I should have included this in my previous post, but, honestly, I never get to use the word dichotomy anywhere that doesn’t seemed forced (like plethra), so I felt this needed it’s own article.
I’m a North American boy… grew up near Canada, visited Mexico a few times, but mainly hung in the mid-west of the US of A. I’ve been to both coasts a few times. Why is that meaningful? Well, it probably isn’t, but it should give you context to my point of view. My conclusions may just be based on uninformed perspectives/experiences.
What was most apparent when I stepped out of the airport in Bangalore was the extreme dichotomy of wealth. Bangalore is one of the fastest growing tech centers in the world with all of the megacorporations present. Driving down any street will reveal multi-million dollar homes/buildings next to squaler and poverty. Two of the wealthiest men in the world are brothers who head some concrete/building corporation in India (billion$). India’s long past is based on a rigid class system. I’ve been told that it is slowly and quickly (depending on where – again, dichotomy of social norms) being replaced by a society following a western free-enterprise approach. But the growing pains are obvious. There are beggers, there are homeless just as you will find in any major city around the world.
Here’s the difference for me… when I meet poor, impoverished in the US and surrounding areas, it’s more common to see the look of failure in their eyes. In these people, they’ve given up, perhaps due to a feeling that society has given up on them. In Bangalore, I did not see that. The poor did not have much, but they were not defeated. They still had the look of hope in their eyes.
I don’t draw any conclusions here… they have a strong sense of faith (varied across the areas), corrupt government, poor health standards and a growing sense of have’s/have not’s, but how is that really different from here?