Category Archives: Uzbekistan

The Homeland and Southward Journey of the Indo-Aryans

Varun writes:

You believe in OIT (aka Out of India theory of Aryan migrations)?

I used to believe that Aryans could possibly have originated in Southern-Central Asia, i.e just above Kashmir. Now I even don’t believe that, as Dravidians are actually Central Asians, possibly of Near Eastern origin. Aryans are way up the globe, somewhere around Russian Steppes. It is impossible to pin point exact location. They are subsumed among us.

The Indo-Aryan Homeland is in the area where northwestern Kazakhstan meets southwestern Russia near the southern end of the Urals close to Baskkoria and the Tatar Republic. I had a map of it that I had drawn for this site a while back. They were up there around 4,500 YBP probably. Between 4,500 BP and 3,500 BP, they moved south, eventually occupying the Indus River Valley. We can actually follow their migration every step of the way and yes, On the way down, they settled in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, (here one arm, Indo-Iranian, branches off over to Iran and Afghanistan) and the Chitral up in the Northwest Territories of Pakistan over and across Gilgit and the north of Pakistani Punjab and Pakistani Kashmir to the Indus River Valley into Punjab, Kashmir, etc. where they settled. A number of these people along the way – the Tajiks, many Pakistanis, and the northwest Indians are all heavily Aryan. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are also heavily Aryan although the Aryan is heavily mixed with Mongol.

BMAC was one of the areas where they lived on the way down.

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The Future According to ISIS

ISIS 5-year expansion plan. Parts of Europe are not included on this one.

ISIS 5-year expansion plan. Parts of Europe are not included on this one.

The map below includes parts of Europe.

Isisplan

This map labels the various vilayets of provinces of the future ISIS Caliphate. Yaman is Greater Yemen, Hijaz includes much of Saudi Arabia. Sham is Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Sinai and parts of Arabia. Iraq includes Iraq and parts of Arabia and Kuwait. Kordistan is Greater Kurdistan, in this case extending far down into eastern Iran. Anathol is the western half of Anatolia. The Maghreb is a well known term for northwestern Africa, usually applied to North African states such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria but in this case, also includes all of the Sahel and West Africa.

Andalus includes all of Spain. Khurasan is an old term for Iran and Afghanistan. On this map it also includes Tajikistan,Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal at the very least. I am not familiar with the terms Alkinana (northeast Africa), Qoqzaz (apparently means the Greater Caucasus as you can see in the spelling), Orobpa (southeastern Europe) and Habasha (much of Central Africa above the Equator. There is an unnamed province in Southern Iran.

I honestly do not see how they conquer India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Georgia, all of Eastern Europe, all of West Africa, Spain, Iran, Azerbaijan, or even Lebanon and Israel for that matter. I am just not seeing this, sorry. If I were an Indian though, I would be frightened of these maps.

 

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Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and India from a Socialist Perspective

SHIH writes:

You must know that none of these countries you mention are socialist in any shape or form. A capitalist pig like Donald Trump would be quite at home in Uzbekistan, hell, he could be Islam Karimov’s home buddy (a real poster boy of capitalism – Trump is a big asshole, an asshole with capital letter A — I really don’t like him)

The ground reality is that countries in Central Asia have really gone to hell and people want to escape from these countries only if someone agrees to take them. Even a failed nation like Pakistan has to deal with a lot of refugees from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, that tells you a lot. Uzbekistan is one of the largest sources of women sold into sex slavery and prostitution including in Indian cities and unemployment figures are sky high. Unless you happen to be a rich businessman well-connected to the government, your life is pretty much hopeless. Child labor is rampant.

Kazakhstan is somewhat in better shape that’s because it’s indirectly controlled by Russia and the current government is a puppet of Putin.

As for Iran, that country has gone to hell…..it came in news recently that the government had to pressurize advertising companies not to promote chicken on billboards and television. That is because the chicken prices are so high that average Iranians can’t afford it any longer. Prostitution is rife and people are unemployed; check out this documentary where middle-class women in Iran are forced to the world’s oldest profession because the economy is in worst shape  – a really heart-wrenching video series.

Russia and Ukraine of course, do not fall in the categories I mentioned but neither are they socialist at par with the EU which is a real welfare, socialist economy. Belarus in fact is as good as say Czech Republic or Poland. Nice countries to live in.

Well if you want to live in this former Communist paradise called Uzbekistan, let me know as I still have excellent contacts there. Trust me, even with enough money in your pocket, you would want to run away as quickly as you can. KIDNAPPING of foreign tourists is quite common and I came close to being abducted by an Islamist, Taliban-style group. Had I not been sober that day, it would have been all over and I would probably have been spending the rest of my life in a cold dungeon with no electricity and might not have never heard of the iPhone. That is if they didn’t decide to behead me for being an infidel.

India has its share of problems and it’s an unjust, unfair society where poor people get the stick for being born poor. But it’s still one of the best places to live for middle-class Indians. There are over 1 million high net worth individuals in a city like Mumbai (also known for its slums) which creates a bustling city with positive vibes, in terms of wealth creation Mumbai ranks among top 10 cities of the whole world. There are lot more opportunities for growth. In capitalism parlance, the trickle down works quite well here. Lot more liveable than Uzbekistan.

However, as far as HEALTH, MALNUTRITION, INFANT MORTALITY, EDUCATION and other parameters are concerned, India is still a third world place. And it will always remain — the problem is not a lack of money. The problem is cultural — Indian rich are real guttersnipes and a very selfish country where poor are allowed to die on the streets and it concerns no one. This country needs Jesus to be on the right track.

The question to ask is — would you be HEALTHY, EDUCATED and Poor, unemployed in Iran/Uzbekistan or have to buy health insurance in the India but still live in a land of opportunities. There’s absolutely no comparison.

I believe the poster has made an excellent critique of the Stans from a socialist POV. From a Left or socialist POV, clearly these places leave much to be desired. Sky-high unemployment, child slavery, sex trafficking? Good Lord. It it looking like the Stans got rid of Communism but put in its place some particularly monstrous alternative system. It seems that what they put in after Communism is neither socialism nor capitalism but instead is some awful hybrid containing the worst of both systems.

However, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, etc. all have superb education, health and nutrition figures. Maternal mortality, child mortality and malnutrition rates are very low in all of the Stans. You do not get great figures like that in a free market capitalist country. Great health and nutrition figures like that can only come from a great socialist sector of the state which supplies food, schooling and nutrition for the people. In a free market capitalist state, all schooling is private and all health care is privatized. Nutrition figures are usually bad as food is not subsidized for the poor so they go hungry.

So in that sense, the Stans are still socialist countries in some very important respects. I do not have any updated information, but I assume that health care and education are free or very cheap in the Stans. They also have good road networks, few slums, and good housing.

Compare them to the capitalist states like India and Pakistan around them. Malnutrition rates: India – 50%, Pakistan – 34%. Health figures in Pakistan and India are horrific. The slums of Pakistan and India are nightmarish. The roads in both countries are shit. Health care is awful in both lands, and the education systems are horrible. In fact, in rural India and much of Pakistan, there is simply no education system to speak of!

Iran is doing ok. The education system is good and the people eat well. Malnutrition in Iran is very low, the health care system is great and the road networks are excellent. There are few real slums in Iran. The 1979 Revolution was socialist in many respects and since then, Iran has been a socialist country in a lot of ways. Ahmadinejad pretty much ran as a socialist last time around and that was why he won.

I do not agree that the wealth is trickling down well in India. In fact, I do not agree that wealth trickles down anywhere, nor do I agree that it ever has or will. Trickle down theory is simply a lie.

I could care less how many rich folks there are in India. Who cares! Imagine if Jesus came back today and looked at India. Do you honestly think he would cheer  for all the rich people in India? Hell no. Jesus cared nothing whatsoever for the rich because there is no reason to care about such folks at all. Jesus cared only and always for the poor and only the poor. In fact, Liberation Theology which I support believes in “the preferential option for the poor.” This is my philosophy. The rich do not need our support, encouragement or cheers. They do well enough on their own. It is the poor who need our sustenance.

I am not interested in countries where it is horrific to be poor but great to be rich or middle class. Who cares! Do you honestly think that we socialists value such things?  What good is India’s “land of opportunity” for it’s 1 billion poor people? It’s worth fuck all.

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The Positive Legacy of the Former Eastern Bloc

SHIH writes:

But you must understand where I’m coming from. The version of socialism you espouse is more to do with welfare economics, free medical care, free education…I guess something similar to European Union socialism. You have to get my drift here, I’m talking about something totally different.

The worst elements of Communist USSR did considerable damage to satellite countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus. Let’s face it, it was a failed social experiment, no sane person could support Stalinism – not even Russians do it anymore. Fact remains that countries like Uzbekistan suffered worst excesses of experiments like Stalinism, forced relocation of people, internal passport controls and decades of isolation from the rest of the world.

