Education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq

Since I’ve had beauty pageant winners on the brain, I thought I’d share this video with the five of you who haven’t seen and rolled your eyes at it yet. I mean, that’s what I did once I realized what she meant by “condone” (way to kinda fake us out on the News Tab, oh person with unintelligible TypeKey handle).

Natasha Paracha is Miss Pakistan World 2008. She’s an alumna of U.C. Berkeley (go bears!), where she majored in Poli-Sci and started an association for Pakistani students. When she’s not confusing important words which commence with the letter “C” ;) , she’s thinking about current events, about which she had the following to share:

The recent tragedy in Mumbai was the work of misguided individuals who do not represent a specific religion, creed or nationality…The fact these young men may have links to Pakistan is in no way indicative of the culture and caliber of people that represent Pakistan. It is my hope the world views this tragedy with those thoughts in mind as we all mourn for the victims and their families. [link]

More:

The tragedy in Mumbai has left us all in shock. It is difficult to understand that such violent acts are taking place in metropolitan regions. First, the attacks that were carried out at Marriott in Islamabad and now this…I have family and friends that live close to the Taj and Oberoi and my heart goes out to all those innocent people involved. [link]

All right, now which one of you (or ten of you) went to Cal with her and have stories about that one time she got her belly pierced at Zebra on a dare, and it, like, totally got infected? Oh, snap…that was me. Carry on, bear cubs and mutineers…

177 thoughts on “Education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq

  1. 92 · Manju said

    Who amongst us has not condomed the wrong person at the wrong time?

    you are a wise, wise, man, manju – but apparently, not wise enough to have avoided condoming the wrong person (or letting the wrong person condome you, as the case may be).

  2. (i.e., hosted by members of the Pakistani diaspora and pretty much exclusive to specific ethnic groups / elites)

    Which specific ethnic groups are these events restricted to and who gets excluded?

    1. I did not read any of the 106 preceding.
    2. I am pleased to hear some relatable voices coming out of Pakistan. I do not want to hear more people passing the buck and rhetoric and crazies spouting phrases like Hindu-Zionism etc. any more. Please give me some young educated people speaking from BOTH sides of the border.
    3. That being said: Condemn? Condone? Berkeley? Really?
  3. Okay, I just went on to her wiki page and am concerned it may have been hack-bombed. “Involuntary flatulence?” Really? Either that or I am just easily surprised today.

  4. Please stay on topic, people. I have deleted two comments which did not, plus another one which referenced those.

    Additionally, please do not use this post as an excuse to insult the girl’s health or appearance (and if you are going to do that, have the decency to use your real name and email address, else you’re just a troll). If you want to insult CNN for setting up this interview, feel free. But Natasha is a real person, and she may be reading this; yes, she is a public figure, she went to one of the best schools in the country, blah blah blah…but a little kindness goes a long way.

  5. 68 · mockfest said

    Good job! Apparently, you are incapable of avoiding stupidity even when under no pressure, and when you have all the time in the world. Mocking her, which this post was essentially an invitation for, deserves as much respect as picking on comments for their typos and spelling errors. But, hey, carry on – you are only as pathetic as what you derive your pleasure from!

    You’re so predictable, I knew when I’d log in this morning, you’d have a comment like this up. I can now confirm you’re dating Paracha. Just kidding. Take a chill pill, and don’t have a heart attack snookums. You make me smile, and I’m glad to see how happy you are in life. May you always be this content. If not, try http://www.shaadi.com

    1. Regardless of anything she said, WHY would she wear her pageant sash on CNN. I would think that her experience at the UN and as Chairperson of Pakistani affairs would be something she’d much rather “show off”

    2. She definitely should have prepared. At least Miss South Carolina was put on the spot and didn’t know what she would be asked.

    3. I’m not hating on her, Natasha is def a strong and accomplished woman. But I won a small pageant once and I don’t think that adds ANYTHING to my accomplishments. I really feel if she had emphasized being an ambassador instead of “as miss pakistan world” she would’ve elicited a better response

  6. 74 · MD said

    4. Paklegal – stick around. You are fun.

    The purpose of my commentary wasn’t to bash Paracha to a pulp, although I may have almost achieved that level, but really to vent frustration at this whole Pakistani image that is just making me cringe. The country image is almost hopeless. Add the Prime Minister is a mob boss, who may have orchestrated the murder of his wife. And we get Paracha to ice the cake? Paracha whether I like it or not represents me. And millions of people will view her as the country’s spokesperson, whether I like it or not. That itself is wrong. I refuse to accept her as this Miss Pakistan. BS. She should have been referenced as a UN volunteer, or whatever her title is. This contest she entered in my opinion, is not ligitimate. In our community, this is a wannabe Ash. Ash REALLY entered a ligitimate contest. Ash IS eligible to represent India. Paracha cannot equate to this.

