BooBs vs. Nido Milk

It was eid. I was about ten, and we were gathered (as usual) in my grandparents’ house. There was a bunch of us kids and then there were some of the older gang (uncles, aunts, parents, etc). I don’t recall what exactly happened but us kids did something pretty messed up which caused an uncle to proclaim:

“هيييه… انتو مشكلتكم ما رضعتوا من حليب ديود… انتو كبرتوا على حليب نيدو!!!”

For us kids all this signified was the “dirty mouthed” renegade uncle daring to use a risque word. We chuckled, we laughed, and we kept repeating for a while ديود ديود ديود!

A few days ago this statement hit me as pretty revealing. Over the last decade or so an intriguing species has began to develop in bahrain that has nothing in common with its ancestors or previous generations. There seems to be a considerable swath of “the new bahrain” that it seems fitting to call the “nido milk generation”.

mex-grocer_1932_11495892.jpg

So who are these members of the nido generation, or nido-ers? At first glance, the nido-er will seem highly educated. He/She will probably have a degree from a UK or a US university. At first glance, a nido-er will seem huber hip or cool. He/she might sport a snoop dog hairdo or a jennifer anniston look. He/she will be up to date on latest OC and desperate housewives shenanigans. Heck, at first glance you might even call him/her “sophisticated”. He/she most probably will possess a noticeable american twang (or in some cases british, whatever the heck that means) in his english.

A nido-er most definitely will strike you as (very) well to do. He/she will try to possess the “best” car there is, the “best” house there is, the “best” gucci sunglasses there is, and the “best” armani suit in town. In fact, a nido-er will most probably want to have “the best” in everything there is. The best hummus, the best flip flops, the best hair do, and the best shawarma. In fact, he might strike you as a tad (read that as a heapful) nouveau-riche or “keeping up with the joneses.” He will strive very hard to have the best of what the nido-ers consider to be the best, and most importantly, he’ll flaunt it.

A nido-er will always hangout with other nido-ers. In fact he would die of shame if he’s associated with anyone or anything that sullies his nido-ness. He’ll live around other nido-ers. He’ll live in nido houses, acquire nido cars, eat nido food, and hang out in nido places. He will only feel comfortable in a nido environment surrounded by other nidoers where they all can bask in the glory of their nido-ness.

Still not sure what a nido-er is? One sure way to spot a nido-er is to converse with him and ask him to respond back in Arabic (or whatever his mother tongue is). A nido-er will start shaking and stuttering, his eyes rolling up and down from side to side. He’ll start foaming at the mouth and sputtering sentences that are unintelligible in any language such as ” yeah but no but yeah but I cannot ya3ni madri but there is shisalfeh magdar dyood dyood dyood…”

toot… tooot… toooot……

In order to resuscitate him and put out of his misery you have to switch back to english. A big smile will suddenly flash on his face, his demeanor will change and he’ll resort back to his most favoured american flavoured twang: “sorry dude about that, dunno what happened there”.

If you want to further confirm he’s a nido-er ask him about arabic music. He’ll dismiss it quickly saying that it “cramps his style”. Any intelligible conversation on arabic movies, serials or books are a big no-no. That oriental rubbish just ain’t his thing maaan.

A nido-er is all of this and more. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can quickly grasp his multi-faceted dimensions. A nido-er and the general nido bubble he lives in require careful and deep analysis in order to achieve an understanding of this amazing creature and its environment.

This blog is dedicated to examinging, unfolding, ridiculing, praising, celebrating, taking the piss out of, deconstructing, de-orientalizing, de-colonizing, de-markating, and unpacking the nido-er, with all the other “-ings” and “-isms” you can think of.

I am a product of the nido-generation myself. I hate it, no doubt about it. I try to change this and break free from its shackles, but the nido bubble is a strong self-enforcing entity which always comes back to encircle you with its charms and misdeeds. I am a self-hating nido-er. This blog is a chance for me to exorcise my nido demons. God-damn you, nido.

43 Responses to “BooBs vs. Nido Milk”

  1. Bahrainiac Says:

    Great blog! I welcome the insight into Bahrain’s version of generation “Y”.

  2. nido Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I hope you and others as well can give their own input on the nido generation

  3. Some person Says:

    We have the same breed in Kuwait, though we do call them “chicken nuggets”

  4. nido Says:

    Yeah the nidoers are a world wide phenomena nowadays. I’m sure they’re not limited to Bahrain. So is this “chicken nuggets” term widely used in Kuwait to describe them?

  5. Some person Says:

    It’s been widely in use since the 1990s, and is quite degratory(sp), although some chicken nuggets embrace the label blithly.