The dictator of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, is a real tyrant who makes his own people work hard on construction projects and there’s massive corruption everywhere. It’s not a Communist government but the legacy of former USSR had a big role to play in the current mess.

I do not agree that any of those countries got damaged by Communism.

I do not agree that Uzbekistan is experiencing a current mess. I actually think they are doing pretty well. If you look around at other Central Asian Muslim states, they are all about the same as Uzbekistan or else they are worse.

I do know Karimov well, but I think that at heart he is still a Communist.

All 3rd World capitalist states are insanely corrupt, and yes, the CIS is corrupt also. It wasn’t very corrupt under the USSR, but after moving to capitalism, the CIS become incredibly corrupt. Knowing this, how is the current corruption caused by Communism?

What failed in the East Bloc was the lack of a market. All of these places have now put a market into place, but you would be surprised how much of the Communist system has been retained. Where much of the Communist system has been dismantled and privatized as in Russia, the results have been very bad. They would have been better off leaving it alone.

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus – all these places did pretty well under Communism. After 1990, the Russian economy collapsed. It took fully 20 years for the Russian economy to recover to its previous pre-Communist level. This was true for almost all of the other CIS republics too. For a very long time, they were doing better under Communism than under what followed.

Belarus retained most of their socialist mode of development and they were the only former USSR republic that did not collapse after Communism. The economy is still 80% socialist, and last I heard they are doing fantastic. Belarus is a great place to live. For 29 years after 1990, Belarus was the wealthiest former USSR republic. The sole reason for that was that they retained a socialist model.

Personally I think free market capitalism is a failed social experiment. We have a lot of evidence for that.

Uzbekistan and other places were not really hurt by forced migrations. What happened was that Stalin put people like Tatars and Germans in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The new immigrants were good for those countries.

Internal passport problems were not a big deal because USSR citizens traveled all over the USSR and they even traveled all over the Eastern Bloc. It is hard to say that the Eastern Bloc was isolated from the world. They were surely not isolated from themselves. They were isolated from the West, but that was also the fault of the West since the US and its allies blockaded and embargoed the entire Eastern Bloc from Day One.

In Russia and many former Soviet republics, majorities say they liked Communism and they often say that Communism was better than whatever bullshit they have now. Communism created a very high level of social development.

There were for all intents and purposes no slums, everyone had plenty of food to eat, the health figures were great, nice cities and towns were created with adequate housing everywhere. The water was clean and there was good sewage treatment. Good roads, rail networks and even passenger jet services were created. The USSR grew most of its own food, and the truth is that Soviets ate about as well as many West Europeans. Everyone had a job and there was no unemployment. There were no homeless or bums on the streets. The Stalin Era was pretty brutal but after that, things settled down a lot. Under Gorbachev, the USSR was a fairly free place, and there were not even many political prisoners anymore.

The USSR created one thing: a fantastic base for economic development. With a great base like that, you can implement a market and you can get high level of economic activity. The insanity of the 3rd World capitalist states is that they are trying to grow an economy without developing an adequate base beforehand. As you can see, that does not work.

In the US and even in Europe, austerity is all the rage. The purpose of austerity is to decapitate the state and what follows is the dismantling of the social and infrastructural base for economic development of a market economy. It makes no sense at all, but capitalists generally speaking make no sense and have zero sense of the long run. The capitalist is focused on short term profits only and he can’t see the forest for the trees. The capitalist retard is so stupid that the can’t see that that that nice market economy he is utilizing was grown from a seedbed of a social, societal and infrastructural base of development, and that this base was laid down by the state.

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IQ Rise in South Asian Immigrants to the West: A Role for Nutrition?

SITH writes:

Nutrition does have a big role in shaping intelligence. Many Indian emigrants to the US and UK seem to be brighter than your average native-born Indian. Wealth isn’t a factor here, it’s cultural. Over here in India, meat consumption per capita is less than 3 kilos per year as against 75 kilos to 100 kilos in the UK and US respectively.

Considering a lot of Indians are vegetarians, that means a lot of children are not getting brain proteins and Vitamin B12 in their diets. That includes children of wealthy Indians. However, as soon as they migrate West, they ignore the sacred taboo of beef and the much improved nutrition makes meaningful difference in intelligence levels.

It’s not that meat isn’t available in India, it’s simply not plentiful, not cheap and still considered a luxury not to be served in dining halls, school canteens and workplaces. Most Indians who do eat meat may have it once or twice a month, that too usually chicken. Many children have an aversion to milk and lactose products which means they’re totally weaned of animal products in their growth and upbringing.

I can tell that from experience. I had spent a month in Uzbekistan 5 years ago and ate nothing else but meat because it was really cheap at less than 50 US cents per meal. In India, a similar portion size would cost me $10-15.

Now that’s a poor country but people in Uzbekistan eat meat morning, noon and night. Average wage is among the least in Asia but the people look much better fed than your anorexic Hindu Indians. They’re taller, more good looking and intelligent. Uzbek tour guides speak better English than Indian tour guides and they happen to be bilingual in Russian or trilingual in Persian.

And also some Hindi thrown in as they watch a lot of Bollywood there. I mean it requires some intelligence to know three disparate languages with equal fluency and still having to work as a tour guide. In India, that bastard would be a senior manager in a major software company, given the right environment. Just saying.

Indian families and mothers dumb down to their kids by weaning them from much essential protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and essential minerals-vitamins diet, a great disservice to their mental and physical growth.

In previous posts I noted that careful studies have shown that South Asian immigrants to the West (US and UK) who had measured IQ’s of ~82-83 (82.5) gave birth to children who had had IQ’s ~10.5 points higher than their parents. The early figures for the US for South Asian immigrants were 90 IQ for the US and 96 IQ for the UK. These figures are older, before the mass movement of South Asian knowledge workers to the West.

A 10.5 point IQ rise in the children of South Asian immigrants to the West is certainly a curiosity. Various factors have been posited, including improved education, better nutrition and the increased complexity of life in the modern West. Based on the comments of this Indian commenter, I would say that nutrition may well be a significant figure in that IQ rise.

Note that the IQ rise is not from moving to the West, but instead from being born and raised on the West. There is something about being born and raised in the West that seems to raise the IQ’s of many 3rd World types.

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Socialism Bests Capitalism in Central Asia

SHI writes:

I can tell that from experience. I had spent a month in Uzbekistan 5 years ago and ate nothing else but meat because it was really cheap at less than 50 US cents per meal. In India, a similar portion size would cost me $10-15.Now that’s a poor country but people in Uzbekistan eat meat morning, noon and night. I mean that country is pretty much fucked up due to Communist rule, Islamism and poor economy. Average wage is among the least in Asia but the people look MUCH BETTER FED than your anorexic Hindu Indians.

Compared to the rest of Central Asia, I would say that Uzbekistan is probably doing all right. I do not know Uzbekistan very well, but I believe that the health figures (maternal mortality, infant mortality, malnutrition rate) are very low. Sounds like a good society to me.

You really need to find a highly non-Communist Central Asia and compare Uzbekistan to that. So we should compare Muslim Uzbekistan with the capitalist paradises of Afghanistan and Pakistan. A cursory glance shows that Uzbekistan totally destroys the competing Central Asian capitalist states.

Muslim Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are all more or less socialist countries, and they all have a similar economic level. I believe that nutrition and health figures in all of these places is pretty good.

What has really failed in Central Asia is capitalism. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Pakistan. Now tell me that capitalism is working in Central Asia.

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Last Word on the Aryan Migration Theory: More

I have added 12 more points to my original article. I will print them here since most will not go back and read the original article again. Some of you may find these additions interesting. As you can see, I have totally immersed myself in this debate over the past few weeks or so.

1. Archeoastronomy. OIT proponents like to push this theory. Supposedly, the positions of stars are mentioned in the Vedas. By analyzing the positions of stars in the Vedas, we can make claims about when the Vedas were written via tracking the movements of stars in ancient days.

However, archeoastronomy is a field in poor standing. All we can learn for sure from archeoastronomy is that the Vedas were written some time in the past 8,000 years. All else is up in the air.

The Indian astrophysicist Rajesh Kochhar has clearly mentioned that the astronomical data in the Vedas is not reliable.

2. The association of Andronovo culture with Indo-Iranians is controversial. So say the OIT proponents. This is not true.

Andronovo is a culture associated with the proto Indo-Iranians that stretched, in its formative location, around northern Kazakhstan and and west into Russia to near Samara, then down to the Caspian Sea, covering most of the northwest quadrant of Kazakhstan.

Later its borders enlarged.

