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Indian Student: Weirdest Things about the US

Wallstreetatheist
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9/3/2013 3:17:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Interesting insights from a foreigner:
http://www.businessinsider.com...

"The return policy on almost everything: None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don't have a specific reason for doing so (most stores actually have a "Buyer's Remorse" category under Reason for Return options while returning the product)."
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Primal Diet. Lifting. Reading. Psychedelics. Cold-Approach Pickup. Music.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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9/3/2013 11:16:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 3:17:33 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Interesting insights from a foreigner:
http://www.businessinsider.com...

"The return policy on almost everything: None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don't have a specific reason for doing so (most stores actually have a "Buyer's Remorse" category under Reason for Return options while returning the product)."


The food part is a gross exaggeration.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
AnDoctuir
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9/3/2013 12:35:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 11:16:33 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/3/2013 3:17:33 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Interesting insights from a foreigner:
http://www.businessinsider.com...

"The return policy on almost everything: None of my friends back in India believed me when I told them that you can literally buy anything, including food, and return it within ninety days for a full refund even if you don't have a specific reason for doing so (most stores actually have a "Buyer's Remorse" category under Reason for Return options while returning the product)."


The food part is a gross exaggeration.

Awesome choice of words there, dude.
wrichcirw
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9/3/2013 1:11:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 12:35:55 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 9/3/2013 11:16:33 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

The food part is a gross exaggeration.

Awesome choice of words there, dude.

=)
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?
Cermank
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9/3/2013 1:27:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Specifically this: "I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."
tulle
Posts: 4,445
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9/3/2013 1:48:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

In Canada, not necessarily. Plumbers and construction workers aren't poor here (and they actually make a lot of money) because there is high demand for them. If you're actually poor, you certainly won't be living to the same standard of someone who makes a lot more money than you (in general)---though it is true that being poor here, you'll have a much higher standard of living than a lot of people in developing countries. It's also true that most people have access to ample food, but then the question is of quality. I think it is a lot easier in the US to obtain credit than it is in Canada.

I've thought about this a lot, of people in developing countries who live hand to mouth but don't have any debt, while people in Canada with a networth of -100000 live a much better quality of life.

Interesting comparisons, though. It's always a reality check to hear another perspective.
yang.
tulle
Posts: 4,445
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9/3/2013 1:58:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Actually reading the article, I think some of his observations are way off. Particularly:

"This may be biased/wrong because I was an intern, but at least in the tech world, nobody wants to put you under the bus for something that you didn't do correctly or didn't understand how to do."

Maybe I've only worked in sh!tty places but people will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat to get ahead or gain favour with the boss.

"Strong ethics " everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where everyone collaborates to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating."

There are strict rules against academic dishonesty here, but generally, if people can get away with it, they will cheat.

I agree with him in that it's weird to see how wasteful Americans are (but after going to a developing country, I became aware that I'm pretty wasteful too in comparison). It's shocking to me that Maikuru can put out as many bags of garbage as he wants lol Over here, you can put out 2 bags a week. Doesn't matter if you've got 6 people in your family or 2, it's 2 bags a week. My family typically puts out 1 a week.
yang.
wrichcirw
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9/3/2013 2:59:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

First of all, exactly who are you quoting?

Second, to say that Americans have the "same standard of living" is somewhat erroneous. Perhaps Americans have a high standard of living, but someone living in a townhouse hardly has the "same standard of living" compared to someone living in a villa on Pebble Beach.

About status symbols, iphones and benzes are still status symbols, since those who get them with credit that they can't afford tend not to keep those symbols in the long term.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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9/3/2013 3:02:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 2:59:06 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:

First of all, exactly who are you quoting?

Nevermind, lol.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Cermank
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9/4/2013 12:47:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 1:58:08 PM, tulle wrote:
Actually reading the article, I think some of his observations are way off. Particularly:

"This may be biased/wrong because I was an intern, but at least in the tech world, nobody wants to put you under the bus for something that you didn't do correctly or didn't understand how to do."

Maybe I've only worked in sh!tty places but people will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat to get ahead or gain favour with the boss.

"Strong ethics " everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where everyone collaborates to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating."

There are strict rules against academic dishonesty here, but generally, if people can get away with it, they will cheat.

Perhaps that is where the comparison comes in. As far as I know, Indian colleges don't really have rules against academic dishonesty, thus collaborations are kind of inevitable. But if the teacher is a stickler for originality/ we know she'll put some effort into checking it- people usually don't cheat.

