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What’s your society’s badge of honour?

July 29, 2008
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All societies have value systems…values which citizens aspire to reach. They want to possess all the qualities that are admired in society and live a life considered ideal by the standard of that particular society. The gap between the ideal and the real may be large or it may be small…the point is that there is always an ideal to aspire to and that is what makes a nation what it is…or rather what it wants to be. Good or bad isn’t the critical thing here….because if something is desired it automatically becomes “good.”

From the little I know of the west and if I dare generalise, I think people in the west admire and desire success, talent, money, youth, and they also put a premium on hard work and honesty. They also look up to those who do charitable work and those who are concerned about the environment and animals. If an individual has even a little of the above mentioned attributes, he/she will highlight them…after all, these are the society’s badges of honour. (By clubbing the west into one entity I have been far too simplistic (probably what I wrote applies mostly to America, but this is all I know and I welcome you to add points or correct me).

You might argue that all cultures/societies value these things, but I’m saying it’s the intensity which differs. The premium placed on different values is different in different societies…I am not sure exactly why, but I think perhaps it’s the life cycle of a society.

In India we don’t value those same qualities with an equal intensity…for whatever reasons. So what do we value most in India? Who is the ideal Indian, the Indian that everyone admires, even worships?

Religiosity and spirituality is certainly an attribute that is highly respected, often at the cost of other attributes. Unfortunately religiosity is also a quality that is easy to fake. All one has to do is perform the proper rituals, adhere to fasts, visit temples, give offerings and viola! You are dubbed virtuous! Who cares if the offering to the gods is a few lakhs of black money? Donations matter and a person who donates large amounts to charity is admired and few ask where the money is coming from. And as for the giver, the giving of the tainted money to the poor makes him feel that it’s washed away some of his sin.

So am I saying that honesty and integrity is not valued in our society? Well, if it is why do public officials make it known that they are “flexible?” They do it because any rigid stand will ensure the end of their career. If being “flexible” was a quality he/she had to be ashamed of would the official make it known? The way it is now, he is ashamed only when he is caught being “flexible.” As long as he/she is not caught and it’s just rumours flying around, everything is fine. Those who dare to wear honesty and integrity as their badge of honour (there are plenty of people like this) could well suffer an early demise of their career in public life.

It’s not just politicians and bureaucrats. Industrialists don’t wear their honesty as a badge of honour either, except perhaps the Tatas but people suspect them too. The fact is that many businessmen do not bother to pretend they are honest…they just try and ensure they aren’t caught. And as for many of our professionals, they blatantly buy acres and acres of land and apartments galore, which is fine, as long as they’ve paid their taxes! They don’t mind the rumours…and in drawing room conversations defend their right not to pay taxes.

I am not sure if we wear hard work as a badge of honour either. We Indians work very hard, harder than those in the west, but people seem to admire those who produce results without working hard! For example, at school and college getting good marks without working hard is admired! We also dream of a time when we need not work hard…we admire the results more than the methods.

But what are the other qualities besides religiosity that we as a nation admire?
Culture…you need to have loads of it. A deep knowledge about India, our customs, our literature, proficiency in one’s own regional language (and a few other Indian languages), a smattering of Sanskrit helps too. Having read the great Indian authors is also greatly admired…because this isn’t just knowledge, it’s wisdom too.

Which brings me to another related value – the desire for education and knowledge. All classes may not relate to this value, but I think at least three quarters of India does. But at some level even the poorest of the poor also want education…it is the great Indian dream…it’s just that they don’t have the time or the means.

Those who are already educated aspire to get more educated. The word “highly qualified” is talked of in glowing terms in India, and for boys who are wont to take dowry, it means a higher price at which they can sell themselves. Knowledge of English also falls in this category as does scientific and technical knowledge. In fact so much is this craze for education that minting fake degrees and selling them for a price is big business in India!

But how does this “western” education fit in with the Indian “cultural” education…aren’t they contrary? Not at all, for a man (or woman) to be the ideal Indian he needs to be comfortable in both…he needs to prove that he is well versed in his own culture as well as the modern education.

While austerity is no more an admired quality in India, leading a “pure” life is…by this it means that people who don’t drink, smoke and abstain from pre-marital sex are admired. This is a quality much sought after in prospective brides and grooms.

Success and riches bestow high status on people so success is very important. In fact, money is what success is measured by, like in the west. Gradually we are moving away from the time when caste and family bestowed status or when just a good education (whether Indian or cultural) bestowed status. Today, money is required. Education also brings in the status but a string of degrees + money = Ideal.

