Tassos Coulaloglou

Tassos Coulaloglou (Collective Campaign for Peace – COCAP): Tassos was born and raised in New Jersey. He attended the University of Wisconsin (UW) and graduated with his BS in Political Science in 2001. Tassos spent one year studying abroad at Utrecht University in Holland while in his final year at UW, After graduation, Tassos moved to Lithuania to become a freelance journalist and teach high-school history and English as a second language. In 2004, he returned to the States to work as a team leader with the League of Conservation's Envirovictory political campaign in Milwaukee. He returned to Eastern Europe the following year and resumed writing before starting graduate school. At the time of his fellowship, Tassos was studying for a Master's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy offered jointly by Leiden University and the Clingendael in Holland. After his fellowship, Tassos wrote: “...now in class, I try to break the Euro/America-centric positions that seem to dominate and ask what the Nepali view would be…this fellowship pushed me to understand a people, to think in their terms."

Cultural Relativism

15 Jun

I’ve found that Nepalis are avid spitters. I thought it was maybe because of the pollution in Kathmandu, but this proved false. Everywhere you go, village or city, people are spit crazy — from bus windows, out of shops, in bathrooms, and especially the street. And I’m not talking a little spittle or the got-some-nasty-taste-in-my-mouth spit. This is the deep guttural, borderline puking spit.

To make matters worse, many men chew tobacco or what looks like tobacco. This is a dangerous variety because this spit technique is proceeded by no noise, lacking the forewarning of the previous kind. One second someone is standing talking or riding their bike, then next a stream of brown saliva comes flying in your direction.

Saw this cute little girl while I was stuck during road construction along the way to Baglung. Thought this would ease the pain of the blog.

Perilous indeed, because apparently it’s completely ok to spit in close proximity to others. Person walking past you in the street? No problem, go ahead and spit as they’re passing. Or perhaps you’re driving a taxi and the passenger is directly behind you. It’s absolutely fine to spit up a storm.

And don’t go thinking it’s just a guy thing either. Women do it as well and with no less gusto. For example, yesterday in my bus ride here, for 9 hours the older woman behind me was hocking up loogies that would put any man to shame. So ladies, when in Nepal, feel no compunction and let her rip.

Posted By Tassos Coulaloglou

Posted Jun 15th, 2007


  • vincent

    June 16, 2007


    This is great to read man, you’re an excellent writer. If this is indeed yours, and not this ‘teresa’ woman. Or am I ignorant of something? Anyhow, keep up the good work, but please don’t come back a spitter.

  • Celia

    June 18, 2007


    Hey Tassos! I must say that reading your blog brightens my day at the Spanda office. Got a Nepalese hackysack team going yet? I have to admit that I have not yet found replacement for the MAIRD team but I’ll keep working on it. Have fun and take care!

  • Anthony Vaccaro

    June 19, 2007


    Are you sure that girl is not your daughter and you are hiding something from all of us? I must say she sure looks just like you.

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