Place where I grew up : Doha, Qatar
Class gradation and caste differences was something I was not aware of during my childhood days. Everyone had the same Staedtler Pencil and Faber Castell Colour Pencils. It was assumed everyone was from reasonably well-to-do families. Some of our neighbours were from Syria, Egypt or Palestine (besides Indians!) and though we wished each other on New Years and Eid, we were not much in contact otherwise. Outings, community get-together at the local club, Eid meet at the Park – every community mostly socialized with its own kind. Though a cosmopolitan city, cohesive nature and intermingling among st the expatriates and natives are rarely seen in the country. Surprisingly, though I have lived in this country for 20+ years, I have never had the chance to befriend a Qatari of my age.
Where I am originally from : A small village in Kerala, India
Take a walk along its road and you will see – A palatial mansion next to a thatched hut, opposite to a house made of “Oodu” (roof shingles/tiles), quietly displaying all the classes we see in an Indian village – the people who come under Government classified Below Poverty Line (BPL), middle class families with government jobs, the richer strata of society consisting of people working in the Corporate Sector, Business families or the very famous ” NRI” – Non resident Indians.
As the Republic Day Parade on Jan 26th showcases the India’s military achievements and prowess, weddings are Indian’s equivalent of showcasing ones riches and wealth. This village has not only seen one week long lavish wedding events but also also a father knocking on every door so as to raise funds for his daughters marriage.
Sending kids off to foreign shores ( read – Gulf ) is a common feature here and the foreign remittances and aid is what has helped this tiny village to develop. In spite of the low financial standards, education is given its due importance. There are IIT/IIM graduates, doctors, other professionals in the village now ( Yet the irony is not forgotten, these people had to move to greener pastures to fulfill their dreams!)
All its differences and variations are forgotten while celebrating Eid, Onam and other cultural festivals specific to the village 🙂
(Daily Prompt from Daily Post : Society. Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? )
Linking it to NaBloPoMO