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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This is the second in this series, the first post on Culture of Business, Service and Consumption is here.

Attitude to Rules and Regulations:

  • No rule is absolute, everything can be worked around, finding loopholes in regulations is perceived as smart
  • Paying hard earned money to government as taxes is considered dumb.
  • Attitude towards wealth - Goddess ìLaxmiî resides in your house in the form of wealth; if you please her and are attached to her she will flourish, if you let her "slip through your fingers," she will desert you.
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  • Bribery is rampant everywhere: from acquiring a birth certificate to getting into a good school - it is 'commission,' almost like a service charge paid to the concerned person for doing your work
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  • This type of approach to rules and regulations has deeper cultural roots; Brahmins had to be paid 'dakshina' - fees to conduct rituals to invoke the gods, they were 'brokers' to reach God
  • Indians paid 'lagaan' - taxes in the feudal system, which went first to the Rajas and then the Moguls and British
  • Hierarchies are important to Indians - but at the same time, knowing how to work around them and the system is considered smart and right
I'd love to have your adds on this series ... examples, insights, anecdotes would all be wonderful to read and collate!

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