidian names ) dialect, and vegetarian diet, that moves upto 90% detection rate – It is a finely honed survival skill for us to detect one of our own –

          then finally for certainty, during the poonal ( thread ) ceremony, each Brahmin all over India is taught a sanskrit paragraph called Abhivadaye, which mentions which Gotra and which Rishi is our ancestor

          1. For me it’s probably a bit over 50% (based on facial features). How would you define the nose? (What I’m about to say might sound dumb/funny to biology folks but I’m just explaining it the way it’s in my head).

            More than half of them seem to have a relatively cylindrical/parallel/narrow (as opposed to conical, that’s how I see it) nose bridge (width may vary though) compared to non-Brahmin Tamils, but the nostrils vary a lot (generally tend to be kinda wide like most other non-Brahm Tamils) no consistency between nasal tip either (sometimes round, sometimes pointy).

            I don’t really think I’ve met many Nairs so can’t really comment on that, but I’ve seen tons of people from various other backgrounds that can easily pass off (visually) as Tam-Brahms.

            I’ve read Razib’s post titled “Why physical appearance is an imperfect individual proxy for ancestry” and I know this whole thing is a dumb experiment, but I’m still kinda curious, because to me they still kinda look closer to other south Indian groups even though genetics might indicate otherwise.

      2. “1) Iyers will name their kids after Shiva , Durga , Karthikeya , Ganesh AND also Vishnu and Lakshmi
        2) Iyengars will only name their kids after Vishnu or Lakshmi , some Iyers will also name their kids after Vishnu and Lakshmi”
        – Agree on all the other points of differences you listed except the naming bit, since there are more exceptions to your rule than agreements when I look at my own extended family, even going back generations.

        “I was mainly talking about distinguishing Tam-Brahms from non-Brahmins purely based on facial features.”
        – Best of luck with that, mate. There’s no rule of thumb as far as I can tell. You might get a few hits using a gross generalisation like the one below but it’ll be statistically insignificant and dwarfed massively by the number of false positives.

        “Someone who looks bit out of place in Tamil Nadu like fairer skin or “sharper features” than the rest, but still speaks tamil. Tam Brahms in N-India fit right in, while u can make out other castes”
        – LOL. I know you often troll mate, so can’t tell if this is in jest or not.
        And what’s ‘N-India’? In my mind it covers the area N of the Vindhyas including Gujarat, Kashmir, Bihar, etc. Are you generalising the people from all of these areas into one category? If I were from one of these regions I might have even taken umbrage at that

        I know people swear by genetics on this blog, but I think the impact of genetics is massively overestimated on the ground. The idea that a group like say the Brahmins of a region who would have lived there for many, many generations will be so divergent from their neighbours to the point of being able to tell them apart with statistical sureness is to my mind laughable and incongruous with ground realities.

        1. No i don’t know y u thought i was trolling on that one. There are host of tam brahms in entertainment industry. Hardly anyone stands out as a S-Indian. Ditto for my tam brahm friends. They speak hindi fluently somehow as well. Again its a generalization, and guess work.

  5. Good Podcast.
    Most Racism is towards Northeasterners beacuse they literally look different than others and their sense of Fashion is Westernised and they are hardworking and Confident.
    Btw I will be surprised if vice versa doesn’t happen.
    Also about Razib Brownface article tweet:
    Bhumi Pednekar isn’t fair skinned first of all.
    If Indian people are on a spectrum anyone can play Anyone.
    Like Priyanka played M.c Mary Kom.
    And Hritik Roshan played the Super Thirty guy.
    COMMUNITY matter more than Color. This is true in Rural and Sub urban areas.(Societies)

    1. Hritik also did brownface for super 30. And just based on a google search of the actress she is bottom 20% melanin context for an Indian person.

      That said I don’t think brownface is problematic within an Indian historical context.

      Fairness obsession, communal issues, caste etc are the main issues.

      The brownface articles are just Indian-elite being America /Anglo-normative.