Remember I am not saying that is how we are, nor am I saying this is how they are…I am talking of aspirations, that’s all.

Note: All these are my thoughts and feelings based on my personal observations, and are not based on any research. I apologize in advance if I am off the mark.

(The first photo is from dreamstime.com (free photo site) and the second one is by me and copyrighted)

Related Reading: Hofstede’s study of the differences between the East and the West
Cultural differences between the East and the West in pictures
The world will be of mixed race one day

Posts on Religion: Godmen and Gurus – what purpose do they serve?
The future of Religion
Religiosity all over the world
God doesn’t need bribing and sucking up to

35 Comments leave one →
  1. Vikram permalink
    July 29, 2008 9:47 am

    Hmmm, I really believe that you are making the wrong inference with regards to corruption. Almost all of the developing world faces huge amount of corruption and actually as I have pointed out before, India does better in this regard than most countries at a similar economic level. I dont think corrupt civil servants/politicians are a product of culture.

    I think you can make important inferences about Indian culture from our cinema. For example, in Lagaan the characters derive strength and inspiration from their religious beliefs, while at the same time they are ready to play a foreign game. Lagaan also shows the highly absorbent and syncretic nature of Indian society, the very fact that a blockbuster movie could be made about cricket is proof enough.

    On the other hand a cruel contradiction exists in this context, with the Dalits (who are as Indian as anything else) being denied their cultural and legal rights. Their epic ‘Dhola’ (far more progressive than the Ramayan and Mahabharat) is ignored, this perhaps shows the dark side of Indian society with its often sick and debilitating emphasis on ‘purity’ and status.

  2. July 29, 2008 10:52 am

    I completely agree when you said….
    “I think people in the west admire and desire success, talent, money, youth, and they also put a premium on hard work and honesty.”

    I think their attitude to life is quite different from ours. And that’s because of the difference in economies. And this “felxibility” factor, as I think, is present in the developed nations too. The only thing is tha the proportions vary. One difference I observed in America is that the traffic cops are quite strict and sincere.

    I agree that austerity is no more a virtue. And yes, hard work is not valued. the end resutls are all that matter! Our education system again!😦 No one cares on how I finish my assignments or how active as a person I am, all that matters is how many marks I scored in the final exam. Who cares if I have done a mal-practice?

    There is something good I observed in us. We have a good knowledge of the world around when compared to the west. Again, this is my opinion. I might be wrong as well.

  3. Sakhi permalink
    July 29, 2008 11:03 am

    I don’t know Nita, whether the western world is what you have diescribed… Yes, we have glorified their success, no doubt!

    But you are right in saying that we need to go heigher, in terms of culture, hard work and the whole prespective of “ideal India”! We definately need to change and change for better.

    And when we say that the society has to change, i feel, that WE, the people make society, so when we want some change in society, WE have to change!

    As charity begins at home, similarly, change also begins at home!

    P.S. Nice post🙂

  4. July 29, 2008 11:26 am

    Vikram, true what you say about corruption being more prevalent in developing economies, but isn’t that just the reason? The fact is that corruption exists and people turn a blind eye. I also see a lot of dishonesty in other professions too, not just poltics, this habit of making money on the side I mean in private companies as well. At the same time I am not saying it doesn’t happen in the west, but just that over there people desperately try to hide it! They know their reputations could be ruined forever. Over here, I feel a kind of uncaring attitude.

    Manoj, I agree that the “flexibility” factor is present out there too, the only difference being that they don’t ever want any dirt to stick, because over there it does stick. I agree with you entirely about people in developed countries not knowing much about India. I see it in the blogs I read too. I think we in India are far more aware and I think that’s natural as all of us have someone there and that sort of increases our interest in that country.

    Sakhi, thanks. True one sort of gets a rosy picture from here! Only they who live there and have lived there for years can truly throw light on this. And yes, I think we need to have higher ideals and aspirations because that is what makes us different from animals. Noble thoughts, noble ideas, noble desires. That is what makes us human.

  5. guqin permalink
    July 29, 2008 11:28 am

    If honour leads to public recognition in form of awards like as shown in the photo, then I have something to say. When I was in elementary school and middle school, I happened to have won in many contests from writing to mathematics. Many times I would be called up to walk in front of the whole school to recieve my awards. As a child, this must have felt like an adult recieving the Nobel price. But this is it, awarding in essence is children’s play given by adult authorities. Ethically, formal awarding looses its meaning when it isn’t given by a source higher than the recipient. Awarding one is in essence treating one like a child. A friend of mine puts it plainly: Awarding you is humiliating you. My friend is a Buddhist monk.

