What a world we live in

March 03, 2005

I do, from time to time, take pleasure in criticizing the country I live in. And there are quite a few problems we have to deal with here, but honestly, after watching another installment of one of the better programs of Austrian National TV, aptly titled “World Journal”, I feel like I live in one of the best places on earth. Let’s see what segments they had yesterday:

The orthodox church of Greece, which still acts as a national church, is tangled up in a web of sex-, crime- and corruption-scandals. Only now people are starting to call for laicism, which has been common practice in any other European country. Here’s a link.

Then there was a segment about the second largest city in Columbia, Cali, which has two million citizens, of which at least 8 are killed – per fucking day. It’s the result of a US sponsored war against the drug lords, since now the problem has shifted from highly governed drug dealing to fights between hundreds of rivaling street gangs. And not only do people die, there are thousands which are disabled as a result of street crime.

Finally, and this was by far the strangest segment of the whole program: Bride-abduction in Kyrgyzstan, the little country in central Asia. Formerly Russia governed, it is now independent, and old traditions are again revived. One of these traditions is that men steal their brides. How does that happen? Well, they used to abduct them and bring them back on their horse-carriage, nowadays they use cars, and if they don’t have a car, they use a taxi. One young man, whom the camera will be following later on on his abduction tour, when asked why he likes the girl he has in mind, simply states: “Because she will milk the cows.” WHAT?? Well, the camera follows the man to the nearest town, where he ventures with his buddies in order to find the woman he’s infatuated with, of whom he only knows that she works at the market. Unfortunately they can’t find her, so they ask a girl working at a vodka-booth for details on the bride-to-be. She refuses to tell them her name or address, resulting in them being a bit miffed. And what do they decide? To take the vodka girl!
They actually abduct the vodka girl, and the next day, when the reporter goes back to the young man’s house, the women of the family have been trying for ten hours straight already to put the bridal veil onto the head of the girl (wearing the bridal veil means accepting the marriage – go figure), who’s in no way willing “to milk the cows” for the rest of her life. In the end, she struggles so much that they let her go. The women of the family curse her, and hope she’ll give birth to an alcoholic someday. Some reasoning! For details, here’s a link to an interview with the maker of the segment.

Well, that’s the world for you, in three little segments. That program is perfect for stirring up some heavy patriotic feelings.