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05/10/2011

Talking about hair…

Cf: http://www.indiandacoit.com/archive/2011/05/03/think-twic...

 

I have often seen guys with this kind of haircut: shaved head with a rat tail kind of thing (a strand of hair called here Choti). Considering this is pretty ugly, I have always believed it had to mean something.

So I showed this picture to my colleagues who did not really know and had a good laugh that I took such a picture!!

 

Choti.jpg

 

But they tried to give some explanations:

 

1. This is to show that they are Brahmines – and this strand has never been cut since they were born.

2. This is to show that his dead has died (he then has to shave his head but he can not lose all his “strength” (hair is a symbol of strength) and hence has to keep some)

 

For information, this was a rickshaw wallah/driver…

05/06/2011

Think twice before getting a hair cut!

In India, hair is really important.

I tried to look for proper article on the same but could not find anything really so I will gather a few things I can remember about it! 

  • There are temples where people shave off and give their hair as an offering to god – which hair is then sent to Italy, treated and recycled in very expensive wigs).
  • There are the Jaïn nuns who have to pluck every hair from their head when they become nuns.
  • There are the Sikhs who don’t cut their hair and hide it in a turban to “show God that their “human” beauty has no value”.
  • There are the Hindu widows who are supposed to shave their head – it is less done today but when you visit the countryside and see a woman with very short hair, you can’t help wondering whether her husband has recently passed away.
  • There are the Muslim women who hide their hair.

And the best example is still this one: 

 

india,hair,turban,comb

A majority of Indian men never go out without their comb and they frequently use it!! No better way to become rich than starting a comb factory!!

08:24 Posted in Incredible India! | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: india, hair, turban, comb |  Facebook | |

05/04/2011

Untouchables, again...

I will finish my story on the “Backwards” (cfhttp://www.indiandacoit.com/archive/2011/04/14/and-you-what-s-your-little-name.html )

I have been told that my note was full of contempt and condescension.

But this system is really contemptible!

I will quote here an expert, Marc Boulet who wrote this book “In the skin of an Intouchable” – he basically learned Hindi perfectly, took drugs to get a tan and lived on the street as an Intouchable beggar for months…

 

“Westerners completely fall for it. They rightly fight racism and anti-Semitism but they see the caste system with a lot of indulgence and consider that it is part of the Indian cultural heritage, like the Tâj Mahal. They don’t get shocked, outraged, by the caste system; it is far away. And I also think that their benevolence comes from the fact they admire the brahman civilisation and they get disgusted by sweepers and other untouchables, altogether with beggars and lepers for whom they only think of a contemptuous charity. […] I am not scared of words anymore. The caste system is a segregationist system, just as Apartheid in South Africa. As revolting, as condemnable.”

 

Then I had a word about it with Indian friends. This world “backward” was found by the Government after independence. The idea was to create quotas (for education, for public-sector jobs (22.5%), for seats in the parliament (17.5%)) for underprivileged and women. These quotas had been created for 10 years.

When the Government revised it, in the late 80’s, they estimated that the deadline should be extended, created the “Other Backward” class and increased the quotas.

Since mostly “Backwards” vote and they represent more than 50% of the population, the quotas stopped being a temporary solution…

And that upset other people because quotas target only the cast and not the revenue. But you now have rich Untouchables (who get the quotas) and poor Brahmans (who don’t)…

Not easy…

 

Source : My friends and http://reason.com/archives/2010/05/04/indias-government-by-quota