At maximum, its northern boundary was from Samara in the Volga Basin east to Anzhero Sudzhensk northeast of Novosibersk in southern Siberia.

The eastern boundary bordered on the Afansevo Culture in eastern Kazakhstan, southern Siberia and Xinjiang. Andronovo did include part of Xinjiang in the far north where the Altai Mountains come down into China.

The eastern border then encompassed most of eastern Kazakhstran except the area east of Balquash Koli, moving down to the border with Kyrgyzstan in the south, encompassing most of Uzbekistan except the far south and the northern half of Turkmenistan all the way to the  southeastern shore of the Caspian Sea. The Aral Sea was the realm of the Andronovo People.

The relation of Andronovo to the Indo-Aryan people in particular, as opposed to Indo-Iranians in general, is more controversial, but has been suggested by some experts.

3. Chariots could not go over the Hindu Kush. Another OIT argument. But as noted above, the Aryans did not move down through the Hindu Kush; instead, they came east from the BMAC through northern Iran to Herat in west Afghanistan east to around Ghazni in east Afghanistan over to the Bannu region in the NWFP of Pakistan. That’s a much easier route than the Hindu Kush.

4. There was no invasion. The invasion scenario has been replaced in the past 40 years to a migration scenario. It seems more likely that instead of defeating the Dravidian people and pushing them to the south, or destroying the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), instead the Aryans merely profited from the collapse of the IVC that was already underway.

5. There was no genocide of the Dravidian people; all Indians look alike genetically. No one ever said there was a genocide of the Dravidians by the Aryans. Instead, the Aryans moved in, and there was intermingling and intermarriage with the Dravidians, the combined result being the culture of the Vedas.

6. The linguistic evidence. The case for the AMT and the total non-case for the OIT is made by the linguistic evidence. Everything else is secondary. The case was clinched by Hock 1999 (see references).

7. Indians descend overwhelmingly from the Paleolithic population of India. It’s true that 80% of Indian genes go all the way back to the Paleolithic era. But 80% of European genes go all the way back to the Paleolithic too. Same in Britain. Therefore, Europe and Britain has never experienced any migrations of invasions in the past 10,000 years?

The Aryan genetic footprint on Indian genes, if it exists, is doubtless less than 10% of the total. It’s well known by now that the Aryans left language but few genes in India. Identifying genetic history with linguistic history is naive.

Keep in mind that the Aryans were probably installed as a superstrate over the existing Dravidian population. The Aryans were probably no more than 10-15% of the population genetically, and the remaining 85-90% were Dravidians.

8. How could the language of a more primitive people like the Aryans replace the language of the more civilized people, the IVC Dravidians? So ask the OIT theorists. However, let us note that Greek speakers in the Levant, Aramaic speakers in Mesopotamia, Coptic speakers in Egypt and Romans in northern Africa all got their languages replaced by the culturally inferior Bedouins of Arabia. This sort of thing happens all the time.

9. There is no solid proof an Aryan migration to India in archeological terms. This is true as far as it goes, but all it means that is that archeologists typically refuse to characterize migrations in terms of who is migrating where. While there is no archeological proof for an Aryan migration, there is also no proof for Greek, Germanic, Italic, Celtic or Armenian migrations in those branches of IE either.

10. The Rig Veda says that the Sarasvati River flows to the sea. According to OIT folks, since the river dried up 3900 YBP, if the Vedas discuss it flowing the sea, they must have been written before 4000 YBP. However, this statement is only in one sentence of the Vedas, and the word “sea” in question is actually samuda, which Sanskrit experts say can mean lots of things, but in this case means an inland sea or lake as formed by a river emptying into a desert. Which is what the Sarasvati did. The Sarasvati never emptied into the sea at any time.

11. Horses. OIT proponents keep claiming that they have found horse bones or evidence of horses on seals or objects at some early date. None of this has been confirmed, and some cases have involved overt fraud by Indian nationalist “scholars.” The earliest confirmed horse in the region is at Pirak 3800 YBP. Many horse remains have been found after that, but none earlier.

12. The AMT was invented by Max Muller in 1848. Muller was a British spy – agent – whatever who was sent by the British to falsify the history of India so the Indians would lose their national pride. Hence, the AMT is a British conspiracy. Yes, OIT supporters actually say this. The long version is that he was hired by the British East India Company as part of a nefarious plot to denigrate Hinduism.

First of all, the theory was not invented in 1848 nor was it invented by Muller, as it substantially predates 1848, and Muller was not the first to come up with it.

There is no evidence at all that the AMT was hatched as a British conspiracy (other popular theories say that the entire linguistic community was in on this conspiracy), nor has anyone offered any reason how the British could profit by making up the theory of a Bronze Age culture in India. Or why the British, who supposedly hated Indians and thought they were inferior, would invent a theory that said that Indians were in part related to the great British people.

References

Hock, Hans H. 1999. Out of India? The Linguistic Evidence. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation and Ideology, 1-18. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, Vol. 3. Cambridge, MA. 

Kochhar, Rajesh. 2000. The Vedic People: Their History and Geography. New Delhi: Sangam Books. 2000.

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A Little Asian in All of Us

Repost from the old site.

Well not quite, but you get the picture.

I am going to write a post about Asian genes in non-Asians. Mostly or fully-Asian groups obviously occupy most of Asia. Even if we subtract Australoids from Asians, many Melanesians have some Asian in them, especially those in the east end of Indonesia> and along the coast of New Guinea. In this case, the Asian is Austronesian from Taiwan.

Papuans and Aborigines have little to no Asian mix. Polynesians are a highly controversial people who have usually been thought of as being 50% Melanesian and 50% Austronesian from Taiwan. However, there is a new paper out suggesting that they are a mostly-Austronesian people.

Micronesians are said to be the same. Previously, they were thought to be Polynesians mixed with Melanesians. Polynesia is thought to have been populated from Eastern Indonesia. Micronesia is thought to have been populated from around Fiji. Fijians are Melanesians with considerable Polynesian genes.

Obviously, mainland Asia is all Asian. Siberians are mostly Asian. The Yakut, for instance, are mostly Asian, but they do have 6% Caucasian in them.

A beautiful Yakut woman from the Sakha Republic competing for the Miss Russia 2007 contest. That’s basically the Yakut Republic. She should have only 6% Caucasian genes, but it seems like she has more than that.

 

The Caucasian comes from a group called the Sakas who conquered Siberia 1,500 years ago. The Mongolians are 86% Asian and 14% Caucasian.

A beautiful Buryat woman competing in the Miss Russia 2007 contest. Buryats are said to be quite close to Mongolians genetically, so she probably has about 14% Caucasian genes. Note the classic high Mongolian cheekbones. Korean women have this same feature, and they are recent immigrants from Mongolia in the past 4-5,000 years.

 

The Hui are in interesting group inside China, south of Mongolia, who are 93% Asian and 7% Caucasian. The Han have no Caucasian in them.

Going west of Burma, we run into trouble. In NE India, the people are mostly Asian. Going north to Nepal, you get an odd mix of all sorts of people, some mostly Asian but others more of an East Indian type.

A very interesting, yet unclassifiable, type in Nepal. Clearly there is an Asian component to this phenotype. There are some phenotypes that look something like this in SE Asia, especially hill tribes in Burma and Thailand. Come to think of it, doesn’t she look a bit like the Naga below?

Nagas of Northeast India. They cluster genetically with Tibetans. Some think that they are the leftovers of the original people of the region.

The mother of this Nepalese family looks pretty Caucasian, but I have a hard time classifying that phenotype. Something resembling that phenotype can be seen in some of the Kalash. There is also some of a North Indian-Punjabi component. The two daughters clearly have a strong Asian element, thought it does not much resemble other Asian types. The girl on the right looks a bit like a Filipina.

A very Asian type in, believe it or not, Nepal. Yes. This phenotype looks very Chinese and could be related to Tibetans. Nepalese are very difficult to classify genetically due to the divergence of types. Further, the peopling of Nepal is very poorly understood.

North Indians, possibly Punjabis. Many Punjabis look something like this. They have 10% Asian genes and it is often apparent, especially in the eyes.

 

Punjabis have about 10% Asian genes. You can sometimes see it in their eyes.

These beautiful young women are from Ladakh, on the border of China and India. As you can see, the Indians here are heavily Asian. The girl on the right looks very Korean. The other two are very difficult to classify, but the girl on the right left could almost be Mediterranean – Italian or Iberian, other than the eyes. Genetically probably close to Tibetans.

 

Heading into Pakistan, some Pakistanis appear somewhat Asian. The Kalash, whom we discussed in a previous post, often appear somewhat Asian.

