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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Indian Independence Day/Mismade Flag (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LMLipman
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Falls Church, Va.
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I frequently do first birthday celebrations for Indian families in Northern Virginia and the Washington, DC area and I have one booked for this Sunday. In talking with the family to confirm last minute details, they informed me that this Sunday is also Indian Independence Day. They were wondering if I might do anything with that.

My immediate thought was to do a variation of mismade flag. I don't know if anyone makes a commercial mismade flag with an Indian flag motif; even if they do I doubt I could obtain it before Sunday.

Obviously, I could start with orange, white and green silks. I'm still working out the middle, and then produce a proper Indian flag.

My question, for my Indian friends on this list, is whether it would be appropriate to perform a mismade flag-type trick and ultimately produce an Indian flag? My American mismade flag trick is based on Silly Billy's version (Abe Lincoln, top hat, balloon beard).

Any thoughts would be welcome.
Larry Lipman
Lorenzo the Great
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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Bob Sanders who is the magic Café grammar superviser might be able to help.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kabanning
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Indian as in from India or Indian as in First Nations people?

If it's First Nations people, it gets just a little stickier because there are so many different kinds of groups with different kinds of traditions and social taboos. For example, some First Nations groups are okay with images of snakes while others will be very offended by them. However, turtles are almost universially accepted as a good luck symbol. You have to excersize a lot of care when dealing with First Nations. Even when you present their culture in the most positive light possible, they can still get offended as was the case with the 2010 Olympic games.

If you're dealing with people from India, they don't seem to be nearly as verbal about what they are offended by. In their culture, it is more respectful to tell a white lie so that the other person can walk away happy. For example, if you stopped and asked for directions and they didn't know where the place you were looking for was, they would make up directions and send you on your way. It is important not to see this as rude but as a form of respect. When I worked at tutoring English for an Indian student, I noticed some of these qualities. It is also important to be very patient with them. Also, be careful doing anything with cows as they are very sacred creatures in their culture.

As for your mismade flag routine, with First Nations you might want to excersize more care but as for Indian, they might like it but still, it is best to err on the side of caution. One thing that you might want to do is research what goes on at an Indian Independence day and see what you can incorporate in to your show.
LMLipman
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Quote:
On 2010-08-10 10:04, Kabanning wrote:
Indian as in from India or Indian as in First Nations people?



Indian as in the country of India, which achieved independence from Britain on Aug. 15, 1947.
Larry Lipman
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LMLipman
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Quote:
On 2010-08-09 22:09, Al Angello wrote:
Bob Sanders who is the magic Café grammar superviser might be able to help.


Bob: Al makes a good suggestion. Do you have anything along these lines? It might be a good investment since I do so many shows for people from India.
Larry Lipman
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Louis LaLaurie
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Well, the ARE Indians living in AMERICA. I'm betting they'll be just as patriotic, recognize their new flag and think that the original (Mismade Flag) is just as funny as everyone else....granted you think the Mismade Flag is funny.
Perhaps we should see if Bob can make a flag for all the nationalities in our great country: Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Africa, Ireland, Poland, England, Canada, Russia, France...you know, I think it's racist when magicians ONLY have the American Flag. A REAL magician has the flag for whatever nationality calls.
c.mcbrien
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I completely agree with Louis.
It's kind of like people asking "do you do a show in Spanish". My answer: "No, I live in America. We speak English here".
"Drama and ego are great for the stage, but when I'm off the stage, I drop all that crap..and don't put up with any!"

http://www.chrismcbrien.com
MagicSanta
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I'm going to assume Louis and Chris are..are...I have no idea....

Note that my wife was a teacher in a school that was about 80% Indian, they are very fun and good natured people and most outsiders don't realize it. Do not underestimate them, great folks.

Indian Indepencence day has as a major component the raising of the Indian flag. To produce the flag might be more impressive to be honest with you. I'd consider a blendo production after producing the three main colors of silk and some how the symbol in the center of the flag. One thing to keep ind mind, when producing the flag the saffron (orangy color) is always on top if horizontal. Remember that compared to many people Indians are VERY nationalistic and you need to respect that flag. Until 2002 regular civilians were not even allowed to have the flag only the govt had them. Do NOT incorporate anything to do with the British, nor play the pipes while chasing them around.

If you are going to do a presentation you might as well know what the present flag represents.

The Saffron is the top stripe and called Bhagwa. It represents that the leaders should be indifferent to material gains and be dedicated to their work.

The white stripe represents light or the path of truth used to guide conduct.

The green represents the soil or relationship to plants which all life depends.

The symbol in the center is the Ashoka Chakra is the wheel of law of dharma. It represents that truth should be the controlling principle and virtue of those who live under the flag. The wheel represents peaceful change.

see? You can come up with a routine using all that and have 'em rolling on the floor laughing. Good luck.
c.mcbrien
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Santa,
You bring a much deeper element into this...

