This evening I played a game of “Ludo” (a game that is apparently American, but I had never heard of until I moved here) with my host sisters and aunt. When the game was over everyone was talking and laughing, and my Auntie asked my host sister to ask me if I thought her skin was very dark. In India, having very light skin is considered attractive, for men and for women. The most famous actors and actresses and the people in TV commercials and on billboards are always much paler than the average Indian person. A lot of college-age girls here wear headscarves and long gloves when they go out, despite the heat, in order to protect their skin from the sun. I was so surprised by my Auntie’s question, because while I was mindlessly rolling the dice during the game, I had been thinking about how pretty she was. Coming from the land of tanning booths and spray-on tans, in America her skin would be considered flawless. It’s so interesting to see what other cultures consider “beautiful”, and it’s also interesting to see how everybody wants what he or she doesn’t have. I told her I thought she was beautiful.