I agree with him in that it's weird to see how wasteful Americans are (but after going to a developing country, I became aware that I'm pretty wasteful too in comparison). It's shocking to me that Maikuru can put out as many bags of garbage as he wants lol Over here, you can put out 2 bags a week. Doesn't matter if you've got 6 people in your family or 2, it's 2 bags a week. My family typically puts out 1 a week.

Lol. Do you have a standard garbage bag size or something?

But I guess I understand why the class-less observation came to be. India is a labour intensive country, so plumbers/ construction workers are the poster boys of poverty. Excess of non skilled labour. When labour is less, their value should be higher. It's interesting how socio-economic parameters alter the value of a profession.
Cermank
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9/4/2013 12:53:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 2:59:06 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

About status symbols, iphones and benzes are still status symbols, since those who get them with credit that they can't afford tend not to keep those symbols in the long term.

Lol, availing credit to get an iphone.
wrichcirw
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9/4/2013 12:57:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/4/2013 12:53:22 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/3/2013 2:59:06 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

About status symbols, iphones and benzes are still status symbols, since those who get them with credit that they can't afford tend not to keep those symbols in the long term.

Lol, availing credit to get an iphone.

An iphone isn't cheap. If you add in the contract, you're talking about nearly $2,000, and this for a landline replacement that within those same two years would easily cost you far less than $500, or a non-smart phone that would cost you less than $1,000. Add that in with other aspects of a nominally extravagant lifestyle (constantly eating out, renting out a penthouse, leasing/buying a car well beyond your means to afford, etc), if bought on credit, would pose a problem.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
AnDoctuir
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9/4/2013 1:07:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This has been a pretty interesting read. One thing, though: isn't Murica set for a huge recession when that college bubble bursts?
AnDoctuir
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9/4/2013 1:09:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Not looking to just rag on America now or anything, but that's truth, right? And then what? Americans are gonna move to India?
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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9/4/2013 1:12:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/4/2013 12:57:55 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/4/2013 12:53:22 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/3/2013 2:59:06 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

About status symbols, iphones and benzes are still status symbols, since those who get them with credit that they can't afford tend not to keep those symbols in the long term.

Lol, availing credit to get an iphone.

An iphone isn't cheap. If you add in the contract, you're talking about nearly $2,000, and this for a landline replacement that within those same two years would easily cost you far less than $500, or a non-smart phone that would cost you less than $1,000. Add that in with other aspects of a nominally extravagant lifestyle (constantly eating out, renting out a penthouse, leasing/buying a car well beyond your means to afford, etc), if bought on credit, would pose a problem.

I know. It just seems funny. Especially for iphones because those aren't even business phones, that you can pretend help you in your competitive job. That's like legitimately showing off with borrowed money.
Khaos_Mage
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9/4/2013 4:44:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/4/2013 12:47:21 PM, Cermank wrote:

But I guess I understand why the class-less observation came to be. India is a labour intensive country, so plumbers/ construction workers are the poster boys of poverty. Excess of non skilled labour. When labour is less, their value should be higher. It's interesting how socio-economic parameters alter the value of a profession.

America is a service oriented economy, and while plumber/construction workers make decent money, it is because they are in (relatively) short supply. Unlike most of the unskilled workers, like cashiers and stockers at retail stores, which are our poster children for poverty, the single mother working at McDonalds.

Of course, in poorer countries, most people do what we Americans pay others to do (build, repair). So, perhaps it makes sense. I think of the farmers of old building a barn, fixing their tools, etc.

Does India really view plumbers and construction workers as non skilled?
My work here is, finally, done.
tulle
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9/4/2013 11:37:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/4/2013 12:47:21 PM, Cermank wrote:

Perhaps that is where the comparison comes in. As far as I know, Indian colleges don't really have rules against academic dishonesty, thus collaborations are kind of inevitable. But if the teacher is a stickler for originality/ we know she'll put some effort into checking it- people usually don't cheat.

Right, so I'm saying that he's wrong about there being more integrity here. It's not because we don't want to, it's because of what will happen if we're caught :p

Lol. Do you have a standard garbage bag size or something?

Yeah lol

But I guess I understand why the class-less observation came to be. India is a labour intensive country, so plumbers/ construction workers are the poster boys of poverty. Excess of non skilled labour. When labour is less, their value should be higher. It's interesting how socio-economic parameters alter the value of a profession.

