Mr. Poo is an excellent subject for my introductory blog post (that’s right, Lady Procrastinator over here, hello). What a wonderful example of using media and potty humor to spread the message of a serious social issue. This might not be the most tailored blog post, but I’ll be damned if anyone beats me to posting about this. It’s just too good.
Mr. Poo. the face of Unicef’s recent health campaign in India, aims to decrease the number of people defecating in public (which is estimated to be half the population, which is a lot of public poo). It’s a big task to take on, but I think Mr. Poo can handle it.
The humor in the video is interesting because it mixes more juvenile/cartoon graphics with a funny, catchy tune that just happens to drop verbal shit bombs many times over (pun intended). Am I that square that I didn’t think an organization like Unicef would use (what is commonly referred to as) a profanity in a campaign? Does the word shit have a different place in India as far as social acceptance goes? Or is Mr. Poo and his Bollywood-dancing poo fools just that bad ass?
There is a definite entertainment factor to Mr. Poo and his jingle, but is the video effective? Do you think it will inspire change, like the radio show Taru did in Abirpur?
In April of 2013, I was asked “Wanna go to India?” Now, I can imagine what is rolling through some of your minds right now… Some of you are thinking,
What is in India?
What would you eat?
It is dirty!
For how long?
While others of you are thinking,
What a great opportunity!
So much to see!
The cultural experience would be awesome!
Well, trust me, when I was asked to go, I thought all of those things myself.
My initial reaction was that I was a student and I had heard that internet accessibility was not the greatest, and remembered that I am not a fan of Indian cuisine… and how would native people react to me being in India?
I have a lot of friends that I consider world travelers and have visited so many places and experienced so many cultures but I had not yet had the opportunity to do so. They were telling me about all of the things I would need to bring – nets for sleeping, gallons of bug spray, small packages of American snacks — in preparation. Which honestly, made me a little more worried to go!Not to mention the scary names on the shots I would have to get at the travel clinic.
Working things out with school, I went. The travel was long (about 24 hours was the shortest route I could find). On the packed fights, were interesting people to chat with and hear their travel plans. Upon arriving to Bangalore, the airport was full of chaos- long security lines, few people that spoke English, security guards with machine guns, and the list goes on…
The travel to the hostile that I stayed in was a bit depressing. A late night drive through downtown where people were sleeping on cardboard boxes and had a few branches nuzzled together for a pillow, people begging at the car doors without fingers, stores that looked tattered and dirty with the dust that was picking up and blowing from the streets. This was reality for the days to come.
I stayed in Bangalore to two weeks. Much to my dismay, I loved every little bit- congestion, traffic and horns, seeing how others live. I went, I tasted some amazing food, and I met a whole new network of peers and friends. Even though this is the actuality of Bangalore and there were some pretty disheartening things that I experienced, there were some very beautiful parts of my trip. I got to see temples, become associated with the game of Cricket, went to some authentic stores (even though the population there really enjoys their American stores in the Malls), and even food that I could not live without and everyone should try (Masala Dosa)!
I encourage anyone who has the opportunity, whether for work or play, to travel to India. It is a fascinating place to explore. As we have all heard before, “the world is your oyster”. Make the most of what we are give and experience all that you can. Whether you are five or fifty years old, you should take the time to explore. I took the time to be mesmerized by my findings while I was in India and I think you would be fascinated as well. This is just the just the beginning of my adventures to come and this has only got me started.