  6. LOL, I just watched a video of Rahul Gandhi , where he has darkened his skin to look more Indian. So like a Trudeau episode but with brown face.

  7. Great podcast.

    One nitpick, the guest – Suraj is assuming that he would get treated worse in India because of skin color based on his interactions with other brown diaspora people.

    Neither Suraj, nor the hosts seem to have the experience to confirm or deny how he would be treated in India.

    Based on the guest’s description of who he is*, I think the other privileges would more than negate any skin color bias if he decided to go live in India.

    My gut feeling is that he would end up getting treated extremely well in social and professional contexts. (esp. in the south)

    *(NRI, Lawyer, financially well off, English speaker, Hindu background, Brahmin, Hetrosexual Male etc)

    1. I would side with Suraj. The social strata (NRI etc) where he would move around in India, has disproportionately more fairer skin folks than average Indians. So he would stand out. More so if he goes to N-India.

      1. Sure he would stand out. But how would he be treated ?

        I think would be treated well and as a high status guy even in Delhi
        (albeit not 100% in group due to being an NRI and South Indian)

        1. Strictly speaking, will he face color-ism in North? Yes

          There are enough NRI returned fair skinned/high status guys in North. So he has no leg up on those folks. He will be treated as a regular S-Indian guy is treated in north if he is on the dating market. And we know what it means.

          1. That’s interesting. India is even more colorist than I thought if that’s the case.

            And by the same token lots less casteist, and status driven than I would expect.

            I have no experience dating in India or being atypically dark by Indian standards. Full disclosure.

          2. Suraj remarked that he would look like Mindy on some days. In North India, Mindy would struggle to get dates. Especially since color-ism is even worse for women. Unless you look like a supermodel.

            For men its nuanced, since the color standards are somewhat relaxed, but still they would struggle since there is a wider pool, and invariably in the North, skin tone is more varied. Let say someone like Ajay Devgan would struggle.

            Caste comes into picture, if its match of totally opposite. UC-Dalit. etc. But if the match is of passable caste differences like Brahmin-Baniya, or lower OBC-Dalit, Yadav-UCs etc it can sail though. Ditto with social status. Need not be exact match

            Finally on colorism it has reduced, you can just look to Bollywooed stereotypes about heroines and how many dark skinned actress were there b4 2000s and after 2000s. But like caste the progress is still slow.

    2. Great comment. Yea, you’re right, living in India as an adult would provide a much better understanding.

      I think I could live a good and successful life in North India, but at the same time dark skin color would be a liability rather than an asset. There’s a lot more to a person than skin color (including all of the things you listed plus things like personality, chemistry, fitness, height, values, etc.), and while colorism exists as a factor I don’t think it’s a determinative factor on its own in most cases.

  8. Side note, something I remember hearing is the Thenkalai Iyengars tend to be more dark skinned than Vadakalai Iyengars. Supposedly, Thenkalai Iyengars took a lot of non-Brahmins and assimilated them into the Thenkalai Iyengar fold, while Vadakalais were more restrictive.

    Is there any truth to that?

    1. “Supposedly, Thenkalai Iyengars took a lot of non-Brahmins and assimilated them”

      Ok, so u mean Thenkalai Iyengars are not “real Jats” 😛

    2. Not true. There is a belief /rumour that Ramanujacharya in his belief all vaishnavaites are equal in the eyes of god made a number of non-brahmins into brahmins . Even though from present day perspective that sounds cool, my feeling is I don’t think it took place. In all his Sanskrit writings he was an orthodox brahmin . Anyhow vadakalai/thenkalai split few centuries later and so that hypothesis makes no sense. As an general observation thenkalais are no different than vadakalais in a range of skin tones. This kinds of assumptions arise due to skin colour obsession of Indians and Tamils, and the desire to map ‘their’ prejudices into existing social / religious splits. Actor Kamalhasan is thenkalai iyengar, late Tamil writer ‘Sujatha’ Rangarajan too .

