Friday, October 7, 2011
Behind the Label
It was more than a few years ago that I first picked up a pair of sticks and began playing the Japanese drums, or taiko. Truth be told, I really haven't improved much since that day. I probably get some benefit from the physical exercise the practice sessions provide but basically I'm as good a player as anybody who has never beat a drum in their lives. Still I have one thing that separates me from the rest of the crowd. I have a uniform. Getting it wasn't cheap (it's made locally and I was told the garment workers who sewed it all together so perfectly are paid fair wages and labor under comfortable working conditions) but it was worth it.
The catalog from which everyone in my drumming group (The God of Light Drummers) orders their outfits has three basic sizes, small, medium, and large. The large size category is further subdivided into large, extra-large and a bigger size labeled himan or "obese." Even though that last size distinction may sound a bit offensive, you have to pay a little extra for it. Hurt feelings aside, the sizes fit our little troupe perfectly since we've divided the group into small, medium, and large as well. Small includes kids from 5 to 10 or so, medium ranges from ages 11 to 17 and large would be the adults. The adult group is further sub-divided into large, extra-large and obese. At least that's what our labels say.
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The Beat Goes On