    Awarding or public honouring are just the trick of the society to tame its members to cooperate with its projects. This principle is the most evident in its military sector.

    We humans like to re-invent ourselves as fools, I must say.

    In the Chinese part, typically people of Confucian values are honoured. Just as an example, early this year’s Chinese new years program of CCTV (major national TV), a dozen of national heros were brought to the screen, among them: a man took care of his parents-in-law for the past 30 years though his wife passed away half a year after the wedding, a young girl lost her legs in putting priority in saving others in a traffic accident, etc. etc…

    Please don’t get me wrong. I agree to good deeds, I just feel suspicious of formal public honouring.

  6. July 29, 2008 3:49 pm

    Its difficult to generalize because for example, i’m from the west (spain) but our values, characteristics, way of thinking…from America (for example) are so different. Of course we have something in common, but we have much more differences really! I think we could be in a group called the “mediterranian area” ….hahahaha, more shanty shanty…hahahah!

    Its true, in general in the west, the values are the ones u wrote…as we live in the capitalism. Here we value a lot things like: education, good conditions at work (timetable, salary, good relation with workmates and boss,…), health, friendship…

    But like in every country, each individual has different values in life…i think…

  7. July 29, 2008 4:04 pm

    Also, living in a “rich” country, where the major part of the people have good live and all the basic necessities covered, we tend to admire also the people that chose a “crosscurrent” life: working less hours to have more free time, people who dont care about fashion trends and dont follow them, people who “avoid” capitalism as much as they can, living a kinf of “alternative” live,…
    We are “so used” to the way of living here, that we admire the opposite, u know?
    (of course, all this from my experience, my country and from the people aroud me…)

  8. Joss permalink
    July 29, 2008 4:44 pm

    Manoj,

    I agree with much of what you say. Austerity has not been valued at all in the west either. Especially since we in Britain have just passed through a period of cheap food, cheap clothes, cheap everything except houses . All this has been at the expense of the planet and the people who live on it (but don’t live near us). Now however, all that is changing. People in the west are much more aware of the true cost of their cheap consumer goods, are becoming as aware of the rest of the world as the average is. And auusterity is very much becoming valued again. We turn down our heating one degree, walk instead of riding, recycle, reuse, repair … and much more. The young think it is becoming like war-time, only the old know how much worse it was then. Certainly the ideal Briton does all those things. But I fear it’s not enough.

  9. July 29, 2008 5:10 pm

    In my everyday work I deal with people from Western Europe. In my daily life my life partner is Japanese. I am Indian. Its pretty much a heady mix. What I have observed about western people is that they are generally prone to seeing things in either Black or White. Asians including Indians and Japanese are capable of observing more shades in between. Indians are also more prone to emotions than East Asians or Western people. Over all every place shines in its own way. I will be honest though Indians do not make very good workers in my opinion, though they do indeed work very very hard but in the terms of productivity they fall behind somehow. They are also less likely to pay attention to detail.Time management is something that I will not even touch on though I am sure a lot has been written about Indian time management skills. Again like you this is my opinion based on running a company which employs people from a multitude of backgrounds and nationalities. It is a general observation not of course implied that every individual is that way.

  10. July 29, 2008 5:20 pm

    “probably what I wrote applies mostly to America” – It also applies to most of Western Europe infact I can say that Europe is more concerned environmentalists and more of them are so than the Americans. Aussies and Newzealand also love their environment.

    For us though we value Money a lot more than people. And then we need culture, religion. education not in any order. I am not sure if a lot of us are even educated/informed well on the Environment front.

  11. July 29, 2008 5:27 pm

    if not for virtue man is complete….

    see i got in 80s this time except maths and still mom yells at me saying that i am not studying! Anyway that is personal…on the larger perspective…i think ppl admire ppl who can admire themselves first..

    and of course the king markers or rather branders! OMG! i have is it alright…one kind says Vishesh sucks that it,the whole gets the idea!

  12. July 29, 2008 6:27 pm

    well ,the attitude differs for us than those in the west ..from what i have heard from my relatives..they say that ppl in the west wok hard…real hard in the week days ..and when the weekends arrive they go somewhere with the family far from work ..enjoying the life ..
    with IT companies a lot more ppl are shifting to this western trend..
    HARd work is no longer considered unless the results are obtained wel,i dont see anything wrong in that…down;t that depend on the individual …we need to work hard for doing things we are good at ..something’s just come to us .naturally ,
    so until a person does’t fool himself i would accept the result no matter how much effort he put into .