  9. I am lurk here, but rarely post. I enjoyed this episode, especially being a dark-skinned Shudra FC from Kerala who has found colorism salient growing up in Kerala, and less so in the USA, where I moved to in my early 20s. 3 points-

    1. I look at your discussion of the Indian archetype of nearly white skin with black hair through my recent experience trading emojis with my sister, who lives in India.When whatsapp started doing emojis with skin tones, I customized my emoji with my dark skin, and it seemed like a fun diversion to me but when I sent these emojis to my sister in India she thought I was being racist to depict a dark skin color on my emoji. We share nearly the same skin color, and she uses the lightest skin dark hair emoji.
    I first found it absurd, but then I have been in the USA for 15 years now, and I think there are differences now in how Indians who are not immersed in the global culture and globalized westerners look at this. I think it is accurate that the Indian view denies the reality of color prejudice, but I think that denial is coming from the opposite end of the power ladder than a denial of colorism/race might come from in America.
    This might trace back to pervasive AASI contempt/self-hatred in India- that even if AASI is written on my face, it is only skin deep and that the emoji should mark one’s inherent X (the inverse of AASI), that however little there is, it is still the determinant. In malayalam, it is called “arya-lakshanam”, the mark of the arya. I deliberately don’t use “Steppe” here because people don’t see this as being located outside India, but within. I am not very clear myself about how all this plays out, so take it for what it is worth.

    2. The topic of “NorthEastern” Indians and how they stand out/are treated in India came up in your discussion. This might be an interesting watch- Axone- https://www.netflix.com/title/81144457

    3. My wife and I started watching Indian Matchmaking yesterday- https://www.netflix.com/title/80244565. “Fair” is clearly prized, and in most cases so clearly accepted as superior by all (dark and light skinned) that it need not be brought up. This is similar to what I think about #1 above.

    1. The emoji comment is fascinating.

      I am having trouble understanding why OPs sister thought the dark emojis are racist?

      Is it that she had basically had internalized “dark is bad” therefore by using the dark emoji he is making fun or her or of dark skin people?

      I genuinely don’t understand why it would be seen as “racist” to use the dark ones but light ones is not “racist”.

      1. It’s really weird. The association with bad and dark is so strong that even matter-of-fact dark Indians will find it uncomfortable to tell / hear another matter-of-fact dark Indian that either they or either or both are dark.

      2. I am making a guess that his sister might have felt that since they are not black , sending dark emjois is being racist to black folks. In India we see our self separate from black folks culturally, and closer to white folks. So we are not racist in our minds when we send “light” emojis. Just a guess

  10. what’s the attitude toward farmer tans? my wife has been screaming at me about mine, so i’m going to spend the weekend shirtless in the backyard to get rid of mine.

    (here is the before photo, which resulted in some verbal abuse this morning 😉

    1. Farmer tans are pretty common in India and come up a lot when discussing colour. I’ve seen loads of people wearing half sleeves raise their sleeve up to show the difference in colour between their forearm and upper arm (trying to explain that they’re not as dark as they look, it’s mostly just tan).

    1. Indians have simple logic

      Anything dark or tan = bad/low

      Some years back Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan got a tan to play a dalit character in the movie.

      1. Sons and daughters of people in the hindi movie industry (bollywood sounds too wanna be) are often fair (muslim/UCs/no farmer tans) and most of the casting decisions are a matter of who knows who, so I think they have to do stupid things like tanning to play dalit, etc. They just cannot let “outsiders” enter the industry.

    2. Like Saurav said, tan is bad because it makes your skin look darker. My point was that people will make sure to let you know that they have a farmer’s tan and that they’re not as dark as you think they are.

  11. in winter in the pacific northwest i tend to get ‘sallow’ looking. my wife always yells at me about this 😉 she much prefers me being darker in the summer.

    also, i just google imaged ‘dark skinned actress’. i think that’s deepika padukone (who btw is brahmin mukunda)

    1. i tend to get ‘sallow’ looking. my wife always yells at me about this 😉 she much prefers me being darker in the summer.

