Skip to main content

People - 2nd

Learning to Chew

Christopher Ruder, Beloit College

Living Routes Tamil Nadu, India, Fall 2007

It took this patient gentleman several minutes to teach me how to properly fold and chew the betel leaves he was selling, but I remember each one of the on-looking vendors smiled triumphantly with me when I succeeded. But this photograph is important to me not because I learned to chew and spit betel, but because this instance is one of the few when my white skin, privilege, and wealth allowed me to truly assume the role of pupil in India, and to practice what post-colonialist author Edward Said calls the "unlearning of the inherent dominative mode."

<Previous - Next>

This photo may not be reproduced or used in any way without the express, written consent of the photographer.

Photo by Christopher Ruder, Beloit College