Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Caste


I was just thinking how different our lives would be in North America if we employed the Caste system as they have it in India. If you’re keeping score at home and seeing where you would fall, here is the structure:
At the top there is the Brahman, the Priest.
Next there is the Kshatriya, the rulers, warriors and landowners.
Beneath them are the Vaishya, who are the merchants, and by the way, not service providers because they are down one more peg.
Shudra are the artisans, agriculturalists and service providers.

The lowest class is the Harijan "outside" the caste system and were once known as "untouchables." The name for them later changed from untouchables to Harijans, which means gods children. Recently this caste would rather be referred to as Dalit, which means oppressed. Musicians are included in this lot, especially if you play a wind instrument you are considered unclean.

Now no going out and getting ordained in the Universal Church to raise your class. Except since Syd did this last year you are exempt and forward thinking. We bow to you.

Now even stranger, imagine if it were only permissible to associate with those within your own class.

13 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

Except for at Church or when meeting up with some of my Internet friends, Cliff and I pretty much hang with "our own class" anyhow.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

No way in hell would I want to hang out with a bunch of Priests.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Booooooo for the priests...abstinence makes the church grow fondlers....

Moose

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

I find myself at almost every level. I can't imagine only hanging out w/ a certain type of person/people. How boring. And wind instruments are unclean? I guess you could wash it off w/ a little cow urine to "sanitize" it...?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Trop said...

I was married to a Vaishya.

12:36 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Whups. Glad i got ordained years ago. More of the "forward thinking" they're on about, yes? Heck, I even got ordained by the 24 hour Church of Elvis when it was still running downtown. Bit of a stroke of luck, that. But I go about in the guise of an ordinary service provider. "Caste-ing about" you might say. (grin) We do have much the same system here, it's just not quite as rigid, especially since so many of our rich like to dress like they're poor. We have the "haves" and the "have nots" and the "middle class". I kind of like being in the middle. It gives me freedom of movement in either direction...

6:08 PM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

if that type of caste system were here, i'd be Kshatriya, a landowner, but brought up a warrior considering my father called us kids to him by yelling "front and center" and we had to line up by height.
loopymama

6:44 PM  
Anonymous g said...

my mom always hoped i'd become a priest. she ended up with an untouchable. :-)

7:37 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It's a funny thing that there are still things such as priests now that their magic has been exposed, though I may have to start addressing Syd and Darev as "Your Holiness."

Donna, you are a land owner farmer, so you are pretty high up there.

Moose, you are high, too, but in a different way.

Whoa, Ginger, make me puke why don't you?

Trop and a lovely one at that.

Loopy, consider it done.

g, you know how many right wing churches there are in Warrenton, you could easily set up a soap box there and move up the caste ladder.

5:34 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

my best friend is brown and her parents are from different castes (his is "higher" than hers). whenever they get into an argument and he perceives something to be her fault, he says "this is what i get for marrying beneath my caste!"

i cannot imagine. it's like someone saying to me "this is what i get for marrying a black girl!"

gah!

9:39 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dalia, I'd never do that to you unless you wanted to give our children some weird-ass names ; )

4:43 AM  
Anonymous g said...

warntun won't have me.
i'm an elitist brownsmead hippy now.
well, almost.

8:05 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That's right, having chickens and driving a Pius would be the dead give-aways there.

4:56 AM  

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