      Sallow, is the correct word and quite unhealthy looking in my opinion.

      Same experience, when in the US my SO (untannable Irish American) liked my dark red brown color after one or two days in the beach during summer.

      Dont have that issue, now that I am in SL and outdoors working like coolie bare bodied. Hired labor both men and women nowadays are covered head to to to prevent “getting dark”.

      And yes we are still together, SO visits SL for about 2 months.

  12. Also, that a lot of the Indian SJWs that go on and on about white supremacy are Brahmins isn’t an own, as those same people are anti-Brahmin themselves.

    When Mindy Kaling’s “Never Have I Ever” came out, a Brahmin diaspora woman, who talks a lot about white supremacy, went on about how horrified she was at the normalization of “Brahmanism”, and a bunch of other Brahmin SJWs (mainly from SAALT) went on about how disgusted they were at the depiction of “Brahmanism.”

    Priyamvada Gopal, a Brahmin who also goes on about white supremacy and calls Indian Tory voters as sellouts, also goes on about how Brahmins are the white people of India and how “Brahmin lives don’t matter” (and shouldn’t matter). She also has called some practicing Hindus who lean conservative as cow-piss drinkers.

    If you see a Brahmin going on and on about white supremacy, chances are they are a self-loathing Brahmin. It seems rare, in my experience, to see Brahmin diaspora SJWs actually defend Brahmins in a any meaningful way.

    1. Priyamvada Gopal is a joke. Recently she went on a hunger strike as some porter did not call her ‘Dr Gopal’ The lay doth protest too much.

  13. @Saurav – Hindu Dravidian names in Tamil Nadu are like the following – The same Goddess Parvati has several names in Tamil Nadu – such as Kali, Mariamman , etc , A brahmin woman would never be names Kali or Mariamman , but would instead use Parvati,

    The God Karthikeya – has several names in Tamil Nadu used by Dravidians like Subbiah , Kandasamy , Saravanan , Senthil , Murugan, Vetrivel , Velayudham , Aru Mugham etc, A Tamil Brahmin would never use these names and instead use other names of the same god, like Karthik, Subrahmanyan ,

    The God Shiva has several names – Brahmins would use Shankar , Sundareswaran , vs Dravidians would use Linga Raj, Bhootalingam,

    1. Interesting. Never knew that. Thanks

      If these are Hindu Dravidians names, what are “Dravidian” Dravidian names?

      1. @Saurav , there are 2 types of Dravidian-Dravidian names ; 1) Names that were used during Sangam Period , 100 bc , and now being re-used such as Ilanchippian , Ilango , , Nakkeeran , Manimekalai , Sekkizhar , ; 2 ) Names created during Dravidian movement , 100 years ago – such as Tamilarasan, Tamilarasi , Maran , Anbu , ; A Tam-Brahm would never have either type of those names

        1. So in a way u can know the politics of tamils just by their name. Interesting.

          Way cooler than they way we N-Indians guess someone’s politics by their surname

          1. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think there was a movement in TN to not use caste-based last names. So most TN brahmins in born and raised in TN will not have caste names like Iyer or Iyengar. Interestingly, I’ve noticed though that when those people move to US / Canada and they have a child they will sometimes revert to caste names.

            The normal convention in TN is that your last name is your father’s first name. The positive is that you don’t have caste-based names, but I guess there are also upsides to having a uniform family name which you lose out on since every generation will have a different last name.

            Also going through customs in Western countries can be a bit annoying in that they might not recognize your family as a family unit right away given that the father will have a different last name.

          2. I think the not using caste names is separate from using father’s last names. In wider S-India untouched by Dravidian movement i have come across folks using father’s last name as their surname.

