The only reason I thought about this again was my friend bringing it up during lunch a few days ago. She seemed to be under the impression that castes were a big deal, and being in a higher caste meant you had more money. Those are common misconceptions and I’ll explain why, and elaborate on castes. The only reason I know what I know about castes are (1) I’m Indian and (2) I researched them for about 5 minutes on the internet, so please excuse me if I make any wrong statements about them.
I’m very disconnected from my Indian heritage (I only found out I’m North Indian two weeks ago!) but I do know that my father’s side of the family comes from Gujarat, a place in Northern India where people are very business-oriented (my mother always calls him a cheap Gujarati). They were Jain, a religion that is like a combination of Buddhism and Hinduism, therefore did not practise the caste system. My mother’s side of the family however, come from an unknown (???) village in Northern India (why don’t I know??? why does nobody answer my questions???) where they did practise the caste system, and they were in the ‘Brahmin’ caste, the highest caste. (Side note: I was researching this and I found out that some Indian ‘sages’ were considered ‘avatars’ of gods! Like Avatar! But he wasn’t a god! But still so cool!) I only found that out two years ago, because we discussed this in ARC and I was curious and asked my mother.
I’m really not proud of it. It means my ancestors conned everyone into believing they were better than them and that they probably mistreated some people… A lot. A lottttt. But anyway, they were not at all rich! They were from a poor village, and my grandfather would steal mangoes to pay for his (little) education. He came to Singapore secretly stowed away on a cargo ship, and he became a taxi driver. Of course, they were richer than the people of lower castes in the village, but compared to people in first world countries, very, very poor! And nobody cares about castes now! Maybe some people in India do, but not in the (few) developed parts. And definitely not in Singapore! Not that I know of! But I don’t know anything! Why did I write this!
I googled ‘Indian’ and this was the first result: