Geography 200
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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs

Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs | Geography 200 |
Facing religious discrimination in the Hindu-dominated job market, many are forced to assume fake identities.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article point out the disadvantage Muslims face in India, especially in the lower rung of the economy, in order to gain employment they have to hide their faith and pretend to be something they are not Hindus.  The article also points out that a rise of nationalist groups has further marginalized the Indian Muslims.  This is a sad state of affairs as these people are kept in low status jobs because if they were to show their papers to get a better job they would be turned away.  Discrimination is a human problem that all countries struggle with.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:11 PM

In the marketplace, one of a different religion has to mask her true identity to be able to sell the food there. Not only is this woman facing pure discrimination she is facing it because of what she believes in. Nothing is more horrible than being stripped away from something you believe in. In order for her to sell food in this marketplace, she must do so to survive.

Jackson and Marduk's curator insight, October 27, 2014 4:03 PM

Religion: The main religion in India is Hindu. Since this is so widely practiced in India, other religions are discriminated. This article explains how some people have to act like they practice Hindu just to get a job.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 2, 2015 3:39 PM

Having to masquerade as a different religion in order to get a job is not a concept that most Americans are familiar with, as we live in a highly secular society.  India, which too is supposed to be a secular society, is failing at this as the article shows.  Muslim women have to pretend to be Hindus in order to get a job, as many Hindus (who are dominant in India) will refuse to higher people who follow Islam.  There are historical reasons for this, as the Hindus of the country were dominated by the Muslims for years under the Mughal Empire.  However, it is a sad fact that the secular country of India which is striving towards becoming a superpower would treat citizens of a different faith in such a poor manner.  This is very interesting for Americans to think about, and it even parallels our history.  In the 19th Century and even the earlier 20th century we were much more aware of religions and ethnicity and these groups stuck together, however by the time of the 1960s and 70s this landscape was rapidly disappearing.  India should itself move on from this practice, yet I believe it will be difficult given the nature of the situation, and the baggage carried by the groups.


Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Bootlegging in Tribal Pakistan

In Pakistan's tribal areas, alcohol bootleggers, lured by enormous profits, have created clandestine delivery services to evade recent crackdowns by the Taliban and the police.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The video showed an interesting report on bootlegging in Pakistan.  The comment at the end was the most interesting to me.  A person interviewed said that the society used to be more open and free but now they are not.  The rich can do as they like but the people cannot.  The dangers of bootlegging is such that if the police catch you then you will be arrested or have to pay a bribe but if the Taliban catch you then you will be killed.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:48 PM

Alcohol bootleggers have been getting shutdown by the police force. Without this service, the bootleggers would be out of business and probably in jail. This is like prohibition in the U.S. and those who sold alcohol were fined and also arrested. The same thing is happening here where the bootleggers are trying to make huge money by selling something thats outlawed.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:36 PM

Interesting to see this happening in other areas of the world besides the United States during the times of prohibition.  If there is a will there is a way.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:57 AM

this makes sense. even in regions controlled by Muslim extremest people are people and they want their booze. this is a perfect example of the reason why you cannot punish all people of a certain group for the actions of a few.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | Geography 200 |
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article rises in interesting question.  Are tours of slums exploitive or beneficial to the slum dwellers?  On the one hand the tours could feel like exploitation and the tourist is viewing attractions at a “zoo”, on the other hand it brings people far removed from slum life in contact with it and can change people’s point of view on the slums.  It can be beneficial if the tour guides donate money to the slums or jobs are sought by slum dwellers to become tour guides.  The question is should slums be hidden away from view or opened up to tourists so that they can see the hardships first hand.  I think that this is an issue that is not clearly black or white; there are many shades of gray involved in this issue.

Serge Dielens * Phygital Marketing Communication expert @ *'s comment, May 7, 2013 2:55 PM
Visiter des bidonvilles, nouveau trend pour touristes en mal de nouveauté? Je me souviens avoir personnellement visité SOWETO en 2000, avec un groupe de journalistes belges. Nous avons logé chez une dame qui cédait une partie de sa maison pour se faire un peu d'argent, pour contribuer aux frais de ses deux fils étudiants à l'Unif. Ce fut une expérience inoubliable. Nous n'avons pas entendu le son de sa voix, elle nous servait à manger en silence et même si nous ne savions pas très bien comment réagir, nous avions l'impression que nous lui venions en aide, d'une manière ou d'une autre. En tous cas, la visite de ce bidonville fut pour moi éclairante.
Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:36 PM