A very interesting Kalash woman. The Kalash are so divergent that they form one of two splits in the Caucasian Race – Kalash and non-Kalash. No one quite knows much about them, but they seem to have come from the Caucasus. Their genes are radically divergent. Either they have experienced tremendous genetic drift or they are some of the most ancient Caucasians of all.

The very early proto-Caucasians may have looked something like this – they had heavy Asian admixture. This mixing of Black and Asian was taking place in the Caucasus region.

More Kalash. There are some very interesting types in this fascinating group. Both the woman and her daughter look Asian, the daughter more so. The woman seems to have an East Indian component.

 

Some Pashtuns look a little Asian, but many others just look pure Caucasian.

When we head north from this area, we start running into some heavy Asian-Caucasian mixes. This is the zone where these two great major races have seriously mixed. Heading East to Western China, we find the Uighurs, a group that is 61% Asian and 39% White. This Muslim group is heavily repressed by China and some have taken up arms against the state. I do support this secessionist movement.

Uighurs. A most interesting group of people from West China. This area has clearly seen a tremendous amount of Caucasian-Asian mixing for a long time now. It is in this region that burial tombs have been unearthed that revealed Caucasian mummies, some with red hair.

Of course, this drove White nationalist insane people even more insane. China was an ancient White homeland! Except the “Whites” were probably some Iranian or Caucasus types that these idiots have excised from their precious White race. At any rate, a few Caucasian bodies here and there does not a homeland make. There were and are plenty of Asians running around this region too. Truth is that Iranian types from the steppes have been invading this region for ages.

Tocharian, perhaps one of the earliest forms of Indo-European, may have been spoken on these windy steppes 8,000 years ago. The Uighurs are 61% Asian and 39% Caucasian. Their movement for liberation has been heavily repressed by the Chinese. Some have been radicalized and have moved down into Afghanistan and the Pakistan tribal areas to work with the local Taliban, but in general, Islam in this region is quite moderate and reasonable.

It’s questionable whether or not China even has much of a claim to this land. The girl on the right has a very interesting phenotype. She looks quite Caucasian, but that Caucasian look is actually specific to the Caucasus. I look at her and think “Dagestani”. White-Chinese hapas in the US often look something like this also.

 

Heading West, Uzbeks in Uzbekistan are clearly a very mixed race people – they are 59% Asian and 41% Caucasian.

An Uzbek man with a turban. A syncretic form of Islam was popular here, but due to religious repression, some Uzbeks have turned to radical Islam. The group is called the IMU. They were defeated in Uzbekistan and the remnants moved to Afghanistan to link up with the Taliban. After the Taliban were defeated, many moved into the tribal areas where many IMU fighters married local women. They form a significant component of the Pakistani Taliban who are fighting in the tribal areas right now.

A young Uzbek man. This man looks very Caucasian, other than the slight Asian eyes. The outfit would not be out of place in Afghanistan.

An Uzbek woman. As you can see, at 41%, the Caucasian element is very high in Uzbeks. The phenotype is difficult to place, but the Caucasian element could resemble a Greek, a Georgian or possibly an Iranian.

 

Heading further West, the Kazakhs are strangely even more Asian: they are 70% Asian and 30% Caucasian.

Heading back towards China, we come to the Altai, a region where Mongolia, China and Russia all come together. This is thought to be the region from which the Amerindians came from. These people are best categorized as Northern Turkics and they all speak a Turkic language.

Some people here are very mixed (figures here): The Shor are 51% Caucasian and 49% Asian, the Altai themselves are 53% Asian and 47% Caucasian, the Khakass are 72% Asian and 28% Caucasian, the Sojots are 81% Asian and 19% Caucasian and the famous throat-singers, the Tuvans, are 89% Asian and 11% Caucasian.

These people are best thought of as members of a subrace known as the Uralic Race, even though they speak Turkic tongues. The Uralics generally speak languages related to Finnish.

Anthropologically, the Uralics are mysterious. We do not really know much about them or where they came from, but they are the subject of endless speculation, especially by Finnish researchers, who are fascinated by the question. For instance, the proto-Uralics were said to be neither Asians nor Caucasians. Ok, fine, so what were they?

Moving into Europe, we continue to encounter Asian genes. The Turks have a very large component of Asian genes, such that it is difficult to characterize them as Asian or Caucasian. I put them into Caucasian more on appearance than on anything else.

A Turkish Cypriot woman who seems to have a bit of an Asian phenotype. She also looks somewhat Slavic. Slavic phenotypes are very common in Turkey but most Turks do not wish to admit it due to age-old hostility between the Muslim Ottomans and the Christian Slavic regions around it.

 

Heading north into Russia, it has long been known that Russians are part Asian. One can often note an Asiatic component in Russians. I had a Russian girlfriend once named Natasha who lived in the Bay Area. She had some slight Asiatic phenotypical traits.

A beautiful Russian woman. Unless I am hallucinating, I think I see some Asian eyes on her. She may also have the sparse and straighter body hair that some Russian women have. This is a classic Russian Slavic phenotype.

 

In the part of Russia called Novgorod Oblast, the Russians are 3% Asian and 7% Finn. The Oblast is in the western part of Russia near Latvia, Estonia, St Petersburg and Leningrad. Heading into Europe now, we are surprised to find that Czechs are 3% Asian.

Although Yugoslavians are Slavs just like Czechs, I am not aware of the amount of Asian genes in them, if any. Some say that Yugoslavs, especially Serbs, look very Mediterranean, but I am not so sure. I am not sure which part of Yugoslavia these young women are from, but they are wearing traditional costumes.

What amazed me was how similar these women looked in phenotype. Granted, they’ve all curled up their hair the same way and they are wearing the same costumes, but if you look closely at the first five women from the left, tell me I’m hallucinating when I see a common phenotype in their facial appearance. Anyone else see it?

That the Hungarians are part-Asian has long been noted. I am not sure about the exact numbers though.

Hungarians dressed in traditional costumes. Their Asian component is not large, but may be on the order of 7% or so. The Asian element comes from the Magyars, the original Hungarian tribe that was formed in the Caucasian-Asian melting pot or the Ural Mountains 3,000 years ago.

 

Both the Finns and Estonians are thought to have Asian genes and the Lapps surely do, but I believe they only have 7% Asian genes.

It often doesn’t take much Asian genes to affect the phenotype. One of the first things you notice is a sparseness of body hair and tendency of body hair to be more straight than kinky. Also, even at low gene levels, you often start seeing a bit of an epicathal fold in the eyes.

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The Proto-Indo-Europeans and Their Early Descendants: Proto-Languages and Homelands

The Indo-European languages include most of the languages of Europe, Iran and Northern India. For instance, English, Gaelic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek, Albanian, Armenian and Kurdish are some of the better-known IE languages of Europe and the Near East.

In Iran, the major language, Farsi, is IE, as is the major language Pashto in Afghanistan. In India and Pakistan, the huge languages Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi are all IE.

They go back to a proto-language called Proto Indo-European, or PIE. In that the languages are all related, the truth is that the peoples are all related to for the greatest part. So Northern Indians, Pashtuns, Iranians, Kurds and Armenians are all closely related to Europeans since they all sprung in part from a common source, in the famous words of Sir William Jones, who discovered the IE languages in the late 1700’s.

Going back 6,500 years, we can reconstruct Proto-Indo-European quite well. One of the best resources is Julius Pokorny‘s Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (or Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch).

Originally written in German, this incredible 2,500 page masterwork has been translated largely, but not completely, into English. One of my favorite pastimes is wading through this monster. I have a downloadable copy on the blog here (huge file).

The homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the subject of much debate, but the modern consensus centers around putting the homeland at 6500 years before present (YBP) around Southern Russia. I have narrowed it to southern Russia, southeastern Ukraine and southwestern Kazakhstan north of the Caucasus. This is more or less the region in between the Black and Caspian Seas.

An arid region called the Kuma-Manych Depression is in the middle of this region and seems to be a major center of PIE culture. I could not find a map of the Depression, but it separates the North Caucasus from the Russian Plain.

There were also settlements in southeastern Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, about 50 miles north of the Caspian Sea in southwestern Kazakhstan and up around the Lower Volga Region near Samara. A good word for this general region is the Pontic-Caspian Steppe.

The homeland of the Proto Indo Europeans, as of 6,500 YBP. I looked around for good maps of the PIE homeland but I could not find any, so I drew my own. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

The homeland of the Proto Indo-Europeans, as of 6,500 YBP. I looked around for good maps of the PIE homeland but I could not find any, so I drew my own. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

From there, it’s not really known how or when the Proto-Indo-Europeans spread out, but they show up in Europe some time later. A good map of their migrations or conquests is here.

The PIE people had several advantages over their neighbors. They were already into the Bronze Age for one, and not only that, but there were horses running around Southern Russia. The PIE had managed to domesticate the horse. That’s quite an advantage, but the PIE people did one better.