  7. 84 · ShallowThinker said

    Inglesman, you sound like a blast to hangout with. I really mean that. I say that with not a ounce of sarcasm. I am not playing around. Really, Im not. For real. Not joking at all.

    I want to hangout with Inglesman first.

  8. 80 · TeraBaap said

    Paklegal, you can have my copy if you would like. I will highlight the amusing sections for you. Holla!

    I need this book. I’m going to use it as a shoe towards Paracha! May she won’t duck as fast. But thank you for your amusing comments, this is the first time I’m posting any comments, I’ve been a SM fan for years. You know I also technically Indo/Pak with my Indo roots in Mumbai, so we may be related. TeraBaap I hope we cross paths again, you were a blast.

  9. I need this book. I’m going to use it as a shoe towards Paracha!

    paklegal, sweetums, I’m going to throw Manolos at you – because you’re fabulous!

  10. 113 · paklegal said

    93 · TeraBaap said
    Paklegal, please come back into our lives
    What is I was Natasha? Would you still feel the same? :-)

    You two love Natasha, it took me a while to figure out but there it is, out in the open now :)

  11. 117 · ROMEO 86 said

    You two love Natasha, it took me a while to figure out but there it is, out in the open now :)

    Yes yes. Don’t we all? I would shaadify her…except I’m a woman and CA’s Prop 8 said nuh-uh.

  12. 115 · paklegal said

    I need this book. I’m going to use it as a shoe towards Paracha!

    Ok, I don’t know what happened to my previous comment. Maybe I didnt press post properly. Eh? Now the repost isn’t going to be as funny. Oh well. Ok so I was saying that since I have the Autobiography of Sheerz Hassan (The American Dream), if any LA Mutineer’s would like to meet up for a holiday coffee shop reading, holla! (click on my name for my email address). The sub-heading to his book is, “It all started with a prayer at the Hollywood sign” Sharing is caring, and since I care, I shall share.

    BengaliTigress-I saw the CNN clip with Sumaya. It was great. She’s awesome and actually knows what she is talking about.

  13. rob, she’s an ECOSOC intern.

    (i.e., hosted by members of the Pakistani diaspora and pretty much exclusive to specific ethnic groups / elites)

    Ms. Pak World is often heavily Punjabi/Sindhi dominated, in part because of the socioeconomic slant (i.e., more Sindhis/Punjabis living diasporically, esp. highly educated ones, thus higher representation overall). There isn’t any formal exclusion, just de facto exclusion. E.g., there’s representation from Balochistan/NWFP, but it often seems tokenistic (if it happens at all). This is just my observation; I don’t mean to peddle it as authoritative.

    It’s paklegal Camilla Parker Bowles :-)

    Whoops and ouch! :)

  14. Once again, in defense of Natasha, I’m sure she’s more than qualified to weigh in on a serious global issues, including Indo-Pak relations, and CNN was right to have her on. After all, she can see Pakistan from her porch and has direct access to the Prime Minister of Asia.

    I regret mocking her earlier, and will take my punishment–which no doubt will include her condoming me repeatedly–like a man.

  15. Next year, I am sad to admit that I will resemble that remark. :( I was last in Kerala in 1989. I am grateful you wrote ABD vs. the other acronym, which makes me want to punch someone. :)

    Oh that is a long time. Get on the plane and get back in touch with your roots. Spend a year with indicops or some such group. India has as much to gain from you as you have to gain from India. As for confused ABDs – we are all confused – just to varying degrees. I dont think ABDs are any more confused than other upper middle class educated “reconstructed” whites

  16. She chose her words poorly. So much so that her intent was completely reversed.

    The attacks against her for this reason have nothing to do with the fact she’s Pakistani. We would be saying the same things if she were Indian, Hispanic, Black, Swedish, whatever.

    You need to be able to separate criticism from some India vs Pakistan thing. This has nothing to do with I vs P. It’s about the words she used. If she were just the stereotypical pageant queen, I think we would think of this a little differently. But she’s a graduate of Cal… a good school… so, yeah, I think criticism is fair. Especially considering she’s on INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION.

    Thanks.