Yeah, if he were to compare actual poor people to those who have money, the observation would probably be different. But construction workers and plumbers in the US make around $40,000 a year, which is not too far off from a university graduate.

http://www.indeed.com...
http://www1.salary.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
yang.
royalpaladin
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9/5/2013 7:28:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Not everyone has the same standard of living in the US. I'd like to see his reaction to homeless people and to people who live on the other side of the tracks. Has he been to Harlem and other poor, dangerous areas? The idea that the US has no economic classes is ludicrous. Plenty of people need welfare to survive.
royalpaladin
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9/5/2013 7:30:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't have an iPhone/smarthphone, and I know several people who don't have one either. Whoever wrote the article basically spent his time with rich people and called the society "classless".
Cermank
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9/5/2013 8:49:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/4/2013 4:44:59 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 9/4/2013 12:47:21 PM, Cermank wrote:

But I guess I understand why the class-less observation came to be. India is a labour intensive country, so plumbers/ construction workers are the poster boys of poverty. Excess of non skilled labour. When labour is less, their value should be higher. It's interesting how socio-economic parameters alter the value of a profession.

America is a service oriented economy, and while plumber/construction workers make decent money, it is because they are in (relatively) short supply. Unlike most of the unskilled workers, like cashiers and stockers at retail stores, which are our poster children for poverty, the single mother working at McDonalds.

India is a service-sector led economy too. Most of the growth in the recent decades has been due to a phenomenal growth in service sector, both GDP and employment wise. Agriculture is more or less stagnant, especially after the 80s.


Of course, in poorer countries, most people do what we Americans pay others to do (build, repair). So, perhaps it makes sense. I think of the farmers of old building a barn, fixing their tools, etc.

Not exactly. In urban areas at least, people do hire other people to do their work. There are just so many people, unskilled (read uneducated) people at that, that being a mechanic/ construction worker/ rickshaw puller are the first job sector that attracts them. The wages are low in these sectors.

Does India really view plumbers and construction workers as non skilled?

Yeah. They are unskilled though. You don't really require any specific skill set to be a plumber or a construction worker. Its kind of a go to job for anyone who isn't educated. (not that education = skill. )
Lordknukle
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9/5/2013 4:51:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/5/2013 7:30:34 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
I don't have an iPhone/smarthphone, and I know several people who don't have one either. Whoever wrote the article basically spent his time with rich people and called the society "classless".

iPhones aren't for rich people. Pretty much everybody has a smartphone.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Citrakayah
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9/5/2013 5:30:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Ha ha ha no.
Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.
Cermank
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9/10/2013 3:04:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.

India criminalised discrimination based on castes in 1950.

India drafted its constitution in 1950.
Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/10/2013 12:14:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/10/2013 3:04:28 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.

India criminalised discrimination based on castes in 1950.

India drafted its constitution in 1950.

Yes, I know. This is why I said it.
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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9/10/2013 12:18:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/10/2013 12:14:26 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/10/2013 3:04:28 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.

India criminalised discrimination based on castes in 1950.

India drafted its constitution in 1950.

Yes, I know. This is why I said it.

India criminalized caste based discrimination as soon as it drafted its first independent constitution. I'm not sure what you meant by 'state sanctioned caste system'.
Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/10/2013 12:53:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/10/2013 12:18:03 PM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/10/2013 12:14:26 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/10/2013 3:04:28 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.

India criminalised discrimination based on castes in 1950.

India drafted its constitution in 1950.

Yes, I know. This is why I said it.

India criminalized caste based discrimination as soon as it drafted its first independent constitution. I'm not sure what you meant by 'state sanctioned caste system'.

India as a nation-culture has existed for at least five hundred years (most notably as the Mughal Empire), under which a caste system was enforced. But the caste system is even older. Intermarriage amongst those of different castes was banned according to ancient texts since 100 AD, and the first inter-caste marriage wasn't until 1889. The reversal of the caste-system began in modern times, but is an ongoing process.
inferno
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9/10/2013 1:17:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/10/2013 3:04:28 AM, Cermank wrote:
At 9/9/2013 4:37:27 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/3/2013 1:19:18 PM, Cermank wrote:
"An almost-classless society: I've noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I've seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.

Also, (almost) all sections of society are roughly equal. You'll see service professionals owning iPhones, etc. as well. This may be wrong but part of it has to do with the fact that obtaining credit in this country is extremely easy. Anybody can buy anything, for the most part, except for something like a Maserati, obviously. As a result, most monetary possessions aren't really status symbols. I believe that the only status symbol in America is your job, and possibly your educational qualifications."

Is this true?

Short answer: No.

But it's important to keep in mind that India had a state-sanctioned caste-system until very recently.

India criminalised discrimination based on castes in 1950.

India drafted its constitution in 1950.

In a nutshell. Comparing India to America is like comparing a wagon to a Caddy. =)