            Also on not using caste names, similar small scale movements have happened in the North where OBC/dalits have dropped their surnames to either use their middle name as a surname or use “Kumar” as their last name

  14. BTW, i was looking forward to hearing from the beautiful girl in the picture , I did not know it was just a hook; only men talking. ANYHOW went thro the cast

    that is mukunda. she’s still use the deadname tho.

  15. Ousep’s comments colorism in India make me reinforce my deduction that racial politics in India is eerily similar to the one in Latin America which privileges light skin and “white” (European, West Asian, Steppe and North African) phenotype.

  16. When people refer to the N-Indian look, what exactly do they intend? UP / Bihar or NW-India or both?
    When I search for Bihari people or Telugu people in google images, I see both Pan-Indian and Australoid-influenced people on both sides.
    Corresponding to a Bihari’s answer in Quora (https://www.quora.com/Are-Biharis-Dravidian), This would be a typical Bihari look:
    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-9d42ba1e41153edfda202bb9a011fc92

    Bihar has 56% OBC, 16.9% Muslim, 15% forward caste, 15% Dalit, etc. and AP/Telangana has 37% Backward castes, 33.2% Forward castes/other castes 16.6% Dalits, 6.2 ST, etc.
    I assume the Pan-Indian look is usually common among OBC/FC/Muslim in Bihar and among FC in AP.

    1. Yea personally when I think North Indian looking I am thinking more North West type look.

      So more Hritik Roshan rather than Ajay Devgan (even though both are punjabi)

      Similarly for South Indian look I think of more extreme examples like Shiv Nadar, rather than Vishwanathan Anand. (Both are Tamil)

      The pan-Indian look is sort of unremarkable, because it doesn’t stand out too much.

      1. @Sumit, Shiv Nadar is a Dravidian , and Vishwanathan Anand is a Tam-Brahm, so no surprise they look very different

      2. “So more Hritik Roshan rather than Ajay Devgan (even though both are punjabi)”
        Hrithik is 1/4 Bengali IIRC.

        “The pan-Indian look is sort of unremarkable, because it doesn’t stand out too much.”
        It’s obvious every region has its own share of distinct looks, yet there are certain common traits that make them look somewhat related.
        I’d like to compare students from different regions.

        Comilla(Bangladesh) Students:
        http://britannia.edu.bd/admin/img/slider/d178ad1b6b.jpg

        Patna(Bihar) Students:
        https://i0.wp.com/www.socialnews.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/07/ea7878cf7ac0b33b23178b5ea10a8267.jpg?fit=2000%2C1333&quality=90&zoom=1&ssl=1

        Ahmedabad(Gujarat) Students:
        https://ahduni.edu.in/assets/images/academics/academics-img3.jpg

        Visakhapatnam(AP) students:
        https://www.gitam.edu/departments_cms/assets/uploads/slider/1552035568_slider.jpg

        I see the distinction is like Paris students vs Rome Students vs Belgrade students etc and not like Paris students vs Beirut students vs Ashgabat students.

        1. Tbh I have a very hard time noticing the subtle differences in the pan south Asian look.

          But I 100% believe people with a more trained eye can tell. I posted my pics on another thread here…

          https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/05/15/the-memes-reflected-in-our-genes/

          People were able to correctly tell where my ancestry is from.

          “ I see the distinction is like Paris students vs Rome Students vs Belgrade students etc and not like Paris students vs Beirut students vs Ashgabat students”

          This is a good analogy.

  17. Is there an Australoid race in India? The old books dealing with Indian anthropology affirm it while the new ones appear to be sceptical about the existence of such a race. Even the latest findings on the genetics of South Asia use the term AASI to refer to the earliest inhabitants of India. I sincerely request Razib or anyone else in this forum to clarify my query on whether the AASI and the Australoid are one and the same people.

  18. All that “whiteness” of Punjabis/Haryanvis yet they can’t develop half sophisticated culture/society as some Tamils castes have done and preserve that culture. In today’s (past 2 centuries) context their pride in their whiteness is understandable though.

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