My thoughts and activities in Dharamsala

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sarah College Girls Gone Wild!!!!

Well not quite, but the title might have caught your eye. So what is this all about? Well it’s about girls, but not only any girls but Tibetan girls with balls, very big balls. The sports scene at Sarah is rather sausage-centric and usually the ladies don't get the chance to participate, particularly when it come down to basketball. I have never been a sports guy; I hated basketball as kid because I always jammed my finger and much rather play with my G.I.Joes. When I first arrived at Sarah many of the guys naturally assumed that I will be great for b-ballin', you know 6'4" and black are the only requirements needed to be a badass baller!

Anyways, as one first realizes as they live and observes the gender dynamics of the school, the male is paid a lot more attention to than the female. Thus, this is reflected in the sporting realm. When I have asked the girls, why they don’t play Basketball? Many have told me that they are either to shy, they don’t know how to play or that the guys always hog the court. You see, the B-ball court is directly in front to the boy's hostel and men being men, when it comes to sports love getting that lovely macho feeling of showing off one's skills that one has bitten off of AND-1 videos from YouTube. My general feeling is that the girls might want to b-ball but really not express it.

At least before they didn't... Two weeks ago Sarah College’s chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress headed an intercollegiate sport competition with basketball, volleyball and exclusively for the ladies, badminton. There was not mention for a swapping of events were the guys played badminton. On the wall of the food line under the advertisement of the competition was prominently fixed, a poster of Michael Jordan about to dunk on someone, though it was written Mickham Jordan. And so the game went on and it turned out that the Dialecticians were kicking some serious b-ball ass, waylaying any team that stood in their way. As mentioned the girls were regulated to Badminton but that never happen, for so much focus was placed on basketball games.

So it seems that one of the girls but have said, “fuck it”, the girls are going to have their own tourney and a tourney they sure did have. Generally I do not watch the games at Sarah, mainly because being from the NYC projects and all growing up watching some crazy sick street-ballers, watching the Sarah guys trying to imitate them is quite boring, but when it came down to the girls to do their thing the situation totally changed. Now we have to think that most of these girls have never touched a basketball in their lives. So that made the games very intense. Tibetan girls are generally seen as extremely shy and at times frail, but I tell you not these b-balling broads. These girls, though lacking in skill, put so much heart in the game, and that is what to me made these game so exciting.

For these girls of get out there in front of the whole school and though many could hearly even dribble the ball, played with such heart. Many times it got rough, girls getting scratched, steamrolled, smacked, knocked down. The amount of turnovers were high, and one could feel, that yes Tibetan girls are shy, but when it comes down to the wire their warrior blood comes out and they are ready to rip you a new one. Even regardless of the fierceness of the game the girls played as a team, and were extremely courteous. Like if one girl smacked the crap out of another they would immediately apologize and hug. If that would have been some girls from back home it would have been a fight for sure. One girl who is the one who plays quite regularly always shares the ball giving others the chance to get a shot.

I have to some pics of the action but I have misplaced my USB cord for my camera. I am hoping that maybe this will instill motivation in some of the girls to continue to play. One can tell that the few girls who don’t play basketball per-say but will just shoot hoops from time to time, where the girls getting buckets. I hope that the others can see that it is possible to get the court and that they can b-ball. I think that this tourney is quite historic for Sarah, but really I don’t know. Either way what has happened this week was very beautiful, regardless of the skill level.

All kinds of violations were happening on that court, lack of dribbling knowledge, lack of hand-eye-ball coordination, chucking the ball with out any sense of aim whatsoever. On the team of the Himalaya class, consisting mostly of Ladakhi girls, was fierce as hell, they had the school nurse as a player and man this nurse moved like a Mack truck. Any girl that got her way got the shoulder and at times ended of the floor. There were times that my heart stopped as shots were fired. These games have been the most exciting games that I have visited at Sarah and I hope for more to come.

Besides the B-balling, life at Sarah is going good, we had the Tibetan polemically political activist Jamyang Norbu speak which was awesome. I am a fan of his writings so it was great to see him in action, he’s good. Classes are going good and I am really enjoying studying debate. Last night the Buddhist philosophy course had their group debate. Which was exciting, I noticed that I am starting to recognize a bit of what is going, just a bit though. I know that this might be off the mark but I was wondering how it would have been like to study at Plato’s Academy back in Ancient Greece where dialectical debate were the main way of studying. Would it have had any of the intensity that Tibetan debate has? This I wonder….