Varanasi Day 14

Life is a parade here. Especially in the evening, when lighted apparati are held high by troupes of dalits all connected to a generator by electric cords strung from one person to the next. These walking fairs have been a nightly event outside our gate. Weddings and political festivities. I moseyed over to the side street where many very loud musical pieces were being played all at once, both loudspeaker recordings and live music. So much noise I had to investigate. It is the orange hat party, maybe Modi?  Some distinguished looking men in their orange pagadis smiling and looking, well, distinguished. The comparison of the parade workers holding lamps atop their heads for hours and these men in their finery is thought provoking.

Political parade. The generator for the lights is to the right of the image. You can see the electrical umbilical cord which is passed down the line.

The caste system is certainly alive and well, and from what I read recently, superiority of the Brahmin has been questioned from times clear back to the Buddha (https://tricycle.org/author/krishnan-venkatesh/). Without a trained eye for this matter, mostly I just see lots of people, and cannot distinguish caste. Maybe I am primarily seeing people of the street, and they are of the lower groupings. Still, I am working with a couple of men who are well enough off to have the time to help me and they seem unaffected in dealing with the castes. I have been told caste is not an appropriate topic of conversation, so I have not mentioned it, but I am certainly curious.

This entry was posted in INDIA 2017, Varanasi.

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