Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mumbai Market

Before heading off towards Goa tomorrow, we decided to look at the local commerce. The first thing we did was visit the market. Here are the pictures. I have many more, but thought these ones are most telling.

The question about why there is not any violence, but the country is, overall, poorer than Brazil is starting to find some answers. A key explanation for this fact has to do with capitalism and materialism. Materialism itself has, until now, been very much rejected by the population. However, Levi's, Nike, Coca-Cola, expensive branded clothing and especially television, american shows, etc. are invading India. This explains that on one hand you see the very strong Indian influence, like in this market, but then as a grand contrast a shopping mall that requires walk-through metal-detectors against terrorists (checking news on CNN, you can see that Mumbai has suffered from terrorism.

It is the lack of materialism and envy which I contribute greatly to the calmness and lack of violence in India. People don't care about things or having things of equal cost (I do explicitly not mention value here).

Well, this expensive shopping centre I have only seen once and not many are like it. But, I do see a strong demand for this growing, which probably will also mean a couple of changes and irregularities in India's society.

I do hope that it does not lead to homogenisation. Looking at the country so far, there are a lot of interesting values and lessons to be learned. I don't think it is even remotely thinkable that the rest of the world will ever want or become equal, but at least certain considerations and reasonings are worth pondering over for our own societies, especially the western worlds.

Other than that, I did buy my clothes at the "expensive" shopping centre. You get very beautiful cotton shirts for about US$20. In R$ that would be about R$45? If you go to Richards in Recife or any other Brazilian shop, the cost of these shirts are much higher. Due to higher wages on seamstresses? I don't know!

The rest of the day we went to see some other things, like lunch at a club that is allowed for Indians. In the time of the colonization by the British, the Indians were not necessarily admitted at every club, regardless of their social status or riches. So, there was a Lord that constructed his own club and made it more suitable for the local people.

Very good food too!


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