Taboo

I’ve been watching the show Taboo lately. It’s about different cultures and what they find “taboo,” though the show’s creators certainly are quite liberal in their application of the word “taboo.” (They seem to think it means “something that Americans might find strange.”)

While its American-centricity irks me, as well as the fact that many of the segments are repeats from other NatGeo channel shows, I do enjoy the show quite a bit. There’s lots of babywearing and breastfeeding.

One particularly favorite segment featured women in prison in India. These women were mothers. Their children were in prison with them. When they interviewed the Americans about this, they invariably said “why punish the children because the mothers committed a crime?” And when they interviewed the Indians about this, they invariably said “why punish the children because the mothers committed a crime?”

Yeah. Indian culture values motherhood. And breastfeeding. They believe that nobody else can care for the children as well as their mother can. I chuckle a bit every time I think of the American and the Indian uttering the same phrase, but with entirely opposite meanings. Culture.

(That’s not the only reason this is allowed – the country also has a huge problem with homeless children begging on the streets, which is where many of these children would end up without their mothers. Also, most of the women haven’t been convicted – they’re awaiting trial. Some for 5 plus years.)

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