Bras, Panties, Colonialism, and Nido

“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

Lord Macaulay, British Colonial Administrator in India, 1835

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Mr./Mrs. Nido are a colonized creature par excellance. If ever there was a definition of a colonized person, a picture of a nidoer surely should turn up

Colonization of the nidoer is almost total, and it continues onwards unabated. It covers his exterior looks, his job, his activities, his food, his cars, his language, his love life, and seeps deep down to his thoughts.

Imagine a nidoer in front of you right now and let us deconstruct him. First let us take a look at his exterior. His T-shirt will probalby be made by FCUK or DKNY or something along those lines. His jeans, Levis or wrangler; which he’ll make sure to flash as blatantly and loudly as possible. If he’s in formal attire, he’ll be wearing an Armani or Versace suit. Some nidoers go down the other road and deck it out FUBU style. In all cases, it is modelled on some vision of coolness that he borrowed from an American magazine, TV show, or movie. Same goes for his latest fashion hair do and sunglasses. Indeed, if you ask a nidoer to only wear regionally produced goods he would be exposed to you in all his glory. Stark naked. Not a bra or a panty to cover her up. Nada. Completely, utterly, totally naked.

We observe the nidoer in his food habits. Once again colonization seeps deeply here. His diet revolves around burgers, pizzas, and hot dogs. If he tries to be sophisticated he’ll switch to pastas, risottos, and sushis. His haunts will include chillis, papa johns, and more posh places like mirai and trader vics. For coffee he’ll go Starbucks or costa. If you force a nidoer to live on local foods and goods he’ll end up dead within a week.

“So what”, you say? “That’s the characteristics of a modern globalized society.” Hold your horses there. This is only the the cover. His colonization is no petty kalakchy version that only runs skin deep. No Sirreeeeee the colonization is more entrenched than that.

Let us turn to his past times. They are borrowed from the colonizer par excellence. He’ll exclusively watch American movies. The shows he devours will be the OC, desperate housewives, and Scrubs. You might think it’s normal to watch American shows, but no, this guy exclusively watches American shows. No 6ash ma 6ash or Khalid bin Al Waleed for him. He doesn’t even understand those. They might as well be in chinese.

The most clear sign of colonization is his language. The nido-er no longer considers arabic to be his first language. In fact, you can’t even say that he knows arabic. Hell, even his name would most probably be anglicized. Instead of Mohammed he’ll be “Mo”, “Naz” instead of Nizar, or good old “Jo” for Yousif.

Most importantly of all, his thoughts are colonized. This leads to his morals and his outlook on life being colonized as well. Heck, if your main language is English, and one needs a language to think (for how can you think without a language to express those thoughts?) how can you possibly escape thinking and looking at the world in a way dictated by those who gave you the language? If your main food for thought is Friends, The OC, and Scrubs, how can you possibly think but in terms of those shows? If all of your friends are Westernized, how can you possibly not think like a western-wannabe? It is only natural that you start framing issues in terms of a nido-colonized mentality.

I always thought why in Hell’s name did George Bush invade the Arab world in order spread American influence and thoughts? You didn’t have to do that! Globalization is doing that job better than any guns can. No American has to ever set foot in the Arab world and still the American way of life will take over the place. Just let American movies, shows, books, clothes, schools, companies and nidoers do the task! You don’t need to go and bomb the place. Nidoers lap up American culture like Homer Simpson devours doughnuts! They’ll freely convert to your ideas. Throwing in a couple of F-16s in the mix hinders this process. Keep those planes and guns in the TV shows. Nidoers like them there, they are kind of scary in real life.

“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.” These are the very perceptive words of Lord Macaulay, a colonial administrator back in the good old days of British colonialism when talking about creating an educational system that would serve best the interests of the British empire. I’m not too sure about the intellect part, but he got the rest bang on when we look at nidoers in Bahrain.