I don’t find nothing right about tourist visiting the slum, I feel that the tourist are violating there privacy. They are human being not some historical landmark. If the tourist are not helping this people why are they going? If you are going to visit this places do it because you want to help them, not because you think is interesting their way of living.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:57 AM

Moral questions are always fun. Personally I don't think going to see slums is all that exploitative in itself, but I would make a distinction between guided tours that cost money, and self-directed tours though. In a guided tour you are paying money to walk through a community and view what life is like for those people, but in a self-directed tour you are just another person walking down the streets and viewing whatever you stumble upon. There are plenty of tours within neighborhoods of different economic value the world over, but these tours are scrutinized because the people touring are as wealthy, or less wealthy, than the people living there. I don't think that a poor community changes this dynamic in an immoral way, as the perceptions of which group is superior come from the own minds of those who feel uncomfortable with it.


Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Rapes Cases Show Clash Between Old and New India

Rapes Cases Show Clash Between Old and New India | Geography 200 |
A boom and social change are pitting young working women in the city against men from conservative villages.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The rapid modernization of India along with the rural attitudes and male centric society makes it difficult for women who are raped to get justice.  Mostly because to come forward as a rape victim will take their honor away.  If they have to admit it happened then their lives will be ruined.  Even when their family stands behind them, the women are in fear and one almost killed herself because she felt pressured to testify.  The men who rape these women are from the small villages around the area and feel free to do as they please because they do not fear that their victims will report the abuse.  Things will not change until attitudes towards women and rape change in this area. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:37 PM

This issue is very distrubing. First of all it talks about the poor inocent women and girls who leave their house so they are automatically a victim and should be forwarned that they will be hurt if leaving thie house like as if they should be resticted to their home life and never leave. This would be demonstrated as the old India but they are living or rying to live in the New India where the Women in this soicety should nto be subjected to these kinds of crimes. For example something that really took me was "The accused are almost always young high school dropouts from surrounding villages, where women who work outside the home are often seen as lacking in virtue and therefore deserving of harassment and even rape." And then this quote by one of the accused mothers; "“If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes,” the mother of two of those accused in the rape said in an interview, refusing to give her name."" Like come on get your stuff together, you should have raised your children better than this.  I have to wonder what this society thinks and whether or not people are questioning what kind of society they are living in and if this society is pressured by the values of the sexes.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:06 PM

Getting away with rape in any country is absolutely disgusting. Especially in India where women have been brutalized with no punishment to the predator, these women have a right to stand up for themselves. Being stalked and raped is something that the police need to get a grip on happening to their citizens.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 28, 2015 8:37 PM

It is hearting to see the police force in the modernized area taking such a strong stance. As the article showed it is greatly needed because the reason rape largely happens is because the traditional aspects of Indian culture continue on strongly in the village areas. These men were told for the longest time that women cannot amount to anything and for them to act free is wrong. This type of thinking is heavily engrained into the members of the society so they won’t just stop acting this way on their own accord. Arresting and convicting these men will send a message that their actions are not tolerated and aren’t right despite what they were taught.


 It also amazes me that this stance exists because the modernized area were also told these stories at one point too. The only explanation I have for the differences is that the more modernized areas are more welcoming of the freedoms seen in the West. To be clear though, the freedoms are more of a western trait. Thus globalization in this instance might have actually helped the positive result of the police force come about because of the positive influence seen in the Western countries economy and life style when they let women have more freedom.


Unfortunately, globalization can’t completely solve rape just yet. The article ends by asserting that to report rape “is a very difficult thing in the Indian context.” Yet, reporting rape anywhere is hard to do. In fact, the mention of 1 in 10 under reported rapes is a statistic similar to that of the United States. Similarly, many victims will refuse to cooperate or even contemplate taking their own life to avoid testimony (in fact many do). In either situation, most rape victims feel they lost their “honor.”  I am not sure when reporting rape or how reporting rape will ever become any easier. However whichever country can figure it out will need to show the rest of the world how. As I do look forward to the day that globalization could decrease rape on a large scale. 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!