  17. The comment was explicitly racist/gendered (even if that wasn’t the writer’s initial intent).

    your response is even more ludicrous. You have assigned a whole of meanings to one lined comment. Yes, you are a great passionate ardent supporter of Af-Am but it is a very shallow and hypocritical stance. You have selective vision – nothing wrong with that as long you dont misrepresent yourself to be unbiased. You have never commented against the inordinate bias in Sport eg Basketball or bias in Teaching. And Affirmative programs do have a lower standard of admissions than the general ones. True around the world. You were on an admissions committee – jeez – that must have been one biased intake. And if everyone were college educated – who becomes the plumbers? illegal immigrants ? I dont agree with the mocking of Natasha and I dont agree with her getting onto CNN representing Pakis.

    Merry Xmas & Happy New Year everyone – my last comment for the year.

  18. I’m sure you all have gotten a laugh out of this interview. There were a lot of elements out of my control, but at least you all are talking now. I urge you all to take a stance and make a difference for your country. We come from one of the most unstable region’s on the world.

  19. 124 · melbourne desi said

    Next year, I am sad to admit that I will resemble that remark. :( I was last in Kerala in 1989. I am grateful you wrote ABD vs. the other acronym, which makes me want to punch someone. :)
    Oh that is a long time. Get on the plane and get back in touch with your roots.

    I love how people (here and elsewhere) assume that I haven’t wanted to go. I would love to go. There are reasons why I haven’t gone back, not the least of which is the considerable cost. Some of you comment as if going to India is easy! It’s not possible for all of us. Be grateful if it is possible for you (or if people you love are still alive, to see).

    India has as much to gain from you as you have to gain from India. As for confused ABDs – we are all confused – just to varying degrees. I dont think ABDs are any more confused than other upper middle class educated “reconstructed” whites

    That first sentence about India having as much to gain as I do…that was the kindest thing you wrote. Thank you for that. Not sure what to make of the “reconstructed whites” concept, but I found it disconcerting.

  20. Before someone asks, we don’t know if that’s the real Natasha. The IP for that comment is from Herndon, VA. Natasha lives in New York, as far as we know.

    Even if it isn’t her, it’s a worthwhile sentiment, which is why we didn’t delete it.

  21. There were a lot of elements out of my control,

    No dictionary?

    We come from one of the most unstable region’s on the world.

    That is so not true. It’s just not, if we look at current events globally. Places that are really, really unstable right now are the like the Congo (over 5.4 million dead), genocide in Rwanda, and so on. Pakistan and South Asia may not be perfect and institutions may not be strong, democracy has a long ways to come, communal killings, etc, yes, but it’s definitely not explosively unstable like some other places.

  22. 129 · Desi Italiana said

    That is so not true. It’s just not, if we look at current events globally. Places that are really, really unstable right now are the like the Congo (over 5.4 million dead), genocide in Rwanda, and so on. Pakistan and South Asia may not be perfect and institutions may not be strong, democracy has a long ways to come, communal killings, etc, yes, but it’s definitely not explosively unstable like some other places.

    Those places are unstable. As bad as it sounds though not enough people care because the problems that instability causes are largely restricted to the unstable countries and the states on their borders.

    The US/Pak problems, on the other hand, have potential to go nuclear and India is an important country geo-politically which means the rest of the world has a more obvious stake in what goes on there.

  23. melbourne desi, after (now) years of commenting back and forth on Sepia Mutiny, what your response shows me is that you have little to no information about me, my politics, my experience, or my worldview. I don’t really care to share it with you. This thread is not about affirmative action, and so I will not derail it further, but I’ll speak to at least two trends I’ve noticed as my commenting has decreased. 1) I did not (nor have I) made the argument that all opponents of affirmative action are racist. I have rarely called anyone a racist on the Mutiny or in the real world because I understand that it’s a loaded and complicated term, and for me at least speaks to a social order/construct. (I acknowledge that I have labeled commentary or positions as racist several times, but I think there’s a pretty big distinction between the two). 2) I know I am politically left of many people, including commenters on this site, but that doesn’t mean that my function or purpose here (on SM) is to be your caricature of what YOU think is a “left-wing, bleeding heart” political stance. I’m shallow? I’m a hypocrite? And what, so is everyone else who disagrees with you? Instead of constructing a straw (wo)man by misrepresenting or misclassifying or misunderstanding my political beliefs and rationals, maybe take some time to think of why I would bother to leave a lengthy response to a fleeting comment, aside from it being knee-jerk liberal screed. Or, maybe even offer a cogent explanation for what your disagreement is, because then we have somewhere to go. I try to do the same with regular commenters I engage with (and disagree with) on both counts, and it helps me understand the conversation a lot better. Shutting down the conversation by resorting to ad hominem attacks goes NOWHERE. Thanks, and have a great 2009.