Indeed that turns our attention to one of the more important forces for the advent of Nidoism, the education system. I’m not going to say much of it right now because it will be the subject of another post, but suffice to say that when you learn in English, go to American schools, study American curriculums, and mingle every day with Americanized classmates… well… I’ve banged on about the outcome enough me thinks.

Indeed the nidoer is the best type of colonized person. The colonization has been complete. He is absolutely dependant on his colonizers for everything that he wouldn’t be even able to think without them. From his food to his thoughts, from his clothes to his language. Once we realize this it becomes pretty obvious and non-controversial how a nidoer becomes an agent of western interests in the region. They simply are his interests. The best part of it is that the nidoer is completely content with this colonization. Better yet, most nidoers are completely oblivious to their colonization and haven’t even contemplated the thought. He is like the grateful slave who is dependant for everything on his master. But why should he care? He is a rich and content slave who can indulge in playing videogames and eating sushi, so why complain? Indeed, he could be much worse off, such as being one of the poor toiling masses underneath him that he administers and keeps in check for his benefactors’ and his own interests.

Mark my words, we will slowly start seeing a new breed of Nidoers mushrooming like fungus on bread: that lovely breed of “native informants”. They have always existed in the world of colonialism, personified by the likes of Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Wafa Sultan, and Fuad Ajami. The Nidoers however will take this to a different level. For if you have been so Americanized that you eat like an American, talk like an American, watch American shows, read American books, and think like an American, it is only a small step to move on to ” working for American interests,” which anyway are your own interests. If you look like an American, talk like an American and walk like an American… well you know the rest. Most definitely we’ll see a lot of Bahraini nidoers taking up the mantle of native informants over the next few years, and they’ll be celebrated in Newsweek magazine and Neocon cirlces as “forces of freedom, democracy, and civilization in the Arab and Muslim world.” I’m telling you, if you’re a nidoer, Arab, and Muslim, a sure-fire way to fame nowadays is to come out and bash Islam and Arabs, complain of oppression, and glorify the great American way. Throw into this mix such headline grabbing issues such as being an oppressed woman, homosexual etc and you’ll be the new great star celebrity in Neocon-mania and MEMRI. Nidoers, if you want to become an overnight phenomenon, this is the most sure-fire way nowadays to achieve that!

The battle for and against imperialism will necessarily put the nidoer in a tough position. “Should I be on the side of my fellow citizens or on the side of my nido life and its patrons?” I hope nidoers make the right choice.

*** P.S. My apologies for not posting for a few days. As I’m sure you all know, being a nidoer I am a very busy person. I’ve got videogames to play, sushi bars to attend to and desperate housewives to watch.

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11 Responses to “Bras, Panties, Colonialism, and Nido”

  1. June Says:

    Good piece of writing. Being an identity-crisis sufferer myself, I understand where you’re coming from. Though I hate Nido. And all milk actually.

  2. nido Says:

    Thanks June. Nice blog as well. I really like your style of writing!

  3. chanad Says:

    what a great new bahraini blog. great stuff.

    i think this post-colonialist (neo-imperialist) analysis of bahrain is very apt. bahrain has always had a very imperial feel to it, but it is rarely discussed.

    the nido generation in bahrain has been raised so that the rulers (here and abroad) can show them off, and contrast them to the savage natives who dare to criticize the rulers and demand their rights on the street. and like the “Uncle Tom” among US blacks, the obedient Shia in Bahrain is held up as an example to the rest, as the rulers say “why cant all of you be as mindless and obedient as him?”

    the nido generation must not allow itself to be used like this

  4. Hasan in Japan Says:

    Very interesting blog you have here. You do touch up on some pressing issues among Bahraini youth (although this nidoer-issue isn’t only in Bahrain).

    *I’m suddenly getting flashbacks of those terrible Nido Milk ads on tv. Ah, the horror!*

    Keep it up!

  5. Ashish Says:

    This is so true to life that I could actually identify with it.