    These days status comes to people by going abroad and studying…thats hard to accept but true..
    NO matter how u perform ..if u have loads and loads of money u canearn a high degree of social respect along with a degree ..

  13. July 29, 2008 7:12 pm

    I feel smart work is admired than hard work in India.

    People admire success too, why else would Shah rukh khan, Sachin Tendulkar are treated as God?

  14. wishtobeanon permalink
    July 29, 2008 7:18 pm

    Hi Nita, I think you are right on target with this post.

  15. lallopallo permalink
    July 29, 2008 9:20 pm

    I think the western values you generalized are pretty spot on. The individual success in terms of success in career, intellectual achievements and material wealth is appreciated here . But, more importantly, it’s appreciated after it’s achieved by hard work , talent and integrity. It’s also positive in the sense that even the ones who havent made it yet are not looked down as some inferior species.The underlying philosophy here is that everybody has a fair chance of making it in the end and it’s up to an individual to make the most out of his talent and resources. That’s how I look at North American capitalism.
    I guess in India and many other similar hierarchical societies, social hierarchy in terms of class, wealth, education etc spoils the party many times.
    For instance, on many social occassions here, I see people from different strata of society mingling with each other without any issues. Just this weekend, I was at a friend’s place for a pool party and along with MBA’s, IT engineers and TV news reader, there was a simple construction worker who started out after finishing high school. He was as much a part of the party as anybody else. No, he was not a relative of my friend or his wife, neither was he very rich or a childhood friend of anybody. My friend knew him after his wife met this guy’s wife for the first time few months back at a preparatory workshop for new mothers.
    I wonder if such a thing will happen normally in Indian society.

  16. July 29, 2008 9:42 pm

    Gugin, the picture is of a person receiving her graduation degree, but yes this too is in a way an award. An award bestowed upon by society but as we live in the society, this is what we have to prove to others that we have done such and such and suceeded at it.

    Francina, thanks. yes you are right, people living in a rich country once their basic needs are satisfied, they look to quality of life…and ofcourse every society values all those things, it’s just which are most important. For example if A is much more important than B, and if it is not possible to have both, than B could well be sacrificed.

    Joss, the west is coming full circle isn’t it!

    Odzer, thanks. you have brought out some very interesting points and that point about westerners seeing things in black and white and us seeing things in gray…that’s very very interesting!

    Dineshbabu, I don’t think we care about the environment…we are still busy taking care of ourselves.

    vishesh, yep I agree. If you yourself are satisfied you are doing the right thing, then that is important.

    arvind, money seems to be driver these days! you can come from nowhere, have nothing, but if you have money you have everything! And this craze for foreign degrees, whichever the university! I think just going abroad has become a status symbol.

    Sharad, sure smart work is admired, not hard work! It’s as if people who work hard must be dumb if they have to work so hard!! It’s ridiculous. Even when it comes to blogging people love to say, they wrote this and this post in half an hour, but actually it took them 2 hours!🙂

    wishtobeanon, thanks.

    lallopallo, thanks for that comment. I wish for a day that this will happen in India! People here have such big egos if they get some money and status!! They even start turning up their nose at their own relatives, so you can imagine what it is like for someone who is not a relative! I simply cannot stand the snooty crowd and there is plenty of that here.

  17. July 29, 2008 9:52 pm

    Nita, in my opinion taking care of ourselves and the environment should go hand in hand. After all we cannot exist in an environment that cannot support us.

  18. July 29, 2008 9:57 pm

    Hello Nita. The ‘badge of honor’ is America has been replaced by the ‘cult of celebrity’. There is very little to admire in American society these days and it’s all going to come apart very soon. The level of anger and fear in the person on the street is higher than I can ever recall feeling. Government is corrupt. Business is corrupt. Banking is corrupt. The vast riches available for plunder have created an amoral mindset among many Americans who are only interested in getting wealthy. The police and security forces are fast approaching fascism and when, not if, Iran is attacked, the world will explode. Globalization has created the conditions where a small percentage of wealthy overseers have robbed the masses in the name of profit.

    The rest of the world needs to rid themselves of this fascination with America for there is nothing left here worthy of a badge of honor.

  19. Vikram permalink
    July 29, 2008 11:52 pm

    Brian, man, you are going a bit extreme there man, America is in a weak phase but have some faith.

