Cultural Ignorance

Last night I had to call 911, because I heard gunshots outside my apartment — first there were two shots, evenly spaced, and then three in a row, very fast.  Sounded like a small-caliber pistol, I told the operator.  (This being Texas, she didn’t bother to ask me how I could guess the caliber.)

Anyway, the cops arrived, and then a fire engine.

Not gunshots:  fireworks.

Of course, “fireworks” never occurred to me as a choice because I’m culturally ignorant, and had no idea that it’s Diwali Time, here in Little Hyderabad, Plano (that’s what they call it, because there are so many people from that city living in the area).

That would also explain why so many apartment patios are festooned with light strings — they’re not premature Christmas lights (which is what I mistakenly thought) but Diwali lights, which is apparently a whole ‘nother thing.  So instead of living amidst a large number of Christian folk, I’m surrounded, so to speak, by Diwali devotees.  (Okay, I knew that already.)

Anyway, I felt a bit of a fool for calling 911 just about fireworks, but I guess that’s what happens when you don’t get the appropriate memo from the Ministry of Cultural Assimilation.  And honestly?  these were loud bangs, so my confusion is quite understandable.  (I had the 1911 in hand while peering through the curtains and making the 911 call.)

Anyway, the morons who set off the fireworks got their pee-pees whacked both by the Fuzz and the Apartment Lords, as setting off fireworks in these parts is Streng Verboten.  (We have an extensive forest on both sides of the nearby creek, surrounded by empty grass fields that have somehow escaped the attention of property developers, hence the fire risk and prohibition.)

And by the way:  the cops were on the spot in about three minutes:  nothing like “Shots fired” over the old 911 to get the donuts dropped and the engines running.  But of course if there had been gunshots, three minutes is far too long.

This is Kim, your local Cultural Ignoramus, signing off.


  1. It’s a good thing you furnished a link; I had never heard of Diwali til just now. I’m reminded of a time when I were a yewt. We heard a loud bang from across the street, followed by a blood curdling scream and extensive cursing & wailing. Dad headed over with his .357, joined by a neighbor with his 12 gauge. Turns out a homemade still had gone boom, obliging the lady of the house to receive treatment for burns & lacerations. Maybe not as fun as Diwali, but you can’t fault rednecks for their initiative.

  2. Kim,
    Here in my little sliver of Lake County, IL .. we had the same thing. I didn’t immediately jump to “it must be gunfire” as the sound wasn’t quite right, but it did take me a few moments to figure out the “curry crowd” was shooting off fireworks for Diwali.
    – Brad

  3. Yeah, the cultural ignorance is strong in me. I worked with two gentlemen, both religiously Islamic. They did the whole Ramadan fasting thing – which included no drinking of water during a hot South Texas summer. Guess which malcontent had to cover extra field work for them to avoid having one or the other drop dead? Grrrr. But they did volunteer to cover Christmas, so guess that’s ok.

    In any event I followed pure self-preservation instinct and didn’t bother asking anything about background. Honestly didn’t care, I just assumed they were some generic middle easterner, we get plenty of those types. Later one of them told me he was Indian (dot, not feather). I just spurted out “are you fucking serious? I thought Indians hated Muslims?” Apparently they swing both ways or something. Anyway, I got the full cultural Diwali training after that. For whatever it’s worth.

    Also funny watching two Islamic dudes getting a company lunch of mixed BBQ and trying to pick out the pork from the beef parts. I was under the impression that to be (whatever their version of Kosher), that the beef couldn’t even touch the pork. Was told it’s the thought that counts.

    1. It’s with (seriously observant) Jews that the kosher stuff can’t even touch a surface that once touched the forbidden stuff, lest there be some microscopic particle carried over. And it’s not just pork, shellfish, and other forbidden creatures. Beef and cheese are both kosher, but a cheeseburger isn’t, because mixing meat and milk are forbidden. But it goes beyond that; a fully observant Jewish household either has two kitchens and two sets of plates and silverware to keep the meat meals and dairy meals separate, or they have to choose one.

      That seems to be the result of circles of rabbis sitting around ever since 73 AD wondering how their ancestors might have offended God so much He allowed the destruction of the Temple and the scattering of the Jewish people. It’s documented in the Talmud. They’ve spent over a millennia thinking up ways they might have accidentally transgressed one of the taboos, and inventing elaborate safeguards to ensure it can’t happen again.

      Of course, they never even considered what others might think are two likelier reasons for that series of disasters: (1) They were never God’s chosen people; if they were, would God have sent their small tribe to live on the invasion routes between the great powers in Egypt and Mesopotamia? (2) God sent them a Messiah, and they asked the Romans to crucify him.

      Muslims are more practical about such things, because they won’t believe they’ve lost Allah’s favor even after several centuries of defeats. Would they start questioning Allah if we nuked Mecca and drove the survivors to live in Antarctica?

  4. Given the current state of world affairs, I’d rather have neighbors who celebrate Diwali than ones who celebrate Ramadan, if you get my drift. Of course, my top choices would be Christmas and Hanukkah.

  5. I’m not sure how all this makes you a “cultural ignoramus”.

    As Indians living in America, it seems to me their display shows their cultural ignorance.

    If you were living in India and called the cops, you would be the ignorant one.

    This is the problem with “immigrants”, they come here to claim their piece of America for wherever the fuck they came from, not to become Americans.

    If you’re going to live somewhere foreign to you and want to be accepted, you have to blend, not beat everyone around you in the head with your “diversity”.

  6. Living down here on the border of Dallas, with a shitty apartment complex a block away, I’m a relative expert in happy/unhappy fire vs. fireworks. It was the pattern that threw you off.

    On another note- I’m sick to death of everything [insert race here]. All black all the time. Now all joo, all the time. I’m starting to see pajeet commercials now. I guess their time is coming.

  7. You’ve heard of John Fetterman, the cognitively-disabled congresscritter.

    You may not know that Fetterman, back before he had his strokes, once heard some fireworks noise outside his home. These sounds put Fetterman in mind of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and Fetterman just knew this was his personal occasion to be the Hero Of Sandy Hook.

    So Fetterman grabbed a shotgun, ran outside, and accosted the first person he met. Lucky for Fetterman, the victim was a leftist fellow-traveler, and declined to press multiple felony charges. Fetterman then lied to the public about some of the details of what he had done, but never admitted to any regrets, always insisting he did the right thing.

    1. Fetterman or Festerman as he is more accurately known, has been a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure for decades before and after his stroke. He is absolutely incapable of executing his duties as a US Senator or any other position of responsibility. He belongs at home recovering from his debilitating stroke and his numerous health problems.


    2. So the stroke (from internal or external causes) caused less cognitive loss than he and his handlers want to admit.

  8. The plus side of Indians next door(the red-dot type, not the Apache type) is the variety of food.

    BTW, Kim, do you know what the red dot on a young unmarried Indian woman is?

    It’s a scratch-off for her new husband, to see if he got a hotel or a restaurant

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