    I’m not a Bahraini nor an Arab, but an Indian who has grown up in Bahrain – and yes, Nido played a good part of my growing up years – and I can safely say that what you’ve written clearly describes the many Indian and other expat kids like me who’ve grown up in Bahrain and/or the Gulf.

    In the US, most second generation Indian kids are, often, called ABCD – American Born Confused Desi; and I think, Nido Generation is a neat label to describe those who’ve grown up in the Gulf. It is interesting to see that it is not just expat kids but some Bahraini kids who experience the same socio-cultural dysfunction as well.

    I’ll certainly keep reading your blog.

  6. nido Says:

    Chanad: Thanks man! I have a bone to pick with you however. I am mildly horrified by your use of “post-colonialist”!! The horror! I don’t even understand the likes of Bhabha and Spivak let alone follow it! How come you stopped blogging?

    Hasan: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get those ads out of my head.
    مع نيدو كنا ولاد صغار… مع نيدو صرنا كبار

    Note: It should not be assumed that Nidoers drink Nido. Most would probably find it too low class, instead opting for Danone or something like that.

    Ashish: I honestly can understand much much more why expats or second generation Americans end up that way. After all, expats are in a foreign country and need a common medium with other expats in the same condition, and clearly English and the “American way of life” is the obvious choice. Second generation Americans after all live in America, where it is only expected that the American way of live reigns supreme. However, what really irks me is why Bahrainis and Arabs in Bahrain, who have a primary culture (Bahraini, Arab) that they can tap into instead of Westernization, but still goddamn insist on Being more Americanized than Americans themselves!

  7. chanad Says:

    hmmm… im not sure why youre so horrified. but i myself am not a huge fan of bhabha or spivak (bhabha especially writes way too pretentiously for me). i was thinking more along the lines of said, and especially fanon.

    i have to say though that i disagree with you when you say that all Bahrainis and Arabs have a “primary culture” which they can choose to acquire. as im sure you know, much of the reason why the nido generation is the way it is is because of the choices made by their parents — not ones they made by themselves. when a child is raised by the filipina maid rather than the parents, can we blame the child for having english as the first language? their parents enrolled them in english-speaking schools and dressed them in western clothing. for that person, western culture IS a major part of their culture whether they like it for not. you can’t then expect them to one day start pretending that they are bedus (although some of them do)– that would just be fake.

    however, what we as the nido-generation can do is to reject the political role that the rulers wants us to fill. vijay prashad has written about how asian-americans are held up by the white rulers as the ‘good immigrants’ — “model minority” — to be able to oppress blacks and hispanics (the ‘bad migrants’). prashad suggests that asian-americans should commit “model minority suicide”, which means that they should reject this role that the rulers want them to play. so too, in bahrain, must the nido-er reject the pre-conceived roles of “the good muslim”, “the good arab”, “the good shia”, etc

    anyways, just want to express again what a breath of fresh air your blog is. i’ll get back to blogging quite soon also hopefully!

  8. nido Says:

    Chanad,

    Well it goes without saying that Fanon and Said are legends, and just being mentioned with them in a sentence is an honour! It is unfortunate nowadays that when you say Poco it is mainly associated with the likes of Spivak and Bhabha.

    I agree with the rest of what you said. I was simplifying too much for the sake of brevity. This bubble didn’t come about from nothing, and indeed one needs to look at its causes to understand it more.

    I’ve never read Vijay Prashad, but it sounds interesting so I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for the comments again and do get back to blogging asap!

  9. Chan’ad Bahraini » Blog Archive » The Nido Generation Says:

    […] This is the generation of middle/upper class in Bahrain who grew up drinking Nido milk. The blogger argues that most of the Nido-ers are in many ways culturally colonized people, who play the role of the […]

  10. Facebook and Nido Part 3: "Nido Liberal" « Nido Says:

    […] about the dangers of Islamists. Indeed, the nidoer would strike one from the west as being “quite like us.” They are like us in looks, in mentality, and even in talking about “liberalism” […]

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