    Nita, I think a lot of the differences between the nations mentioned above arise due to differences in economic development not inherent cultural biases. Of course, Indians value money more, money is scarce in India ! And thats not to say, that people in the West dont value money, but the general environment there is not as tense as India. For example, with the current credit crisis in US, one of the main talking points is how ppl who took out loans to buy houses will have to move back to apartments again !

    So I hope you realize how futile making these comparisons are because in developing countries the day to day decisions that ppl make are almost entirely dictated by the severe lack of resources and capital.

  20. July 30, 2008 1:26 am

    @Vikram

    It’s not a weak phase.

  21. wishtobeanon permalink
    July 30, 2008 1:31 am

    Hi Nita, this is not really related to this topic and if you haven’t heard already about him (Randy Pausch), here it is:


    Also on another unrelated note, I read in the news about the NGO Sulabh stepping in to help a farmer’s widow – it is always so heartening to read about Indians helping out fellow Indians.

  22. July 30, 2008 2:00 am

    pardon my ignorance but the only Indian value system i know revolves strongly around money. west is not so much.

  23. July 30, 2008 2:29 am

    Urban Inida: Fairer skin, fluent english, big degree, bigger salary,even bigger car!

  24. July 30, 2008 7:50 am

    Dinesh Babu, it should I agree. But in reality it doesn’t. It’s countries who have moved to another level who generally do more for the environment.

    Brian, I guess America has it’s bad side, like all societies.It’s good to hear an American see it! But America has its good side too!

    Vikram, I think you missed a critical sentence in my post where I have talked about “life cycle” of a society.

    wishtobeanon, thanks.

    Roop Rai, we have become very materialistic haven’t we! It does revolve around money, and I haven’t given my points in order of importance. About the west, I think it does too, but as I don’t live in the west, that is simply the impression I have here. I think however the motives for the money are different! this is really worth thinking about, the attitude towards money in the west and in India, what the difference is! You have given me food for thought!

    Rahul,🙂

  25. July 30, 2008 7:52 am

    @Nita

    Regarding the concern towards environment in India its usually made fun of. In the picnic I mentioned in my post, whenever I insisted my colleagues to put all waste in trash bins of park I was made fun of, being an Environmental Engineer. Same thing used to happen in my school n college life too. If I insist on saving paper at job, the reply I get is “is the paper coming from ur pocket?” These are small examples of what Indians’ attitudes are regarding environmental activism. As u said if I made regular visits to temple and kept fasts, I would have been termed virtuous and good girl. Sadly I m kinda labelled as a rebel. Again I face some other labelling like “khadoos” if I do my work sincerely and impartially towards students!! That too by my co workers!
    U are 100% true about “at school and college getting good marks without working hard is admired! ” Such people are considered smart!! The shame of committing any level of crime and fear of disgrace is gone in Indians I feel. The attitude is the end should justify the means.

  26. July 30, 2008 8:10 am

    Reema, thanks for sharing your experiences. I too have had similar experiences and felt a sense of sadness reading what you had to say. People say things like “what difference will one piece of paper make!” And that temple going thing, exactly what you said – today if I don a sari and go to the temple everyday I will be considered the most virtuous woman in my colony!🙂

  27. July 30, 2008 8:42 pm

    nits, i am practically disowned by my family because i chose to quit medicine as a career and didn’t become a doctor like all my aunts/uncles and cousins. i was clearly told by family that without money, there is no value to a human being. even my last conversation with mother revolved around the same topic. i expressed to her that I was happy with my life, the career i chose, the lifestyle i chose for myself and the money i make but she just snickered. you could’ve made so much more if u were a doctor. but i never wanted it, Ma, i would be unhappy. she scoffed. unhappy? with that kind of money? bullshit.

    this is just one example. perhaps it’s only an immigrant view but lives of the indian parents revolved around money and make their kids choose careers that would bring in money. pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge was meaningless. in the west, however, although people go to school for money mostly (why not) but there are a few vagabonds like myself who would like to explore education for self-fulfillment of sorts. people like me would not get discouraged in the west. parents would suggest that it’s better to pursue engineering over history but the choice a child makes is his. also, no one really judges you by your profession as much as in Indian circle.

    when in india, people constantly asked me about what i did and acted accordingly. i tried saying i was a millionaire businesswoman and i was treated completely differently than when i said that i was a marketing consultant. that doesn’t happen in west. it’s you as you are that matters more than what you do or how much you have in your bank account.

    again, that’s just my perspective having lived here all my life albeit in an indian household.