They even invented a wheel. Then they logically put the two together and made horse-drawn chariots. With these chariots, the PIE people apparently conquered much of Europe and later parts of Southwest Asia and South Asia.

The people in Europe at this time were pre-PIE folks. We know little about their culture, but the master of PIE culture, the celebrated professor Marija Gimbutas (A woman!) calls it “Old Europe.” Old Europe is very little known or understood. A probable surviving language from Old Europe is Basque. Another, long extinct, is Etruscan.

The very early people of the British Isles, whose descendants are now known as the Black Irish, populated the Isles between 9000-11000 YBP. They had dark hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. Genetically, they seem to resemble the Basques and may have come on boats from Spain.

The Basques themselves and related peoples may have come from the Caucasus long, long ago. Although Basque is said to have no living relatives, I believe it is related to Caucasian languages like Chechen and Ingush. Throughout Europe one finds folks called Black this and Black that.

I had a girlfriend who called herself a Black Swede and later on, a girlfriend named Linda of Polish heritage. Both had very dark, curly hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. As a guess, these types of Europeans may be the remains of Old Europe.

Gimbutas is also the founder of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the best PIE theory out there. Gimbutas (photo) sort of lost it towards the end when she got into “Goddess worship” and whatnot, but it’s clear that this Lithuanian archeologist was one of the great scholars of our time.

Some time after 6500 YBP, PIE began to break up, but no one knows quite how this occurred. At any rate, by 4200 YBP, a split had occurred in PIE and a separate language had broken off, Indo-Iranian. There are maps out there of the Indo-Iranian homeland, but I don’t like them all that much so I made my own. My best guess was to place it in the far north of Kazakhstan and just over the border into Russia.

From there, after 3500 YBP, the Indo-Aryans moved out and migrated into Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India and Iran. Many people in these regions today speak Indo-Iranian languages descended from these people. These folks are thought to be the source of the famous Aryan Invasion of India at around this time.

A map of the Indo-Iranian Homeland in far northern Kazakhstan around 3,500 YBP. This is where the Iranians, Afghans, North Indians and many Pakistanis came from. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

A map of the Indo-Iranian Homeland in far northern Kazakhstan around 3500 YBP. This is where the Iranians, Afghans, North Indians and many Pakistanis came from. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

As I noted, the process whereby these languages split off, other than the Indo-Aryan split, is little known. However, assuming this tree diagram is correct, maybe it can shed some light on the matter.

A very interesting tree diagram of the IE language family.

A very interesting tree diagram of the IE language family. Click to enlarge.

Unfortunately, this chart is hard to read, so I will try to decipher it. The first thing to note is the Anatolian split in the tree, apparently the first split. There are problems with the date for PIE. A glottochronological study recently gave a date of about 8500 YBP for PIE, considerably earlier than the usual date of around 6500 YBP.

Promoters of something called the Anatolian Hypothesis have used this to suggest than an earlier language called Proto-Indo-Hittite was spoken in Anatolia 8500 years ago.

The Anatolian languages split off, and the PIE speakers moved to the Pontic Steppe. The movement of Proto-Indo-Hittite speakers out of Anatolia to the Pontic Steppe to form the PIE people may be related to the Black Sea Deluge Theory which has recently been proven correct.

The Black Sea expanded dramatically according to this theory as, around 7600 YBP, a waterfall 200 times the size of Niagara Falls (!) poured through the Bosporus Straits, transforming the pre-Black Sea freshwater lake into the present-day brackish (part-salt water, part-fresh water) Black Sea. Soon after this event, PIE culture appears in the Pontic Steppe.

This is a very controversial proposal called the Indo-Hittite Theory, but I have long supported it. The late Joseph Greenberg, one of the greatest historical linguists that ever lived, also supported it.

This theory holds that Indo-European has two branches, Indo-European proper and the Hittite branch. The Hittite branch is related to the other branch only in a binary fashion. There is good evidence for this.

The Anatolian languages, all of which are now extinct, are very strange and seem distant from the rest. The appear archaic and have retained many forms which seem to not be present on the rest of IE. My guess is these are archaic forms.

Anatolian lacks grammatical gender – masculine:feminine, an IE innovation spread through the family. Instead, it has an archaic noun class system called animate:inanimate. This is reminiscent of ancient Niger-Congo languages in Africa. In addition, the Anatolian vowel system is reduced (fewer vowels) and the case system is simpler.

Many basic IE vocabulary terms are simply missing in Anatolian. All of this debris tends to add up to the hypothesis of an ancient branch of the language family.

Tocharian is visible on the diagram as Italo-Celtic-Tocharian. This branch is extremely strange, since Tocharian was spoken way over in Asia near East Turkestan and Kyrgyzstan, and Celtic and Italic are spoken in the heart of Europe. This is the area where the mummies with blond hair and blue eyes have been found. Tocharian may have split as early as 6000 YBP.

The Tocharian language is also very ancient and strange and is only distantly related to the rest of IE. If anything, it seems to look somewhat like Anatolian.

A very ancient branch of IE also split off around this time. Known as Balkan or Paleo-Balkan, it may also have split off 6000 YBP. There were two major branches, Thracian and Illyro-Venetic. Thracian is extinct, and all that remains of Illyro-Venetic is Albanian, a very ancient IE tongue that is only distantly related to the rest of IE. Proto-Illyrian and Thracian split around 4200 YBP.

Here is a map of the Illyrian tribes before the Roman conquest. It is from this milieu that the Albanians emerged. The Albanian language is quite strange within IE and seems to have very ancient roots dating back to Proto-Paleo-Balkan from 6000 YBP.

Another very early split you can see in the chart is something called Indo-Irano-Armeno-Hellenic. The Armeno-Hellenic branch probably split off 6000 YBP. The fact that Armenians and Greeks today still possibly retain a PIE appearance is also suggested by this early split. Only the Greek languages and Armenian remain of this family, as most of the family is extinct.

Proto-Hellenic may have split off around 5000 YBP, and Proto-Armenian may have split around 4500 YBP. The proto-Hellenics seem to have been related to the Indo-Iranians. This may be why a number of North Indians look like Greeks, Turks or Armenians.

Armenian and Hellenic are also strange IE branches that are only distantly related to the rest of IE.

The Italo-Celtic branch broke off as early as 5000 YBP. Proto-Celtic split about 2800 YBP; the homeland is in Northern Austria. The Hallstatt Culture is associated with them. The Proto-Italics are dated to around 3500 YBP in Italy. Before that, the Italo-Celtic Homeland is thought to have been in southern and central Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The fact that Italics (Italians and related languages) and Celts share common roots shows how insane and stupid Nordicism is, as Nordicists say that Italians south of the Po are ‘non-Whites.’ It turns out that those greasy dagos and those blond and blue guys in dresses blowing pipes in the Highlands are the same folks after all, as they share common genetic roots in Austria 3500 YBP.

Proto-Germanic also dates far back, with pre-Proto-Germanic possibly being spoken 3800 YBP in northern Germany, Denmark and Southern Scandinavia ( map). The homeland of the pre-proto-Germanics is in Southern Sweden and Jutland. They may have settled this area as early as 5000 YBP. These speakers may have been speaking something called Balto-Slavo-Germanic, a group you can see on the tree above.

Proto-Germanic proper probably dates from the Jasdorf Culture. The homeland of the proto-Germanics was in northern Germany, around Schleswig-Holstein south into the Lower Elbe region in what is now Saxony-Anhalt and the Hanover area.

It also extended along the Baltic coast of Germany to about the Polish border, down into Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. The original center of the homeland was in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.

Balto-Slavic is also a very ancient branch of IE. Lithuanian is an ancient IE language that is very conservative and has retained many ancient IE reflexes that have been lost in the rest of IE. Proto-Balto-Slavic probably split around 4000 YBP. Proto-Baltic and Proto-Slavic split apart about 3400 YBP. Map of the Balto-Slavic homeland. This homeland encompassed Western Ukraine, Belarus and Eastern Poland.

Proto-Slavic, dating from 3400 YBP, seems to have its homeland in Northern and Western Ukraine and in Southern Belarus.

The proto-Baltic homeland dating from the same time frame is about the southern border region of Belarus around the Pinsk Marshes.

The rest of the splits, of Slavic, Italic, Celtic, Indian, Iranian and Germanic into their branches, are pretty well-documented, and all occur within the past 1500-3000 years.

Let us move to some interesting dilemmas about the Indo-Europeans. One is the distribution of R1a associated with the Indo-Europeans.

The map of the R1a lineage showing high concentrations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The map of the R1a lineage showing high concentrations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The highest levels of this haplogroup are found in Eastern Europe in a narrow band from the Black Sea in the Ukraine through Poland to the Baltic Sea and in Northern India and areas to the northwest around the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, but that does not mean that these two groups are particularly closely related. Northern Indians are most closely related to Iranians and relatively distantly to Eastern Europeans.