  24. Natasha ex-boyfriend of three years is actually a close friend of mine. I can assure you she isn’t stupid. She was just having an off day. However, I do blame her for thinking India and Pakistan are actually friends. That was hysterical. She must have been trying to say nice things on purpose. Natasha’s character is known as being pretty fake to be honest.

  25. Ms. Pak World is often heavily Punjabi/Sindhi dominated, in part because of the socioeconomic slant (i.e., more Sindhis/Punjabis living diasporically, esp. highly educated ones, thus higher representation overall).

    Actually, there are relatively few Pakistani Muslim Sindhis in the diaspora. They are overwhelmingly an undereducated and poor community when compared to Pakistani Punjabis or Urdu-speakers (i.e.Muhajirs). Even anecdotally (take it for it’s worth), I can tell you I’ve only met two Sindhi Muslims in the US, whereas I’ve met hundreds of Muslim Punjabis and Urdu-speakers. In the UK also, Sindhi Muslims are a rarity. There are probably many more Indian Muslims (mainly Urdu-speakers) living in the diaspora than Pakistani Sindhi Muslims.

    Sindhi Hindus are another matter…they are very over-represented in the diaspora, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more of them living outside India than living in India right now (no research to back that up). Technically, even the ones living in India might be considered diasporic since their ancestral homeland of Sindh is not territorially within India.

    Kudos to Sindhi Muslims for one thing though…they have been very determined to hold on the Sindhi language in Pakistan and not led Urdu destroy it. They even have Sindhi-medium primary schools, unlike Pakistani Punjab where Punjabi is neither taught nor encouraged.

  26. She must have been trying to say nice things on purpose

    Of course, she is selling something (i.e. the idea of Pakistan as victim and partner in WoT) as is Ambassador Haqqani

  27. Sindh and lower Punjab (Siraiki speaking areas like Multan, Bawahalpur, etc.) were/are VERY feudal…certain landowning families/clans form the local nobility (and political class), whereas the majority of the population could well be considered serfs. Rights, opportunities, and education are all very limited for the latter. Prior to 1947, Sindhi Hindus were largely an urban/semi-urban trading community, who formed the intelligentsia and the literati (such as it was) and were essentially the educated portion of the population. Sort of like a middle-class although that’s probably not the best term for it. Their departure to India in 1947 was very harmful to Sindhi language and culture (Sindhi Muslims readily admit this, at least from what I’ve read), and left the area ripe for domination by Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from India who rapidly filled the vacuum and established Urdu culture as the most dominant one adn themselves as the local urban elite.

  28. I thought we were done talking about Natasha (I certainly was). But then I saw today’s NY Times and vomited on my shoes. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/nyregion/19bigcity.html “This month, she went on CNN to urge her country to stand up and condemn the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, except that she accidentally used the word condone. Fortunately, it was clear from the context what she meant, and no international incidents ensued. (Slip of the tongue or not, her comments were an improvement on those of a previous Miss Pakistan: calling President Musharraf a “hunk” she’d like to date.)”

    See what you all did! All you Mutineers making fun of her! Chee. But wait wait… “In future global competitions, Ms. Paracha, an observant Muslim, says yes, she’d be willing to wear a bikini (there was no bathing suit event in this year’s Miss Pakistan competition, though there has been twice since 2002).”

  29. 126 · Natasha Paracha said

    I’m sure you all have gotten a laugh out of this interview. There were a lot of elements out of my control, but at least you all are talking now. I urge you all to take a stance and make a difference for your country. We come from one of the most unstable region’s on the world.

    Is that part about Cheesy Burritos in your Wiki Bio true? I’m partial to occasional Churro or Chalupa myself.

  30. Serious list of questions, Would your reaction be the same if instead of this semi-hot pakistani chick it was: Be Honest… 1) Semi-hot Indian chick. 2) Hot(to really hot, I’m talking 10′s here) Indian chick 3) Hot(to really hot, I’m talking 10′s here) pakistani chick. 4) An Indian guy 5) Pakistani guy 6) India guy (from india, with lets say a gujju accent) 7) Pakistani guy (From pakistan, with I dont know Karachi(?,, dont want to say punjabi) accent 8) White guy

  31. Natasha and I used to be close friends at Cal so I know her well. She got into Cal through an extension program, not regular admission. I was shocked to find out that she not only works at the UN, but is Ms. Pakistan World. Natasha does not have the capacity to represent Pakistan. These beauty pageants aren’t worth much. If you have connections or money you’ll get a title eventually. She comes from a moneyed family and will only associate with people of her class. I’ve seen this since some of my friends have been involved with pageants over the years. Natasha is definitely opportunisitc and will take advantage of anyone if it helps her.