  28. July 30, 2008 9:49 pm

    Roop, thank you for sharing that personal experience. It is indeed sad that your decision created so much bitterness. Indian parents can be rather demanding and tend to want to control their children’s lives, believing it is for their own good. The way they do it varies…but I have seen this pressuring to become a doctor in several families. It’s like becoming a doctor is finding the holy grail! Even today, with so many career options it’s amazing that parents still are so keen for their kids to become doctors…it’s also the prestige in our society. But I am glad to her that you have found happiness Roop and I pray that your mom lets it go one day. I am sure she will.
    You are right about how one is treated depending on who one is…the hierarchical society that we are…

  29. July 31, 2008 2:35 am

    There are many “Indian badges of honour” that you missed:
    1) Being a good host: Atithi devo bhava
    2) Being a good friend: “Jaan bhi jaye agar yari mein yaron gham nahi” attitude
    3) Being a good neighbour
    4) Respecting the elders, especially parents
    5) Helping strangers
    6) Giving alms to the poor

    However, as you might have noticed, these are not the kind of ones you would write in a CV. We Indians concentrate more on social badges, while the ones in West are more individualistic.

    Well, I did mention giving alms to the poor but thanks to the others. They are all very valid specially your points number 1) and 4). Thanks. – Nita.

  30. August 1, 2008 1:31 pm

    Exellent article, Nita – and very impressive. As usual you showed the issue in a different light. Also the comments are very intresting.
    I guess someone like Hofstede would be happy to get such a source of the self-analysys by a nation. Great job!

  31. August 2, 2008 12:11 am

    Just clarifying…I did read that you mentioned donations to charity. But I think it is different from giving alms to poor. The former may be to temples like Tirupati, which already have a lot of money.

  32. August 5, 2008 3:59 pm

    Dear Nita,

    I think that when you say that “people in the West admire and desire success, talent, money, youth, and they also put a premium on hard work and honesty” this all corresponds to North American society more than Europe. In fact the premium placed on different values also in my opinion is linked to the life cycle of a society: America is young, while Europe – especially its southern parts – much much older. Honour, sense of duty, hard work, discipline … I might be simplistic but they seem to me qualities belonging to the youth of a society, when people still believe in simple and truthful values.

    India is as ancient as Southern Europe, and maybe even more. Things and values are not that simple in older societies, plus there are deep roots there (thousands of years of experiences and wisdom) not present in places like America (or Australia).

    As far as India, being so ancient, her life cycle should be downward, none the less she is showing unexpected capacities of surviving and progressing. I think India should take from the West only what is good. For the sake of the world India should progress without forgetting her deep spiritual heritage, thus hopefully sculpting new values (and badges of honour) for a new type of modernity the world is so badly in need for.
    Is India, among the deepest cultures ever appeared on earth, up to the task?

    Well, I know there are dangers. An Indian commentator of mine, who lived a bit in my country, Italy, is in fact is asking himself:

    “All that economic boom, here in India, the rise of the new Indian middle class, the development etc… where is it leading us? … and it comes as a complete surprise how we have become from a land of the saints and snake charmers which were once the sanctuary for the westerner running from the fangs of capitalism into the second most growing economy of the world…ultimately, we are not true to ourselves … what we have to prove? … i am an Architect …i miss the afternoons spent in the cafe Giorgio in via Torino in Milano, the sketching sessions of Santa Maria delle Grazie, when i was totally broke…”

    Ciao, MoR

    PS
    A comment of yours on Gaurav’s comment in my blog would be much appreciated:
    http://manofroma.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/fuelling-the-future/#comment-1740

  33. harsh permalink
    August 6, 2008 1:57 pm

    What an amazing post! Something similar to what I have been thinking for years! It is just surprising and so un-reasonable to have “money” and “degree” as a measurement of one’s success.

    I remember CFO of Infosys once making a statement: Money is just a by-product of success. So true.

    Learning does not necessarily come from going to IITs and IIMs. In fact, they are not ideal places for learned and greats, who need an open and unbridled environment to optimize their potential.

    India is a country of ostentatious people and they can go any length to gain material pleasures and stand on the highest podium of show-off sport.

  34. August 6, 2008 9:11 pm

    Axinia, thanks.

    Man of Roma, thanks. Interesting observations!

    Harsh, thanks. Hmm, right, Money a by-product of success. I buy that totally! From what I have read of success stories all those people are driven by something else, not money.

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