The truth is that this haplogroup is only a signature of a split from around the Aryan-Greco homeland in the Pontic Steppe region discussed above. This left high levels of R1a in Eastern Europe and in north India. High levels in North India are not particularly notable but exist only due to a founder effect. Actually, the highest levels are not found in North India but in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and north Afghanistan.

The high levels found in North India have led some to assume incorrectly that the homeland of the R1a people was in that area, but this is not the case.

A map of R1b DNA distribution. The homeland of the R1b line is the Maykop Culture, shown in the shaded pink region between the Caspian and Black Seas.

A map of R1b DNA distribution. The homeland of the R1b line is the Maykop Culture, shown in the shaded pink region between the Caspian and Black Seas.

R1b levels are highest in Spain and the Western British Isles. The launching point for the R1b seems to have been the Maykop Culture of 5500 YBP. From there, they spread all over Europe.

The Maykop Culture was an early PIE split that existed between the Taman Peninsula just east of the Crimea east to the Dagestan border in the area that includes part of Southern Russia east of the Crimea, Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya in the Caucasus.

The center of the culture was around Maykop in Adygea (Circassia). The region is now inhabited by peoples of the Caucasus and is heavily Muslim.

An explanation:

The Proto-Indo-Europeans belonged both R1a and R1b. Their homeland was in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, in what is known as the Kurgan culture (7000-2200 BCE).

The presence of R1b in modern times between the Black Sea and the Caucasus hints at the Maykop culture (3500-2500 BCE) as their most plausible homeland, while the Eurasian steppes to the north were R1a territory. […]

A comparison with the Indo-Iranian invasion of South Asia shows that 40% of the male lineages of northern India are R1a, but only 20% of the female lineages could be of Indo-European origin (H, J, K, T, U).

The impact of the Indo-Europeans was more severe in Europe because European society 4,000 years ago was less developed in terms of agriculture, technology (no bronze weapons) and population density than that of the Indus Valley civilization.

This is particularly true of the native Western European cultures where farming arrived much later than in the Balkans or central Europe. Greece was the most advanced of European societies and was the least affected in terms of haplogroup replacement.

Native European Y-DNA haplogroups (I1, I2a, I2b) also survived better in regions that were more difficult to reach or less hospitable, like Scandinavia, Brittany, Sardinia or the Dinaric Alps[…]

The eastern branch of the R1a steppe people was the Andronovo culture (2300-1000 BCE), around modern Kazakhstan, which correspond to the Indo-Iranian branch of languages. Their migration to the south have resulted in high R1a frequencies in southern Central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent.

The highest frequency of R1a (about 65%) is reached in a cluster around Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In India, 15 to 45% of the population is R1a, depending on the region and caste. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hinduism) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.

References

Pokorny, Julius. 1959, 2007. Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary. A Revised Edition of Julius Pokorny’s Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Published on the Internet: Indo-European Language Revival Association.

This research takes a lot of time, and I do not get paid anything for it. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a a contribution to support more of this valuable research.

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Bad Place to Visit, Wouldn’t Want To Live There

Repost from the old site. This article has produced a tremendous amount of controversy, angry comments, and even, oddly enough, virulent hate mail. I guess I hit some raw nerves. I stand by my comments that these cities are some of the worst in the world, and, in doing further research on the Net, have found only further support for my thesis.

Some of these cities, such as Bogotá, for instance, have large wealthy districts that are apparently quite pleasant. If one is rich, one can make a nice life just about anywhere on the globe. But this is not important – what is important is how the majority live.

The title is a play on the line, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there”, said about many less-than-desirable tourist locales. This post is about the worst places on Earth to visit, and probably to live too. The ratings were based on research done on the Internet in various places, including here and here.

I’m going to focus on the places that are dirty, smelly, crime-ridden, trashy, rip-off havens, unsanitary and dangerous (Third World), and avoid places that are merely depressing, unsightly, rude, etc. (First World). Why? Because I live in the US, and those Third World qualities are going to be the most disturbing to me. I’m also avoiding active war zones because everyone knows they are horrible.

To be fair to the “Third Worldists” out there, I noted that many people slammed various places in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Ireland Italy, the US, Great Britain and Australia for various reasons, mostly because they are said to be unfriendly, depressing, tacky, cheesy, boring, etc.

Detroit seemed to top the list as worst US city, along with Newark (though it had one fan), East St. Louis and New Haven (though some liked New Haven) were runners-up. Various small towns in the Rockies (especially Idaho) and Texas also were listed. For some reason, a lot of people hate Vancouver, BC in Canada.

To my thinking, many of the horrible cities below point out the catastrophe of Latin American, Indian, Indonesian and Philippine capitalism. In much of Africa, capitalism doesn’t seem to working very well.

For all its faults, impoverished Cuba certainly does not resemble any of these Latin American hellholes in any way, shape or form. I don’t think that capitalism in the First World is failing, but looking at many of the cities below, it’s hard to argue that capitalism is doing anything but failing in those places.

Some of the winners in the Loser Destination Contest:

Colon, Panama: A dirty, crime-ridden disaster of a city. The most dangerous city in Latin America, full of residents who seem like they would just as soon knife you as say hello. Other than the free trade zone, the entire city seems to be sprawling slum. Colon has no redeeming qualities. This city topped many worst lists.

Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador: Guayaquil is horrible. A stinking, steaming, downright dangerous heap of a city with miles of slums. With armies of glowering gang members, this place is dangerous even in mid-day. There are garbage dumps everywhere with corpses laying out in plain sight and guns going off all the time. Quito is similar. Guayaquil topped many worst city lists.

Johannesburg, South Africa: How sad that this country now has one of the worst violent crime rates on Earth. Although popular with tourists, this city is downright dangerous. This city also topped many worst lists. This blog supports the Mandela government, but the problems of this tragic nation seem insurmountable.

*****
Lagos, Nigeria, or the whole country: This city, and even the whole country, seems to top everyone’s list. Garbage is everywhere, the city stinks, the poverty is horrible, animals are slaughtered on the streets, and it seems that at least half the population wakes up every morning thinking, “Who can I rip off today?” Up to 90% of the economy may be “underground”, off the books, or crime-related in some way or another.

Nigeria has what must be the worst government on Earth and the country is rated the second most corrupt on Earth. The national airlines are dangerous and not recommended. The ripoff attempts often start as soon as you land at the airport and won’t let up until you leave.

It’s best to assume that most, if not all, Nigerians you meet in Lagos are out to rip you off in some way or another and then proceed from there. The city is full of impostors, and you really do not know if anyone is really who they say they are. The police and Customs officials are all crooks and so is 99% of the government.

Most bank and post office employees are also crooked. Imagine waiting in line at the post office, and a group of swaggering gangsters with fake ID’s strut in to pick up their stolen goods reshipped from overseas. They go straight to the front of the line ahead of everyone else, pick up their stolen property, and walk away laughing, having paid off the Post Office clerks. Welcome to Nigeria.

There are Internet cafes all over the city, where 150,000 full-time Internet scammers ply their trade in plain view of anyone to see, and the government doesn’t bat an eye or lift one finger to stop them. In many cafes, 80% or more of the patrons are Internet scammers. Nigeria is now world-famous for Internet scams. Even out-of-work TV newscasters scam away in the cafes, trying to steal from Americans.

The scammers started out with the famous 419 email scams but have now branched out into lottery, romance, auction, roommate, orphanage and check-cashing scams. The scams are continuously evolving, and Nigerian con artists are widely acknowledged to be some of the best in the world, as they have been practicing the art for decades now.

On highways outside of Lagos, you can see numerous vehicles wrecked on the side of the road, or even in the middle of the road, some with dead bodies still in them or beside them. Thieves pick through the wreckage and rifle the corpses looking for stuff to steal. All of the roads are dangerous, as armed robbers often set up roadblocks to shake down travelers.

Nigeria is now a world center for counterfeit pharmaceuticals, credit card fraud and drug dealing, and a district of Lagos, Oluwole, is now a world center for top-notch forgery.

The FBI and the US Merchant Risk Council recently came to Nigeria and inspected 40 packages coming into the country from the US to check for stolen goods. 39 of the 40 packages contained stolen property.

When the agents arrived at a Lagos neighborhood and tried to arrest an 18-year-old boy for reshipping scams that targeted US merchants, much of the neighborhood – up to 100 people – rushed out of their homes to defend the local punk from Big Bad Whitey.

Although the country is awash in oil, the power goes out all the time because the government power company is so crooked. The power company has either stolen all of its own budget money or the power comes in, but the crooked company resells it on the side.

