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Avoiding eye contact with a strange woman or a man is not an indication of deceit or falsity. It is rather a mannerism of respect in a Muslim social setting and is received as such. This liberated us in the ways that our urban Muslim lives could not. The women in our vacationing party never felt they could not move about at their leisure and pace. If they so desired, they could go discover one path for its views, or if they so fancied, they could pack picnics for dusk time and just be merry under the Himalayan peaks, or even organize bonfires.
To experience this freedom as a child was an extension of some privileges that I already enjoyed in the plains; for my aunts though, it must have been a difference worth noting. The urban Muslim life was replete with set rules and confining codes of behavior.
To have had access to this freedom was an opportunity for which they ever remained thankful to my father. As a grown woman, I know that when one of the regulars looked back at the Kalabagh years as the one happy place left in her life, she harbors the memory like a quiet prayer in her heart that brings her solace during times of duress in a difficult marriage.
The coterie of cooks, guards and overseers of the Officers Mess remained consistent over the years, so they, too, became part of the whole experience for us. They remained loyal to their duties and functions as most of them had worked at the hill station for many years. Their hardy lifestyles kept them robust. Only their wrinkled skin would tell us the years they had worked there.
Such memories were filled with both a longing and a desire for a disassociation. The wars were, of course, not theirs to fight, but because they were colonized by Britain, the wars became their burden. After hearing his stories, we acquiesced and ate whatever he would provide us, as his knowledge of the mechanics of a mince pie had to be acknowledged. Those bushes may have been the romantic fancy of some Meme Sahib—wife of a former colonizer—distanced from her beloved English seaside town, where her hydrangea bush grew to all the beautiful shades of seagreens and periwinkle blues.
To this day, when I see the glorious hydrangeas at the footsteps of a weather-beaten New England home, I reminisce about the quiet bond between the Kalabagh malis and their plants. Surely, the cluster of flowers was not the fancy of a Pakistani Begum, who would rather have had her mali plant more jasmine bushes. The more jasmine bushes the better, because there are innumerable adornments to be made out of those small heavenly buds. One of the simplest pleasures of being a woman in Pakistan is that one can buy these pieces of jasmine jewelry—clusters of buds sewn together to make bracelets and necklaces to be worn for only one evening, the time it takes for the flowers to wilt…only to wait for the following day for more moti jewelry.
And then there were the visits by the shawl wallas or the shawl sellers in Kalabagh. I knew such men from afar. They carried their metal trunks on their heads, centered perfectly on top of a makeshift support of an old cloth wrapped tightly in a circle to soften the burden. All hand-embroidered, the shawls were displayed to the women who sat around like an audience in awe of the wealth of fine thread and its fascinating hues. One after another, the seller would whisk them out with the quick movement of his wrists, as if liberating them from their folded existence in his trunk.
He would unfurl them at our feet, both for our visual and tactile pleasure. The shawls were made by the women of their villages. I now regret that we never saw the women embroiderers themselves. I wanted to know what made them choose one color over another, what inspired them to direct their needles in one stitch and not another. Those stories will remain untold, locked in their hearts. Invariably we would reach out and touch the softness of spun wool, all the while keeping our admiration in check because display of overt admiration would spoil the chances of a good haggling session.
So we sat around the seller, with our poker faces, holding back any enthusiasm about his wares, not letting him know which one we truly liked. We concealed our weakness for one color or one pattern over another.
As my heart would flutter with the unfolding of the sensual embroidery and I could scarcely conceal my delight, my mother and my aunts would prepare me in advance not to be overenthusiastic about a particular shawl, no matter how much I liked it. Pakistani women are adept at a game of wills and commerce as they go about their daily shopping. Young women learn this way of market demeanor from the older women in their family, and initiate themselves in talking to the merchant class in manners that are acceptable.The 5 Stages of Relationships
Even shopping becomes an established relationship between the person buying and the seller, with all the etiquette and comportment required from each party for the transaction to flow smoothly. Among other things, I unlearned these lessons, as they are not applicable when I go shopping in my American life. But I find myself reverting to them instinctively when I visit a privately-owned grocery store that would stock the spices, condiments, and bread that I need for some Pakistani dish.
I request a certain product, complain about another, comment on the size of his new shelf—in brief, I instinctively establish my role as the respectable shopper. But I do it more as a salute to a dying interaction between the merchant and the Pakistani woman that I once knew in Pakistan.
And, so, it is only in a vacuum that I can rehearse a way of being encoded as a female other from an Eastern culture. In such daily transactions lies the public persona of the majority of middle-class women in Pakistan.