Maldives | Geography 200 |

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This island country has a strange duality that is not uncommon for poor countries with beautiful natural resources like sandy beaches.  On one hand, it is a place with resorts, which cater to wealthy tourists that are kept separated from the inhabitants of the islands.  On the other hand, they are a poor Muslim society that relies on fishing and tourism for its economic growth.  The precarious nature of their low islands leaves them open to flooding and tsunamis. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:54 PM

The creation of the Maldives was a evolutionary process that was created with hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. However most of the 1200 or so islands are disappearing. As many of these islands have been created and built upon, the soils are losing their strength. Now we have a process of erosion not only from rain but also from the sea waves. As this eats away at the islands they are getting smaller and smaller and unless they start bringing in artificial land area they will someday disappear.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:39 PM

The Maldives Islands were created by Hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. Many of the one thousand islands that are there are slowly disappearing. The islands are being destroyed by rain and from sea waves that crash onto the island itself. Soon the land, just like Kiribati will disappear because they just keep shrinking in size more and more. Their economy revolves mostly around tourist money and parts of the islands have been highly developed for high end tourist marketing.  

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:33 AM

Honestly a nation like the Maldives would only be possible with today's technology. the lack of resources, land and linking landmass would have made it stuck in an era with villages at best. The modern country if you ask me is also a disaster waiting to happen. Their cities are right on sea level. A single tsunami or storm would devastate them never mind rising sea levels. I just think they are acting unsustainable and their growth without lack of native resources will lead to their nations ultimate failure. While I wish these people success their islands are also eroding due to reefs so geography is pretty much against them at every turn. In the future hopefully a solution to these problems can be found but until then this will likely be an area that will have to be evacuated in the future like many others.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Burka Avenger

"Burka Avenger is a new Pakistani kids' show about a mild-mannered teacher who moonlights as a burka-clad superhero."

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This is great!  It is a cute animated trailer to the cartoon series the Burka Avenger!  She wears a burka to hide her identity which it certainly does, and then she kicks the bad guy’s butts!  A great gender reversal in this area, showing women can be a hero and stand up to men.  And she cleverly uses the restrictive clothing to keep her identity concealed. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 19, 2014 12:45 PM

There is something to be said about how film and the media can be used as an effective tool to touch on broad cultural ideals. On a related note, I will be attending a conference soon in Boston on social studies education and one of the seminars I will be going to is how to use SciFi movies in the classroom. Ideals like equality, fighting oppression and free speech are timeless and span many cultures, in Pakistan, the Burka Avenger is that area's media outlet to discuss key social topics to young people.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 2015 4:25 PM

A modern day Batman/Superman, Burka Avenger, with great graphics and an in-depth plot. The television shows the Pakistanis children watch are the same type of shows that I watched growing up, and the shows that the modern day children of today’s youth are watching. The cross-cultural relationship seems so different, but at the roots it is the same. The kids in this show have friends, pets, enemies, a hero, a conflict; everything that an American television show would feature.  Whether the kids are facing a bully, a school closure from a villain, or a life peril from another villain, there undercover school teacher is there ready and willing to save the day. Everybody needs a hero to look up to, so this show is great for the Pakistani youth. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:06 AM

I think this is wonderful.  It also reemphasizes the reality that all children are born without preconceived notions of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, or what is evil.  An American child might look at this and automatically think that the lady in the Burka is a "villain", due to American media and propaganda.  I can't help but think of the backlash that would surround this cartoon if they ever tried to put it on American airwaves.  

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Geography 200 |
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I found it interesting that the estates choose to maintain a womb to tomb economy for their workers.  The cost they said was higher than in other tea producing models but they felt that it was something that safeguarded quality.  The introduction of machines would not only reduce quality but it would reduce the workforce, which would displace workers.  But this choice may be taken from them as younger workers leave to find work elsewhere. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 2014 4:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 2014 2:51 PM

This seems to work well for both the tea growers and the workers. The workers are compensated well and they have a job for life and the tea that is picked is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, most places on the planet go with the cheapest price, not the best quality, so I do not know how much longer this arrangement will be feasible.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:51 PM

In my town, we got rid of the old trash receptacle bins and in place we have one huge trash bin and one huge recycling bin. This has cut down the jobs immensely because now a machine just picks up the large bins. This is the same thing thats happening in India. There is now a machine that can do the humans jobs and will most likely take over for the tea picking people. Its unfortunate, but its how the world works.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Geography 200 |
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.


Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.


Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 


Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

McDonald’s is a company that is good at adjusting their brand to fit into the markets they are trying to enter.  This shows a positive side to globalization, in my opinion, because it shows that a large company is sensitive to the needs and wants of the place they are going into and is willing to find ways to adapt to the culture they are entering.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.