As with elsewhere in Africa, Whitey is blamed for all the troubles here. Hatred of Whitey is higher in Nigeria than in much of the rest of Black Africa and the White visitor will definitely feel it.

The degeneration of Nigerian society is complete, and the culture appears near collapse. Mobs lynch thieves in the street and kill them in public for as meager a crime as stealing a cellphone, yet crime rages on anyway. Anyone can just up and say they own your house, put it on the market and sell it and you are out a house. Law enforcement, courts and anything resembling government seem to be nonexistent.
******

******
Lima, Peru: When they tell you to visit Peru, they don’t mean the nightmarish capital. There are teeming slums as far as the eye can see, horrible crime (although not a lot of violent crime), pickpockets everywhere, and on top of all that, the sun never comes out. The fog mixes with the smog and the filthy streets to make a toxic brew. Lima made many worst lists.

But it has its fans, and the upscale Miraflores district is said to be nice. The execrable Shining Path took up their nihilistic, deranged war in this country for a reason – because Peru is a rotten heap of a country.
******

******
Medan (Sumatra), Jakarta, Surabaya, Indonesia: Jakarta is a reeking city with terrible pollution, open sewers and wrenching poverty.

Medan seemed to top many lists for worst city on Earth, though it has a few fans. It’s hot, dirty and polluted, with factories, thieves and leering, menacing men everywhere. There is also nowhere to stay, not that you would want to stay anyway. Besides Medan, the rest of Sumatra is much better.

The river running through Surabaya is so polluted you might vomit walking across the bridge. As you suppress your gag reflex, you will look down and notice that people are actually washing their clothes in this river.
*****

*****
Mumbai, Patna (Bihar), Calcutta, all large Indian cities, India: Indian cities are very dirty and teeming with some of the most miserably poor and wretched people you will ever see, but at least there is not a lot of crime. The Hindu religion keeps crime down because believers fear they will be punished by returning in the next life as something terrible, like one of the huge rats you see scurrying about.

Mumbai has pollution that is so bad that people actually get lung cancer from breathing the air. Mumbai, a stinking and sometimes dangerous city, made many worst city lists.

Patna is the sorry capital of Bihar, the poorest state in India. It’s dirty and miserable, and it’s almost impossible to even get a taxi to get you out of town, which means it’s hard to leave the place.

Calcutta is generally agreed to be one of the worst cities in India.
*****

Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, China: Deadly pollution, mostly from coal.

Bucharest, all of Romania: Stalinist pollution covers the whole country and everyone seems depressed.

Bali (in particular Kuta Beach), Indonesia: Hopes so high, reality so low. It seems everyone is out to rip you off. Surly locals hungry for money. Dangerous roads, nightmarish traffic, rude, leering men. When it rains, the sewers flood into the streets. Very high crime rate, hustlers everywhere. Most of the rest of Indonesia is pretty nice. Kuta is a tourist trap gone to Hell.

****
Manila, Philippines: A crime-ridden hellhole. There are armed guards everywhere, especially in front of banks due to constant bank robberies. Their nemeses, criminal gangs armed to the teeth, roam streets filled with prostitutes and transvestites.

It’s a town where everyone seems like they are out to rip you off in one way or other, and the hotel workers and cab drivers are all crooked. The latest advice is to have your Filipino friend meet you at the airport and head straight to their place, thereby avoiding all the ripoffs and con artists that seem to descend on every tourist. Traffic is horrible, and pollution is so bad it kills people. But some people don’t mind it.
****

Gdansk, Poland: Combine a high crime rate and daylight robberies with totally crooked, thieving officials, and you get this Polish city. However, a number of others said it’s just fine.

****
Mexico City, Villahermosa, Mexico: Mexico City is a dirty, polluted city suffering an insane, surreal epidemic of street crime, especially violent crime. Add 20 million people, stir well, bring to a boil, cover with a lid of otherworldly smog, and simmer.

Reportedly, tons of human waste are blown into the air every day, and much of the population has constant respiratory infections. The sewer system is reportedly above ground and more or less runs through lots of neighborhoods where many people are residing.

Villahermosa is a Mad Max-style, violent, crime-ridden disgrace of a city. There are stabbings and shootings galore here, even with a 10 PM curfew in place.
*****

Tangier, Morocco: This is a dangerous place with lots of street crime. That’s unusual for a North African country, but Tangier is so close to Europe that it is almost a part of Europe.

*****
Cairo, Egypt: Cairo has horrible pollution, smells terrible, there is trash everywhere, nothing works, there are armies of miserably poor people and it boasts some outrageously awful traffic. In the souks there are huge rats and wild, mangy scavenging dogs running about in plain sight. There seems no escape from aggressive, pestering hawkers. On top of all that, all the Customs officials are criminals.

The crime rate is fairly low, though. Thank President Hosni Mubarak. 25 years ago, Cairo was one of the great world cities.
*****

Bangkok, Thailand: This gigantic city has pollution so bad you need to wear a mask over your face. However, some folks like this city and say it has many positive attributes.

*****
Brindisi, Naples, Italy: No one seems to like Brindisi. It’s a sad, dirty, polluted and ugly city, with hostile, brawling, drunken locals, hungry stray dogs, belligerent drivers, horrible traffic, and miles of soul-killing tenements.

You would think that despite all of that, being genuine Italians, they could still manage to make a decent pizza. Forget it: even the pizza is terrible. Brindisi topped many worst lists, although it has a couple of fans.

I had never even heard of Brindisi and had to look it up on a map. It’s located in southern Italy on the East Coast, southeast of Naples. Naples has a great deal of crime, and many think this city is overrated as a tourist destination, although others say that, despite the drawbacks, it has its joys. All of southern Italy has a lot of crime, but it’s mostly property crime.
*****

*****
Athens, Piraeus, or the whole country, Greece: Greece, especially Athens, gets mixed reviews. A lot of people really hate Athens; others don’t. The detractors say the city is dirty, ugly, depressing, polluted, and covered with garbage and traffic. I was surprised that Athens made the list, as I had always thought it was a wonderful city.

The port city of Piraeus is a nasty place. The whole city smells like a giant sewage treatment plant, and the ocean offshore has a sickening color to it.
*****

****
Suburbs of Paris, France: These tragic towns, full of hostile Arab immigrants angrily refusing to assimilate to French culture or join French society, are a sign that the French model is not working well, at least for some folks.

There is a terribly high crime rate here, and cops and firemen often won’t go there because they get attacked as soon as they show up. These mournful towns are packed with angry, unemployed young Arab men who like to seriously riot every year or so, or even more often if the mood strikes them. Lately, they have been staging mini-riots every night. If only 100 cars are burned, that’s a good night.

Otherwise, Paris, of course, is one of the world’s great cities. But that doesn’t mean you might not walk into a subway station reeking of urine and see junkies shooting up in plain sight. But still, Paris is a must on any serious travelers’ list.
******

Brussels, Belgium: As with Paris, the districts with many Arab immigrants are quite dangerous and unpleasant, but the rest of the city is as nice as any big city.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: With one of the worst crime rates in Africa (although it has plenty of competition), this city topped many worst lists.

*****
Bangui, Central African Republic: One of the worst cities in Africa, as bad as Lagos. The crime rate is totally insane. The locals will try to steal everything you own and even a contingent of armed guards will not be enough to protect you.

Your hotel room will feel like a war zone. This fiendish city made a number of worst city lists. Lonely Planet’s guidebook more or less tells you to avoid this city altogether. Here is a harrowing report of a visit to Bangui.
*****

Bamako, Mali: Mali has one of the worst governments in Africa, admittedly a race with a lot of competition. Bamako is a sick joke of a town, where the tourist surcharge is rigorously enforced, and the ridiculous, potholed streets are undriveable by any vehicle.

Guatemala City, Guatemala: A totally dangerous, dirty, polluted, terminal patient of a city, full of scary, heavily armed teenage soldiers. The soldiers are there to keep the teeming, crime-ridden slums that stretch as far as the eye can see, from overrunning the place. But this city has a few fans.

Belize City, Belize: This sweltering, miserable, impoverished, crime-ridden, very dangerous city is built on a swamp, with a jungle for a backyard. The beggars are aggressive and even menacing, and shady characters shadow you on the streets as you walk about. Cops are nowhere to be seen. This is one of the worst cities in the Americas. But the rest of the country is a great place to vacation.

*****
Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Sao Paulo is the industrial engine of Brazil. This major city is full of garbage and very dangerous. There are hustlers as far as the eye can see, chaotic streets that render maps useless, not enough cops and Godawful traffic.

Rio de Janeiro, the popular tourist destination with the killer skyline perfect for any postcard, is a deceptive place. It’s a very dangerous city with lots of violent crime. Street gangs armed to the teeth regularly shoot it out in military-style wars with the cops.