  6. Interested Bahraini Says:

    Thanks for these observations. I’ve seen the nido species all over Bahrain (MUN, Hapkido lessons, English essay competitions etc) and even among natives and expatriates in places like Saudi and Emirates. I’ve seen them in Jordan (where their favorite haunt is Abdoun Roundabout and they’re sometimes called “tants”). What galls me most about these people is their un-originality, and that despite all their outward gloss, they’re reall quite conventional on the inside; and most of them (you’re an expection) dont even realize their predicament. I’ve always said that there are no real aristocrats in the Gulf and the Nidos prove that. I myself am sometimes mistaken for a nido-er, though in reality I’m just stuck in a no-man’s land, somewhere in middle-class wasteland, because of certain specifics of my history.
    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  7. nido Says:

    Ahh yes… Abdoun Roundabout, that world reknowned area for nidoing. Sounds like you’ve been to the hangouts that I’ve been mostly to before! Then again, I guess all people in a nido environment go to the same places!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Bahrania Says:

    Kudos to you for coming up with an iconic symbol to signify Bahrain’s new generation riche. I’m also glad you stayed away from the class issue, it doesn’t seem to me as mentioned above, that you can classify a nidoer as bourgoise, aristocrat, nobles or upper class in the ‘english’ sense, and maybe there is no need to apply such a classification. I don’t know if you have heard of the ‘tesco’ generation – Tesco was once a low-cost supermarket for the working class in the 70s, and as the UK economic tide rose, old consumer’s became middle-class and hav made Tesco the UKs biggest supermarket chain.

    The nidoer, is much more Americanised in nature; society is based on wealth. Your value is derived from the consumer brands that adourn you and consumer advertising drives you needs and desires.

    A nidoer may not realise they are a victim of globalisation and it’s secular consumerist orientatation in the modern sense, or perceive material to be their alienated essence and quite i’d entertain the thought of telling one, يا اخي لماذا لا تدرك بأنك اسير العولمة و ما يليه من توجه علماني استهلاكي
    and watching them have one of the seizures u describe however I’ve never been too popular with nidoers to take the conversation even this far if it were possible. Religion is so un-nido-esque, the aversion to hijab and most religious practises is accompanied with, “you are kidding me right, i’ve only seen my grandmother do that”.

    On the macro level, if we take the nidoers to be the bourgoisie in the old marxist sense, then these individual traits translate into an entire section of society moving from the collectivist, “we, us” to the individualistic, “I” and the winds of social change will definitely not come from such spiritless powder milk guzzlers!

    Good blog, keep up the study of nidoism though I suspect most of the specimens in question are in their ‘check me out’ haunts or having a manicure, i’m happy a few nido refuseniks hav found their critical voices online.

    Sorry for the long one. B

  9. Anon. Says:

    Come off it.
    The “new” generation as you are describing it is confined to a very limited number of people that you are probably interacting with.
    I speak very good english and excellent arabic too. I listen to both english and arabic music. I hold a US degree and work at an Arabic Bank. And i know a ton of people that are well rounded. To tell you the truth, Nido is probably carcinogenic! So I doubt if any responsible parent would feed it to their children INSTEAD of 7aleeb dyood haha dyood dyood dyood

  10. nido Says:

    Bahrania: Wooow! That’s a long and deep comment. Let’s see what snippets I can reply to in my half dazed state.

    I definitely think class is seriously involved in the issue. By class I don’t mean the English meaning of class. Where you have a posh guy who speaks a certain manner and wears certain clothes and “low classes” eating certain things, wearing certain clothes, and talking in a certain accent. That however is definitely part of it. I’m more interested in class in teh economic sense and the “superstucture” that is built around it. Whether we like it in Bahrain rich people definitely have a different outlook, mode of thought, way of life, and relationship to poor people. Of course this doesn’t go across the board but it exists. Bahrain has also the situation of emerging from a pretty class-less society, so remnants of that old environment still remains. But more and more the two classes are being isolated.

    I agree with the rest of what you said but I’m unsure of the last comment on the bourgeoise in the marxist sense and the prevalence of “I” and individualism. I mean isn’t that often the case even before? I don’t think the bourgeouise before were in a massive conspiracy scheming and contriving the whole time on how to put the poor scheming to put down the poor (although their actions from the outside might look like that). It’s just how a capitalist system works. Everyone follows his own interest but if one takes a a view of society from outside there are obviously different classes with conflicting views and goals, even if the agents themselves subjectively might not view it that way!

    Anyway, my eyes are hallucinating at this moment, I should shut up.

  11. nido Says:

    Dear Anon,

    I’m glad that you don’t fit the nido “stereotype”. However there are lots of other people in Bahrain that have serious nido traits. Obviously not many people fit exactly every stereotype I mention here, but remember that I’m writing a blog here adn not a serious academic text book. If you’ve failed to notice many nidoers before I suggest you visit Trader Vic’s, Mirai or any of the many investment banks in Bahrain! Obviously the vast majority of people in Bahrain are not nidoers, but a good chunk of the rich are!