I'm going to be bold and say this:
I do a lot of Indian parties. They're very sweet people and they feed me well afterwards (I LOVE Indian food!).
I've used Mismade on the kids. It works. They all know what it is. I would never use an Indian flag....
Why? Because I'm not Indian, all flags have very personal meaning, and I get the gut instinct that if you make fun of it in any way shape or form...even unintended...you may get a bad reaction because you AREN'T Indian. You aren't part of what Santa just talked about. And if you think you'll do some kind of historical presentation based on what their flag means..well, someone NOT Indian explaining their own flag....c'mon.
However, we're all Americans here...so when you make fun of the American flag, it's your flag, their flag...so you can't go wrong because we all know, as Americans, that we love our flag..and that they're no harm meant.
If some DON'T get what I'm saying, then you won't get it.
If you do, you've done lots of parties for Indians like I have....
"Drama and ego are great for the stage, but when I'm off the stage, I drop all that crap..and don't put up with any!"

http://www.chrismcbrien.com
MagicSanta
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Yes and the flag is VERY significant to them and this holiday is focused on that flag. I wouldn't do it with their flag but I would consider a very respectful statement about the meaning of the flag and then blendo it...mayyyybe.

I'll be honest with you, I believe in the line that Chris brought up. Those people who run around looking for a mismade flag to do a trick with is rather insensative. Rule of thumb, if you are an American and want to goof on the US then do it in the US, if you go to another country and do it the you have crossed a line, if you are Irish and want to do an Irish flag in Ireland fine, do it here and it is disrespectful and if you are not Irish and you do it then it's on.

The blendo presentation is more of a lesson MINUS the screw ups ala Silly Billy and others. It can be done in a respectful manner. But hey, there are gospel magicians doing stuff every day that is so disrespectful it is amazing so do what you want....
kaytracy
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One could always ask the person who booked you if it would be an issue to have the flag 'produced' at the party. the Blendo sounds perfect. THEY likely already know what the colors stand for, so a short tale with just the highlights of the Bhagwa, light and earth, of their nation, held together by the Ashoka Chakra, and to represent that peaceful change, upon the addition of the chakra, the pieces become unified.
I might suggest an ornate container be used, not a TT blendo, or anything where the separate parts are shoved, mashed or handled in any way other than with respect and care.

AND if it were me, after production, I might be sure to present it very respectfully to the birthday person. Again clear it first to be sure there would be no issues from the parents.
k
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John Martin
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Jane and I use a tambourine to produce a large amount of streamers followed by a flag production. When we worked Parc Safari, a theme park, we finished by producing the park's flag. When we do an Italian festival we use the Italian flag etc. People really seem to appreciate the recognition and it gets a great reaction.

John
MagicSanta
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Diwali is coming up, that one is the light festival and you could do some fun stuff with that.
LMLipman
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Thanks, everyone for the comments, particularly MagicSanta for the extraordinary amount of information about the meaning of the Indian flag’s elements.

The idea for a presentation at this 1st birthday celebration actually came from the parents, who noted that the party is the same day as Indian Independence Day. We discussed a flag presentation. After reading all of the comments, I think I will stay away from trying to make this a Silly Billy-style comedy routine and go for a straight blendo-type affect getting three of the children to help me make the three different silks into the flag.

I don’t plan to dwell on this presentation at length or go overboard—after all, as pointed out I’m not of Indian heritage. But I think having the children “produce” a flag magically should work.
Larry Lipman
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Al Angello
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Lorenzo
Your first inquiry about this Indian flag thing was on August 9th for a party on August 15th, and you have been casually asking people to give you their opinion for the past four days. Boy we sure do work differently, because I would have been on the phone calling every silk magic dealer under the Sun on August 9th, and biteing my finger nails trying to get something appropriate to me on time.

GOOD LUCK SUNDAY
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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I would think it would go over big if you simply got a switch bag and put an Indian flag it it showed it empty and pulled out the flag for the baby. It would go over big.

Indians are really fun. I use to do a lot of work for them and did many Christmas parties for the Indian kids. This comment isn't for Lipman who already knows this but for the majority who really have not dealt with this community.
amazingvijay
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>>Indians are really fun.

Yes, we are Smile As a Indian magician in the California Bay Area what I find is that a lot of people from India appreciate "classic" magic. In my show, I do many classic effects and get everyone to participate in the show with me. They respond very well and definitely get into it esp. tricks like Hippity Hop Rabbits, etc.

A mismade Indian flag trick is available from magic dealers but in India - I have not seen one here in the US. I usually use an American flag for this.

BTW, I am an American citizen now.

Vijay
N California Bay Area magician
http://www.amazingvijay.com
MagicSanta
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Just to let you folks know Vijay is a very good childrens performer and does a good solid show. Vijay, I've not seen you in a couple years, good to see you here.
Kabanning
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Quote:
On 2010-08-11 18:57, c.mcbrien wrote:

However, we're all Americans here...so when you make fun of the American flag, it's your flag, their flag...so you can't go wrong because we all know, as Americans, that we love our flag..and that they're no harm meant.


You can perhaps get away with that in America, but you can only do this in America. If for example you did this here in my region of Canada, it wouldn't be as tasteful. It's somewhat of a social taboo in my region to wave an American flag (or worse being a Confederate flag) even if you are an American visiting Canada. The biggest exception is if you're doing a multicultural event. Only then is it okay. I'm not entirely sure why we have this sort of social taboo in place around here. I find it somewhat confusing.
MagicSanta
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Do you invite the confederates to attend these multicultural events? Is it the Confederate flag or the Confederate Battle Flag that causes such discord?
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