Death squads of off-duty cops funded by local businessmen roam the streets at night, murdering homeless, drug-addicted street kids and petty criminals with impunity in a sickening “social cleanup” campaign.

There are pickpockets and muggers all about, often in menacing, youthful gangs (especially on the famous beach) and they frequently operate in broad daylight. A dystopian horrorshow of a city.
******

Nairobi, Kenya: Unfortunately, this city is seriously crime-ridden. Even locals admit that violent crime has reached catastrophic proportions.

Caracas, Barquisimeto, or the whole country, Venezuela: The crime is very bad here, sadly, and there is garbage everywhere you look. This blog supports Hugo Chavez, but crime in Venezuela is a tragic, long-standing problem with no quick fixes.

Guinea-Bissau: There is no water, no electricity, no place to stay, and the only hotel is half-demolished.

San‘a’, Yemen: In a Dickensenian touch, children are actually chained up here in order to beg!

Moynaq and Nukus, Uzbekistan: These two cities broiling in a merciless desert have been ruined and turned into ecological dead zones by Stalinist pollution.

*****
San Pedro Sulu, Honduras: This sad town has a horrible amount of crime. Swarms of locals will attack you on the bus, trying to steal your luggage. You will have to fight them off if you wish to retain your suitcase.

Like the rest of this wreck of a country, it’s full of US gang members gone home to Honduras. People here are very poor and desperate. If you can make it to the nice part of town and afford to stay there, though, you can be quite safe.
*****

*****
Dakar, Senegal: According to some, this large West African city has horrible street crime – it is very dangerous. They say if you don’t have armed guards with you, don’t even go outside your hotel room.

However, others report that they spent a week there and found it to be safe, in fact safer than many American cities. Violent crime is reportedly rare, and the country is one of the most stable in Africa, and has been that way since independence.
*****

Port Au Prince, Haiti: This filthy, degraded, extremely dangerous and desperately poor mess of a city is best avoided at all costs. It sports open sewers, enslaved children, riots, killings and lots of other fun things. This blog did support President Aristide’s efforts to improve the tragedy of a nation called Haiti.

Lome, Togo: Criminals are as common as mosquitoes here, walking around fearlessly in broad daylight in this terrible city full of miserable people and crooked taxi drivers.

*****
Istanbul, Turkey: The 200% tourist markup is fully in force in this dirty, ugly city full of harassing, hawking, hostile locals and crumbling buildings, and you can scarcely find a merchant who does not enforce it. There is also a lot of crime here, including some violent crime, unusual for a Muslim city. The weather is lousy, but there are some pretty mosques to visit. However, Istanbul does have a fan or two.

The rest of the country is a great place to visit, has many fans and is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Best bet for Turkey is just to head to the tourist spots and blow off Istanbul altogether.
*****

Phnom Penh, Kampuchea: This city has become a very dangerous, crime-ridden place. The gangs of little girl prostitutes add a particularly poignant touch.

*****
Bogotá, Colombia or really the whole country: Bogotá is one of the most dangerous places in the Americas but there seems to be agreement that Colon, Lima and Guayaquil are worse. Really, all of Colombia is dangerous as Hell, to be honest.

This comment about Bogotá was recently rebutted by a Bogotán blogger, with more comments here. His post aggressively taking issue with this entry is in Spanish, but my Spanish is good enough to get the gist of it. Also I am getting a lot of comments coming in from Bogotáns on the Internet aggressively objecting to the content.

The sole issue that these Defenders of Bogotá are taking issue with is my contention that the city is a very dangerous place. To be honest, Bogotá used to have a truly horrible reputation for crime, but in recent years, there has been a huge effort put into cracking down on street crime. For some more agreement that Bogota is dangerous, see here, here, here and here.

I will now attempt to prove that. There are twice as many murders in Colombia as in the US, and the US has seven times as many people. That means that the murder rate in Colombia is an outrageous 14 times that of the US, and the US is considered to have a high murder rate for the developed world.

Colombia has the highest murder rate on Earth, with Washington, DC and Johannesburg not far behind, but in the case of Colombia, we are talking about a whole country, not some festering city. Out of every 100,000 people, 60-70 will be killed every year. Defenders may try to argue that this is due to a simmering civil war, but 75% of the 25,000 homicides are merely of the criminal variety.

On an average day in Colombia, there are 2 bank robberies, 8 highway robberies, 72 murders and 204 assaults or muggings. You have a greater chance of being murdered in Colombia than you do of dying of cancer! Death squads made up of soldiers and off-duty cops roam the streets, murdering drug-addicted, petty criminal street kids, transvestites, homosexuals and prostitutes.

In fact, probably more prostitutes and homosexuals are murdered per capita in Colombia than even in the most barbarian parts of the Muslim World. Want to fly a plane in Colombia? Don’t. There have been 138 plane crashes since World War 2, with 2,745 deaths.

One of the most popular things in Bogotá is scopolamine. This drug is used by crooks to disable their victims so they can rip them off. It is sprayed in the face, dumped in your drink or spiked into a cigarette. Bogotá hospitals receive an incredible 2,000 scopolamine victims every month, or an astounding 66 a day. The drug knocks you out and can cause medical problems.

Colombia has one of the world’s worst road systems. Many roads are not even marked. Drivers are reckless and many cars don’t have headlights at night. Cows have a tendency to wander into the road.

Taxis are totally dangerous and are best avoided, if possible. Women are advised to avoid all taxis at night. Anyone is advised to avoid any taxi that already has someone in it.

In many cases, this is a criminal accomplice of the thuggish driver. In addition to getting scopolamine sprayed in your face, another popular scam is the “jump-start”: you are told that the taxi has stalled and asked to get out and help push. As you do so, the taxi driver leaves with your luggage.

Buses are also best avoided. Thieves haunt the buses, waiting for you to fall asleep, at which point, they rip you off. Certain bus lines are frequented by thieves offering drugged gum, sweets, food and cigarettes. After the drug knocks you out, they rob you blind. In addition to theft and druggings, kidnapping and extortion are also rife on buses.

In view of all of the above, it is nothing short of amazing that all of these Colombians are angrily protesting my characterization of their country as dangerous. Or perhaps they doth protest too much?
*****

Managua, Nicaragua: This dirty, crime-ridden, dangerous disaster of a city has a bombed-out look about it. This blog supports Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party and prays that they can ameliorate this mess.

*****
San Salvador, El Salvador: See Managua. Full of dangerous former LA gang members. Death squads roam the streets, slaughtering gangsters by the dozen, but for every one you kill, it seems five more pop up in his place.

This blog supports the FMLN’s efforts to reform this ruined land, but the crime here has become so terrible, one wonders if anything short of an act of God could make things better. In fact, I used to make contributions too the FMLN’s weapons fund via an FMLN agent in Los Angeles during the 1980’s.
*****

*****
Detroit, New Haven, Newark, Gary (Indiana), Hammond (Indiana), USA: Detroit topped all lists as the worst city in the US. An ugly, dangerous, depressing and filthy city with a downtown that looks like a war zone – a despairing district surrounded by miles of crumbling, abandoned industrial buildings, torn-down fences and rusting cars.

Newark is similar, with few to no redeeming qualities. It’s a frightening, polluted city with a postwar look of miles of weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots where crumbling apartment buildings have been torn down. It’s also a dangerous city with a high crime rate.

New Haven, despite the presence of Yale University, is similar. There are legions of homeless, begging drug users clogging the streets, and the crime rate is very high due to hordes of crack-dealing gangs shooting it out on the streets. Congress and Columbus Avenues are notorious for drive-by shootings, drug dealing and muggings.

It is reportedly the HIV capital of the East Coast due to IV drug use. A lot of the more respectable people have been moving out for some time now. Although much of the city is quite ugly, New Haven does have its bright spots, thanks to Yale. There are nice parts of town, parks, trees, etc.

Gary is yet another postindustrial Rust Belt train wreck of a town. A grimy town full of abandoned factories, overgrown lots, rusting fences, graffiti, barred windows and vomit. Go downtown and see tall buildings all boarded up, with no vehicles in sight and unhinged stoplights swaying in the wind – for all practical purposes, a ghost town. This was once a vibrant, working-class city, and now it looks like Road Warrior.

Hammond is similar, a suicidally depressing city lined with shuttered factories on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet another Rust Belt post-industrial ruin.
*****

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A collapsing, dirty, crime-ridden hellhole.

Osaka, Japan: I never would have thought that this city would make the list but according to my friend Tumerica, she says it is the worst city she has ever lived in. I tagged her with the title of this story. In blogging, tagging mean you are supposed to write on the topic – kind of like, “Tag, you’re it.” I will let her explain why Osaka is such a crappy place in her post here.

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