They weave their public selves from what they encounter in the bazaars and shops that they frequent. Far from the passive role that they are often prescribed in the public eye, they negotiate, cajole, conceal, even demand their way through their lives outside of their homes.
Any burqa-clad woman will attest to this. It is in this honed business of self that most women approach their daily lives outside their homes. Only very few of the educated upper-class women manage to find themselves in positions in the public sphere that leads to public policy roles or changes.
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In this fashion they are a rare icon of the progressive Eastern female in a male-dominated society. But it is with certain irony that the numerous roles of woman-agency that are accomplished on an everyday level in the lives of countless Pakistani women remain overlooked and often even misunderstood by not only the world, but by the upper-class women themselves who remain smug in the safety of their relative wealth and perceived better situation. Rarer still were visits by the precious-stone sellers in Kalabagh.
They, too, would come to our door and have some treasure in their tin trunks, their little stones carefully wrapped in tissue papers. The gem seller employed a different approach in displaying his stones. But, like the shawl-wallas, we gathered around him as well and listened to his stories about his gems as he tried to entice us with his fares. I would wait for him at the steps, longing for his presence and just pretending that I was admiring the range of mountains beyond the valley.
When the baker did finally arrive, opening his steel trunk to show a cornucopia of pastries, I could swoon in sheer delight from the warm, musty, sweet aromas wafting out of his trunk. As he put his heavy load down, and bent over to unlatch the top, I could imagine the sight of those puff rolls, lemon tarts, and my absolute favorite: These macaroons were gooier, chewier versions of macaroons I now buy in North America.
Living in the United States has meant at times a sad abdication of original tastes, sensations, and smells.
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Sadly too, the sojourns had to come to an end, and soon it would be time to say goodbye to our visit in Kalabagh. After having roamed in the sweet bliss of the mountains, we would hang up our leafy crowns as if in quiet abandonment of a silent kingdom.
The effect of having visited a paradise was more apparent upon our return. One would remain in a daze once one descended to the common terrestrial life. As if fallen angels from paradise, we were reminded again of the trivial engagements that awaited us.
Now when I think back, memories of the Himalayan landscape linger like a soft reminder of a past life, and Kalabagh rests like a forgotten laurel of happiness. If I would like to relive a joyful memory about Pakistan, I think of the dew on the ferns, or of the tall trees and the musky smell of rain on their pines. When this happened due to my surroundings in Colorado, I finally felt at home in my life in the United States.
On the other hand, prevenient grace can be used to re-interpret the understanding of Dao itself. This occurs when indigenous Christians have a cognitive faith in Christ, but continue with their cultural practices that are in contradiction or in syncretistic relationship with Christianity.
Confucian Christians may appear faithful by following rituals and carrying out good works, but may inwardly remain stagnant, not realizing the need for continued transformation and thus being unable to contextualize their faith in their environment.
As such, When Christians from the West encounter people of other cultures, both Christians and non-Christians, contextual issues invariably surface. The central question asks how the holistic nature of the gospel can be relevant to particular cultural contexts without filtering it through Western or primal world views. To this end, contextualization attempts to tell the truth of the gospel by making it culturally relevant without having it become culturally relative.
This is made possible because Wesleyan theology understands that God through prevenient grace is working through all cultures and as such indigenous culture holds a certain value and can be retained as long as it is consistent with scripture.
He would understand that indigenous cultures, even indigenous religions, are part of the process of revelation. Additionally, the Wesleyan understanding of prevenient grace in itself serves not merely as the door for contextualization, but may very well serve as its pathway when contextualized in the concept of Dao.
For example, the complementary Daoist perspective helps Chinese Christians to recognize the sovereignty of Christ in the world. Such an understanding is very similar to the description of Christ in Colossians 1: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
But once clarified, Dao re-defined through a Christologic lens provides a powerful contextual means of grace for Chinese Christians. Waltzing with Wesley 31 Fowler and Fowler For Chinese, one strives to be aligned and within the Dao in order to experience the fullness and harmony of life.
The Wesleyan understanding of prevenient grace well reflects this understanding of Dao. Unlike other Western theologians who understood grace as static and predominantly as pardon or unmerited forgiveness, following Eastern traditions, Wesley understood grace as dynamic and with the power to heal. Hence, as Dao is the force that enables humans to live life to the fullest, the Wesleyan understanding of prevenient grace through the biblical Dao expands and brings balance to the spiritual understanding of Chinese beyond the static, humanistic nature of Confucian Christianity.
