You Go, Parvati and Padma!

I've ordered my copy of #6 to arrive on pub date, but I'm saving it to read on a long plane ride coming up in August. So don't tell me what happens, okay?

As for The Goblet of Fire flick, I trust that the Patil girls will be absolutely gorgeous, even as they dump Harry and Ron at the Yule Ball. Take a fuzzy peek at Harry dancing with Parvati (Shefali Chowdhury). In the books, Rowling makes these sisters downright silly. No "noble savage" or "exotic other" syndrome in Harry Potter, not for the Asians, at least. Rowling never uses ethnicity to define Cho Chang's character, apart from describing her shining dark hair. Cho, like Parvati and Padma, is permitted to be a girl first and foremost without any modifying adjectives or easy stereotypes. I like that.

Rowling, however, does rely on ethnic stereotypes to characterize Europeans. I wonder what it's like to be French and read about the pampered, picky students of Beauxbatons, or German, and read about the austere, cold practices of Durmstrang. It doesn't seem to have hindered sales of the books throughout the continent — or anywhere on the planet. Here's to Harry, everybody! Keep writing, J.K.!