    P.S. Nidoers most probably do not drink Nido! They’d probably drink Danone or something like that.

  12. hiba Says:

    hey please i want an advertisement for nido

  13. hiba Says:

    please reply

  14. nido Says:

    What do you mean hiba? Do you want the arabic ad for nido? The one with the song?

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  17. Gypsy Says:

    Hi,

    Im fairly new to this blog and as I can now define myself as a nido-er im going to vent my long pent up frustrations here!

    For the first 18 years of my life I lived in Bahrain and was a glorified nido-er. I went to private school, drove around in fancy cars, never uttered more than two words in Arabic and couldnt wait to graduate and study in the UK as I felt I was far more western than I was Arab (I was especially smug as I have an English mother which seemed to validate my westerness at the time more so than my wholly Arab friends!) So for 18 years I lived in the nido bubble and was very happy.

    The problems began when I did graduate and came to the UK. To say that I hated it would be putting it mildly – the people, the weather, the food – basically the country itself. I even started hating my mother for being English and for forcing her ‘englishness’ on me by making me study here (this hatred has now dissolved to a mild dislike!). What followed was 5 years of isolation because I refused to mix with the locals and there werent any Arabs that I knew with me. During this time I began to really connect with my roots and discovered that I wasnt nearly as western as I thought and am entirely Arab.

    While you think this would have rectified the situation, after I graduated I decided to stay on in the UK to get some work experience in an Arab bank based in London. I would be gaining experience while being surrounded by ‘my people’. Things rarely go as we plan them and a year and half later Im still working at this bank surrounded by a wide variety of Lebenese, Iraqi, Egyptian, Palestinian and Jordanian collegues who are mystified by the fact that I look, think and behave like an Arab but am unable to form a complete sentence in our language. Whenever I do grow a pair to reply them in Arabic they dont understand what Im saying! I have therefore been reduced to peppering my responses to anything they say to me with ‘ee’, ‘la’ and ‘ya3ni’ :s It gets especially embarassing when Im left to deal with customers because all the other Arabic speakers are out to lunch – there was one unfortunate incident involving a rather excited Syrian man on the phone who wanted to sell some shares – not a problem apart from the fact that I was surrounded by English people expecting me to conduct the deal in Arabic (you trying tanslating ‘break the fixed deposit’ in Arabic!)

    So here I am – definately not English, not entirely Arab and suffering from a severe identity crisis! So I would like to thank you for giving me the title of ‘nido-er’ .. it may not be something to be proud of it but atleast its a start! Ill save the problems of how Im not a snob anymore and head to Abraj rather than Trader Vics when I get home for another time – Im not ready to renounce my nido-ness yet!

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  19. Thina ZPronounced Tina) Zulu Says:

    I doubt whether this site/blog is still funtional but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to offer my two cents worth. The deal is I work at an ad agency doing a campaign for Nido and I was just trawling the net looking for info when I stumbled upon these entries. I must say I’m nothing less than gob-smacked /dumb-struck / flabagasted at the similarities of your issues to ours. I’m a black South African (yall probably don’t know abt us right! we’re on the other side of the world) Yet we’re also grappling with the very same identity issues.

    Our version of Nidoers here are Coconuts (Black on the outside and white on the inside) This is newly financially empowered – post apartheid/segregation generation (yes myself included) is also referred to as the Black Diamonds ; Born at the right time generation.

    They (we) also posses the uncanningly identical characteristics to your Nidoers (The priviledged lifestyles; private school education; American influence; the preferance for English versus vernacular/ native languages and just general – all out apathy for most things native) It’s frightening. The beauty about growing up though is the ability to question life (for some) and see it for the lunacy it can be and hence make the appropriate choices.

    So nice work on this artickle, you’ve just proven once again that nothing in this world occurs in isolation, that one country’s issues are most likely to be world issues, and the butterfly effect is not just a Movie with Ashton Kutcher or a myth, good work &…God Bless Ya!

  20. Duty free Nido : BahBlog Says:

    [...] By BB in المدونين | 0 comments Long live the nido generation! I saw this in a neighbouring Gulf country’s airport and couldn’t resist. (Nidoism; the study of the economically well-off in Bahrain as invented by Nido blog) [...]

  21. Daniboy Says:

    In Pakistan, we call them burgers. They exhibit all the characteristics you’ve described of the Nido generation. :)

    Good to know that Arabs are finally trying to find their own identity at least. God! knows you’ve all helped build up the Americas and Europe at the cost of your own countries and other Muslim nations.

