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Harper Ganick
Hyderabad University, India
An Excerpt from her blog post at 
http://harperganick.blogspot.com/2012/09/going-goan-goa.html

At least twenty people decided to travel to Goa, which sounded like a lot of fun because it is basically just a giant beach and tons of people I know would be there. 
We were all changed and on the beach by 10am, and thats where we stayed for the rest of the day. The others we knew that had already been there were kind of wandering around the area with their rented motor bikes, but we saw them throughout the day. The beach was beautiful and hot. The sand, other than being absurdly annoying, was made up of very small pieces of shells,  so if you looked closely it was full of  beautiful colors. I collected a few really fascinating shells. While the beach was fabulous, it did have a major downfall: Indian women.

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Alanna and her horde
As soon as we laid out on our towels we were immediately surrounded by Indian women trying to sell us jewelry, trinkets, henna, ect. And they wouldn't leave. I mean, I felt like a total bitch but the only way to get them to go away was just to completely ignore them. You couldn't say "No thank you," or "Maybe later," because as soon as you gave them an inkling of attention they latched onto you like a spider monkey. Eventually they wandered away, but Alanna had it really bad. She just couldn't ignore them, so I'm actually not sure if she had any beach time without being surrounded. Even though the rest of us were trying to ignore them, they would just sit at the edge of our towels and stare at us. I was getting extremely hostile so I had to put in my headphones.

I just had a problem with the whole system revolving around these women. Some of these sellers were children who should've been in school, and I have always had a huge problem with working/begging children. Some of the other people that we met up with said that the women that were following them openly admitted to be beaten if they didn't sell enough, and they said it as if it was just no big deal, because to them thats an acceptable norm. Another woman, visibly pregnant (or at least with a tumor/cloth bump) told Diana that her husband wouldn't give her money to go to the doctor. Even if these stories were true, which they probably were, the entire exchange is solely targeted towards Westerners. The groups of women don't congregate around Indian families on the beach. One time Diana even pointed to an Indian couple and said, "Why don't you go ask them?" and the woman said "No, they're Indian."

I refused to buy anything or even acknowledge these women, because I would not support their system. Yes, it might've given them money that day, but it's an unsustainable and abusive system.

Really this is just a continuation of my hatred of being targeted because I'm white.


 





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