Wednesday, August 15, 2007


In Brazil, you are not really aware of India. Everybody knows that there are 1.1 billion Indians, but the average Brazilian -like me - has never met one. This changes completely when you live in London. Here Indian culture is all over the place, my friends have Indian heritage, and I have eaten tons of curries. It is natural to become interested in the country. However it is really hard to understand India (and probably I'll never do).
The site that BBC has set up to celebrate the Independence is a good start to grasp India. Two BBC recent articles are a must for those who want to understand the recent changes: The changing values of modern India and Can India close the wealth gap?
From the first one I learn that in the sixties:
"Such was the scarcity in the country that there was a Guest Control Order which meant you could not invite more than fifty people for a meal - at weddings all you got was a thin slice of ice cream."
And from the latter I learn about rural outsourcing:
"Bellary is home to one of India's first rural outsourcing centres, run by Indian steel maker JSW Steel Limited. The organisation has started two small operations on its Bellary campus, hiring young women from nearby villages to work in their rural processing centres. Here the girls spend their shifts punching in details of American patients' dental records, typing in a language many of them have only recently learned, using a machine many had never seen or heard of before. Twenty-year-old Savithri Amma has a basic high school diploma. She earns about $80 (£40) a month doing this work - the same as one of her peers might earn working as a house-help in Mumbai."

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