  22. nabeela Says:

    I was brought up on nido….all my other siblings have moved on…i recently got married but i cant stop….sometimes i wonder if something is wrong with me….but hey thats who i am…always been…..but that was my parents choice…i had nothing to do with what kind of lifestyle i was given…and of course now that i am accustomed to it…you are right about all that you have said……it spreads and it wont ever leave you, and quiet frankly i dont want it to leave me, I know who i am and it doesnt really matter what people think

    p.s: guy with the ‘burger’ comment, like c’mon secretly ALL of you wanna be like US. yeah you know you do

  23. Desert Island Boy Says:

    Guilty as charged!

    This Nido even so far as to park himself in the Safeway aisle.

    I’m very impressed with your insights and encourage you to keep writing. In other words, ” I feel you!!!”.

    Bahrania was right about the “icon”; I declare Nido to Bahrainis what Campbell’s is to Americans, and you, my friend are blogging’s Andy Warhol.

  24. nido Says:

    I gotta say this is one of the coolest comments to ever grace this blog. Thanks a million man!

    P.S. And where have you disappeared from blogging?

  25. And Far Away » Nido Says:

    [...] an unrelated note, while Googling for Nido images, I came upon this very interesting blog, called the Nido Generation; “I am a product of the nido-generation myself. I hate it, no doubt about it. I try to change [...]

  26. st_up@hotmail.com Says:

    hpf;

  27. amal khalaf Says:

    i love you nido-er.
    amal khalaf

  28. AMAL AMAL Says:

    Can u please tell me where i can find Nido milk in the uk? i couldn<t find it in tesco, nor in Asda

  29. rand Says:

    plz can u send me nido advertisment .mp3 in arabic

  30. flymenian Says:

    I do not understand you, in the sense that you seem to be bitter of your own kind, I’m sorry I do not read your blog but I support you on one thing though, which is the fact that a nido-er will not listen or appreciate any form of Arabic art. but wait a minute have heard or seen much good Arabic art lately ?

    Marcel Khalife is equal to Nancy to a nido-er but is it to you too?

    Some are over rated and some are under rated, who drums louder is the one who gets heard , no matter how bad he drums.

    man chill it is simply because the world is changing we have nido-ers lol.

    anyway you have a good one (whatever you are doing).

    I’d love to talk with you correspond with you, really!

  31. VirginKiller Says:

    For god’s sake people! Give us a break . . .

    Do you think its about “cool” that the Nedo-ers are a western-ized? We do not praise the west (north American or European), it is just they have proven to be the most effecient and productive people. And to be truthful. I’m ashamed to be an Arab after we lost everything “Arab” word stand for! We were famous for having qualities we have lost.

    Arabic Art, Music, and lifestyle have their own audience. Not me, I prefer Metallica, Opeth, Burgers, Jeans, Classic American Cars, and a british accent.

    Forgive me!

  32. sammy Says:

    I think what you’re referring to in your rant is globalization… or in other words, the metamorphisis that any number of teens from any number of countries go through… they all become American.

    lata gata.

  33. nido milk Says:

    I discovered this product years ago in the grocery store. Glad I found a place to purchase it again! I used it in place of powdered fake creamers in my coffee and tea. I also used it when I ran out of fresh milk. Makes great hot cocoa too. Way better than regular powdered milk and those coffee creamers!

  34. Could Bahrain be next? | Omar Al-Shehabi | wordnewseurope Says:

    [...] proven anything, it is to expect the unexpected. One group to watch out for is the so-called “nido generation“: youth of the upper-middle class, mostly educated in private schools and universities [...]

  35. faisalbastaki@homail.com Says:

    I myself have been brought up in a private school and studied at western universities, and naturally English has become my first language. “youth of the upper-middle class, mostly educated in private schools and universities”, correct, however I would not label myself a ‘nido-er’ since I do not fit some of the characteristics mentioned as such. Being educated in a western society has not affected me much after studying Islamic sciences, which gave me the ability to differentiate between good and evil and allowed me to live a righteous life. I have been able to mould myself to become productive, intellectual, knowledgeable while living a modern lifestyle without sacrificing my religious consciousness. Yes, I do wear jeans, however I do not believe education is to blame if you are able to take the good from it. Instead, use it wisely as a tool to help yourself and others. I would like other western-educated Bahrainis to be ‘SELECTIVE’ and not implement unislamic and corrupt ideas into their mentality and lifestyle. Arabic is one of the most important, if not the most important, languages in the world. But remember you do not have to be an ‘Arab’ to be a good person.

  36. jiri Says:

    Interesting. To be sure there are similar groups from other countries as well. An all suffering the same ailment. So far, this is the best description expression that I have read. Keep it up!

    For non Arab readers it would be interesting to have some information of what it is that the Bahrainis have abandoned in favour of the new “culture” which they have adopted.

    It’s clear that you are not too keen on “Nidoism”. But what is it that you would rather they become?

  37. Rania Says:

    Dude- Interesting !! U sound like someone I may know?! ;)

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