Last weekend the Team and I went white water rafting on the Ganges - which is a lot more attractive than it sounds. The picture in this blog is of the campsite called 5 Elements on the Ganges (or Ganga as it is called in India). Very nice.
The tents were described on the web site as Swiss luxury tents. It was only when we arrived that we worked out that they must have been called Swiss due to all the holes! The camp site is about 230 km's from Delhi, however the roads are a nightmare and it was a 9 hour drive each way. This makes for a fairly exhausting weekend but nevertheless it was nice to see some wilderness.
One thing that I find wearying in India is that there are always people everywhere - lots of people, making lots of noise. The actual rafting was fairly sedate (nothing over a grade 3) but still fun.
We were sharing the raft with an aspiring Bollywood actress called Bhairavi Goswami and her friend Youvan. They were good company.
I'm quite interested in the whole caste thingy they have going on here. Sounds like a rich seam of juicy writing goodness could be mined from this. I was under the impression that your job defined your caste (i.e. if you were a soldier you were in the soldier caste). Apparently that is not the case. Your caste is defined by your families caste. When a lady marries she becomes her husbands caste.
In Hindu society there are 4 main castes:
- Brahmins (intelligentsia, priests, scholars, teachers)
- Kshatriyas (warriors, nobility)
- Vaishyas (merchants, farmers),
- Sudras (tradesmen, artisans, craftsmen, workers, service providers)
Of course it is not as simple as this - apparently there are actually thousands of castes which the British compressed down to 4 to make census taking easier. Marrying outside your caste in parts of India is very dangerous - every week people are killed because of this. A Hindu marrying a Muslim is also problematic, it is easier for a Hindu to marry a Christian.
I'm struggling with the whole servant thing. There are 3 house boys looking after the apartment. They cook, clean, wash, iron, go shopping, etc. I have a driver, there is a couple of Butlers in the office and I have a PA. You don't do anything for yourself and it is driving me crazy - It must be an Australian thing. The Brit's seem to cope much better.
Well it must be time for another He-Man 9000. Enjoy your weekend.