The years we spend in school play a crucial role in forming our opinions. Good experiences give people memories to cherish while the bad experiences leave them traumatic for life.
Wondering what bad experiences can schools offer? From harrassment to discrimination and bullying, there's a lot that goes on in schools.
Recently, a Twitter user from the northeast talked about her experiences of a Delhi's Army Public School. She came up with this thread after seeing other journos from Delhi posting about their fond memories from the same school.
Other students of the school apparently called her 'Ching Ching China'.
It was the first school where I was called ‘Ching Ching China’ that I had to endure for four years of my life. Even though I pushed back every single time, it was the most humiliating experience.— Makepeace Sitlhou (@makesyoucakes) October 26, 2021
In a school where most of the kids were from the north Indian states, none of the other students from the NE stood up against the humiliation and discrimination. Reason: They were just trying to fit in.
This Twitter user did the opposite. She protested and how? She learned all the Hindi swear words that and used them whenever anyone called her 'Chinki'.
I was considered the “uncool” one for protesting because the other “chinkies” didn’t say a word. I didn’t blame them. They were only trying to fit in. I fit in by learning all the lund/gaand gaalis that I gave back every time the C word was thrown at me.— Makepeace Sitlhou (@makesyoucakes) October 26, 2021
She further talked about how playing sports and being the captain of the house sports team helped her survive Army Public School and Delhi, both.
But even then life wasn't easy because she belonged to the Northeast. Despite winning several championships for the house and school, she faced discrimination from teachers and sports staff.
But even when I proved my worth in court, the racial discrimination from the teaching staff in charge of sports was most disturbing. Competing with punjus and jats in sports literally means stepping on their toes.— Makepeace Sitlhou (@makesyoucakes) October 26, 2021
Racial discrimination isn't the only thing she talked about, there was rape. In one of the most coveted schools of India.
I survived APS-DK and was glad because it helped me survive Delhi, one of the toughest places for a minority - who is a “chinki” or a “kaaloo” - to live in.— Makepeace Sitlhou (@makesyoucakes) October 26, 2021
But being an army establishment, it remains one of the places that most let me down in offering a “secular” ground.
Army Public School alumni from across the country including those from the Dhaulakuan one, posted their experiences. While some people had similar stories of bullying, others outrightly denied all this happening at the school.
I went to APS, Dhaula Kuan as well, I felt very disconnected. I had studied in Bhutan prior to that. Mix of aggression, woke-ness, a bit of rank hierarchy. I had a little brother who was seeing a school for the first time so I had to be there for him—which was uncool for many.— Anubha Bhonsle (@anubhabhonsle) October 27, 2021
As an Army Physicians son, I am horrified to hear of your experience at this school. In the sixties, I briefly attended another APS (Dhaula Kuan was an field), transferred to Mount Saint Marys on Parade Road, as one of the first students in 1963. The Irish Brothers were strict!— Ashis Basu (@BasuAshis) October 27, 2021
Did not expect to awake to such a thread about my school. I spent 4 years of my senior school there. Was tough I agree. Fortunately I carry a lot of fond memories but cannot really deny the other side. How long bcak are you referring to?— Swaathi Venkatesan (@docSwaathi) October 27, 2021
What nonsense! I studied 8 years in APS,DK and never heard or saw any of this. Question is why you did not change school if you were so traumatized and secondly you did well in sports. Anyway its school, bullying is part of all schools. Handle it and let bygones be bygones.— rohit singh (@rssin23) October 27, 2021
It's really sad you faced something like this; most army children are not so cruel because it's all such a mixed bag; most of them have witnessed more places & changes than many adults ever will. Mine went to KV Andrewsganj and we never heard of anything like this there.— punam mohandas (@PunamMohandas) October 27, 2021
Omg I still remember growing up, everyone treated APS DK like the holy grail, and even though such rumours were always floating, I had never heard a personal account because somehow they were always buried. I'm so sorry you had to go through this and glad you spoke up about it.— Meehika Barua (@meehikabarua) October 27, 2021
Honestly, your high school experience is very similar to mine. Even I’ve attended the same school for 14 years but in the last two years it got so toxic for me, that I counted days till it finally ended. Till date the trauma from that place continues to affect me.— Trina Chatterjee (@extrinnnnsic) October 27, 2021
Sorry to hear about this . I have outstanding memories from Class 3 to Class 6 esp sports and games at APS DK . Probably, it started getting worse in higher classes as there was developing aggression in kids. https://t.co/BBQVb8mvBb— Anurag Shrivastava (@hrnext) October 27, 2021
I finished my high school from Army Public School Delhi Cantt, and more or less, it was the same. https://t.co/UrS8uFsile— Saahil Sachdeva (@SaahilSachdeva1) October 27, 2021
People from other schools and colleges of India also shared their horrible and traumatic experiences. Something that doesn't get talked about often.
I feel for you. In journalism school in Chennai, I was constantly set as an example of the oppressor- the fair skinned upper mid class Brahmin bengali and 'privileged' (though I didn't study on scholarship unlike those who were calling me these) student who they loved to hate. https://t.co/hdADGmZG4l— Deblina Chakravorty 🇮🇳 (@hashjaru) October 28, 2021
Thank you for this thread @makesyoucakes. I went to Mount Carmel, Anand Niketan which also had a rampant culture of calling people 'Chinkies', a practice that I suspect is still common across Delhi schools https://t.co/Y42AYvSfON— Smriti Parsheera (@SmritiParsheera) October 27, 2021
This is the story of every school in India, not particularly the north. U get bullied, discriminated against based on the region u r in. My son was bullied in Manipur, for being a Punjabi with too much body hair. The (then) 8-yr-old used his father's razor to shave off his arms. https://t.co/NCPq9zLa1U— Ashima Sharda (@ShardaAshima) October 27, 2021
Hearing such stories of harrassment, abuse, violence and discrimination from schools, and not just any schools, some of the best ones, is just sad and enraging.
Hope these experiences reach people in-charge and things change for the good.