    I will give her this much…anyone can make a mistake, especially on TV when you’re nervous. But it’s a shame that a person like Natasha is actually Ms. Pakistan World.

  32. 140 · bw said

    But it’s a shame that a person like Natasha is actually Ms. Pakistan World.

    bw: were you awarded miss congeniality at least?

  33. She comes from a moneyed family and will only associate with people of her class.

    What, what–excellent breeding, I’d say.

    What is an “extension program” for admission? Does that mean transferring in from a community college after two years?

  34. What, what–excellent breeding, I’d say. What is an “extension program” for admission? Does that mean transferring in from a community college after two years?

    rob is vetting her. :P

    I like the outfit that she’s wearing in the NYT piece. Not many people can pull off that kind of patterned dress with patterned tights. You have to be tall and thin for that… so I’d like to add that in addition to bw’s comments that diasporic pageants like this make a big deal out of money and connections, the contestants obviously also need to be on the tall side, and thin. But I still don’t think she’s very attractive… I guess I just don’t ‘get’ it since I’m not a guy? And also, it’s not like pageants like this are great accomplishments, that making them equitable should be a Pakistani-American’s top priority–as opposed to actual women’s rights in Pakistan. I was kind of sickened by the compression of women’s rights and beauty pageants. Also she says that Pakistan doesn’t participate in beauty pageants because “it’s still a new country”–but India was created in the same year as well, and it still participates in actual beauty pageants, as does Sri Lanka.

  35. 126 · Natasha Paracha said

    I’m sure you all have gotten a laugh out of this interview. There were a lot of elements out of my control, but at least you all are talking now. I urge you all to take a stance and make a difference for your country. We come from one of the most unstable region’s on the world.

    Best public school in the country huh? Not Likely.

    Honestly, I’ve got nothing against Natasha. But judging by her interview, comment and emails, she may be one of those who is better off being seen and not heard…

  36. Being that I also was once Natasha’s friend, I agree that her family is very much into money and used her parent’s fortune to get her ahead in every way possible. She took advantage of everyone and everything that could get her ahead. Sadly, that included plastic surgery, which was actually quite sad for me to hear about. I can’t say she is a very nice person either. I’m really disappointed that the Pakistani community can’t see right through her.

    I do see how she won Miss Pakistan World though… the pageant was not highly competitive. The other contestants did not have much to offer either.

  37. 146 · Any Sadly, that included plastic surgery, which was actually quite sad for me to hear about.

    I’m sad that you’re so sad about plastic surgery. I hear it pays well, though. ;-)

  38. 13 · iddiyappam said

    Come on cut her some slack…she meant well :) Looked up her on Wiki and I am impressed “Paracha, who is currently living in New York, founded the Pakistani Student Association at UC Berkley and later a non-profit Vision of Development which works for the uplift of women in rural Pakistan.”

    Women in Pakistan should be empowered so that they, too, can parade half-naked around a mostly male audience, like Paracha.

  39. I’m not taking sides here, but I feel the need to point out that a LOT of pageant queens/contestants have had plastic surgery, so that in and of itself isn’t necessarily something to criticize. It’s not exactly unique.

  40. 149 · A N N A said

    I’m not taking sides here, but I feel the need to point out that a LOT of pageant queens/contestants have had plastic surgery, so that in and of itself isn’t necessarily something to criticize. It’s not exactly unique.

    Just like it is an issue for a Pakistani to parade around half naked like other beauty queens, it is also a huge issue that she got rhinoplasty in order to compete in it.

  41. Women in Pakistan should be empowered so that they, too, can parade half-naked around a mostly male audience, like Paracha.
    I guess I just don’t ‘get’ it since I’m not a guy? And also, it’s not like pageants like this are great accomplishments, that making them equitable should be a Pakistani-American’s top priority–as opposed to actual women’s rights in Pakistan.

    well, within the context of pakistani society, where the patriarchy forbids such events, i can certainly see how a woman could view such pageants as a liberating force. even outside this context, if we were to go universal, feminism is all about choices and the goal of liberation is not met by restricting women to granola careers. real feminism should allow for beauty queens, hedge fund managers, soldiers, and centerfolds.

    Women in Pakistan should be empowered so that they, too, can parade half-naked around a mostly male audience, like Paracha.
    Just like it is an issue for a Pakistani to parade around half naked like other beauty queens, it is also a huge issue that she got rhinoplasty in order to compete in it.

    Again, as far as this is a feminist issue, it should be all about choice. feminists are not pro-abortion, they are pro-choice. so breast implants or nose jobs should be viewed like abortion. feminist men like myself and todd palin owe a great debt to women like natasha.