But in the Chinese context, there is an added means of grace. It is merely part of a progressive revelation of identity. Pragmatic Integration Wesleyan theology can help Chinese Christians avoid split-level Christianity with its emphasis on pragmatic integration. It can serve as a corrective to the more ritualized and rigid caricature of Confucian-formulated Christianity, which tends to encourage rather than discourage split-level Christianity.
Chinese religious belief has always been pragmatic in nature Fowler and Fowler It rests not in creeds or confessions, but in what works. Consequently, Chinese religion relies heavily on divination and on the procuring of luck to enable success in life.
It is also the reason why Chinese religion is not distinct in nature, but an amalgamation of Chinese folk religion, Daoism, and Buddhism that is framed by Confucianism. It is how Chinese can be Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian all at the same time. None are true to form, but each are mongrels of interpenetrating beliefs and ideas. The Wesleyan understanding of religion provides a suitable companion for Chinese spirituality. It too emphasizes the practical and the pragmatic - and as the next subsection discusses, is able to integrate polarized ideas into a single system.
It is why E. Wesley would most likely have the same impact in the Chinese context. Wesleyan theology provides a Christian model for contextualizing a Chinese worldview.
The Chinese world view seeks harmony, even with opposing forces. The Chinese world view recognizes that all parties have their proper place.
Additionally, there is an understanding that each party is interconnected with others and defined by others. For example, consider the critical forces of yin and yang. They appear to be opposing forces. But as discussed previously, they are not dichotomous nor in competition. Rather, they work together to balance and even define the other. The Fowlers write, Yin and yang are complementary essences or forces.
Just as we cannot understand darkness without light or vice versa, and just as we need the variances of dark, light and shadow to see well, so yin and yang cannot exist without each other. So in being mutually dependent, yin and yang, like all opposites in Chinese thought, are complementary rather than oppositional.
One example that Wesleyan theology aids Chinese Christians is in the understanding of evil. As discussed earlier, the Daoist understanding of evil is that it is a result of disharmony and defined by relationship. Opposing forces are not as seen as part of a whole. But Wesleyan theology, being more relational, offers an alternate view that is more in harmony with the Chinese world view. We may now attain both higher degrees of holiness and higher degrees of glory than it would have been possible for us to attain if Adam had not sinned.
For if Adam had not sinned, the Son of God had not died. Consequently that amazing instance of the love of God to man had never existed which has in all ages excited the highest joy, and love and gratitude from his children.
But there would have been no place for love to God the Redeemer: Hence, more than integrating polarities, both Wesley and the Chinese worldview share a systemic understanding that all parties are interconnected and influence each other. Consider as well the example of the relationship between spiritual and physical health.
Unlike theologies derived from Western dualism, both Wesley and the Chinese see them as part of the same system. When one aspect is sick, the entire being is sick. As such, it is important to maintain a healthful balance so that body and spirit are healthy. Chinese place great emphasis in maintaining good health. Herbal remedies are available for any and every ailment. Tai-chi is practiced by millions every morning. And holistic treatments such as acupuncture serve to keep the forces in the body in proper balance so the spirit is unencumbered.
We wait until we get ill before we help our bodies. It was with this understanding that he published his Primitive Physick. For the Chinese Christians, this would be but a confirmation of their indigenous cultural world view. Amor Prohibido is credited with catapulting Tejano music into mainstream success resulting in sales to listeners previously unfamiliar with the genre.
In MarchSelena was murdered by her friend and former manager of her Selena Etc. Amor Prohibido is the second-highest certified Latin album in the United States trailing only her posthumous album Dreaming of Youthe fourth best-selling Latin album in the USthe best-selling Tejano recording of the s, and remains the best-selling Tejano recording of all time. Amor Prohibido has been ranked among the most essential Latin recordings of the past 50 years by Billboard magazine.
NPR ranked the album number 19 on their list of the greatest albums made by women; it was the highest-ranking album by a female Latin artist, and ninth highest-ranking recording by a woman of color. Production and development Following the release of Selena 's third studio album Entre a Mi Mundo and the launch of a clothing boutique in , the singer and her band began working on Amor Prohibido.
B] left the studio trusting me to put together a solo that would work [for "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom"]. I remember thinking, "this song is going to be huge" because I felt it the way A. I wanted to create a radical guitar solo that would truly blend a hard rock sound into a Tejano cumbia, in much the same way Selena and I had grown up in traditional families to become a contemporary couple.
I wanted, more than anything, to support the rich, optimistic sound of Selena's singing with my guitar.