Worst Experience

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Member since: Feb 04
Posts: 2831
Location: Toronto

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 12-01-05 21:01:54

Orginally posted by chandresh
Try doing something to offend the local Canadian in similar religious matters, and you might experience similar things. Such things can happen whereever you hurt religious and social beliefs of residents - be it Middle East, or any other part of the world.

I don't agree that the scenario described hurts religious feelings in any way.
It displays a lack of tolerance on the part of society towards people who don't follow the religion of the majority.
Religious freedom is all about giving everyone the right to practice their own religion (or not practice at all), as long as they are not denying other people the same right.

If followers of a certain religion do not eat or cook during a certain time, it should not prevent someone from a different religion from doing so.
That displays a lack of tolerance and a lack of secularity.
But then the Middle Eastern countries aren't exactly the last word in freedom and secularity either.

"Mah deah, there is much more money to be made in the destruction of civilization than in building it up."

-- Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind"

New Guy   
Member since: Oct 04
Posts: 87
Location: KSA

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 02:13:29

Everybody seems to express their second hand info. in this topic. I don't know other gulf countries except Qatar and Dubai. I was there in both the places in 2-3 years span and I have never seen living like a king in Gulf in both of these places except the royal family.

Yes people do have an affluent life style but that is limited to 30% population, other people save money and send back home for a rainy day or as they are leading a bachelor life.

Dubai is the best part of it, Do Buy, you buy tax free, though quality is compromised in cheap supermarkets like Carrefour, but food stuff must be quality product. Very few crime, night life for bachelors excellent ;) . Police is very helpful, if you are clean. Even during ramadan, now-a-days bars are open, even people are caught on drink driving go free after paing a fine (ofcourse if nobody is hurt). People are buying properties over here from indian subcontinent. Only thing is insecurity, you are woking at very good position and tommorrow you may be no where.
Even in Dubai you have a tempke, people do celebrate holi and Diwali openly and national also participate.
But always something is missing, everything is superficial, everything is related to shopping and dining, cultural heritage may be missing. People talk too much about their achievement in terms of money, money power is the only power over here.

New Guy
We can always do better!

Member since: Sep 03
Posts: 733
Location: Bahrain

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 02:30:56

we wud b digressing from the issue now but lets realise the fact that every place has its pluses and minuses and no place is perfect.

India has all the Indian ness that v can wish 4 but lacks a system and its clear functioning so v try 2 escape 4m there .

Canada proves 2 b 2 alien & cold and very far 4m home country making us fathom r own identity .

Mid East provides a trade off . U really dont feel being very far from India and enjoy all the comforts and sytems of the West . I think cost of living is cheaper in the Gulf then anywhere else ......... U drive Mercs / BMWs and shop the best of products @ most affordable prices. I didnt know Carrefour was a 'cheap' store .

Havent v witnessed hate crimes against Sikhs in canda and US ---post 9/11..........call that religious freedom ??? or take France for eg ....... u win some u lose some ........make ur choice !!

Manasvi .....

New Guy   
Member since: Oct 04
Posts: 87
Location: KSA

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 07:00:16


Have you ever seen hands are being amputed in friday for minor shop lift, beheaing in public (man and women) while public applauds, throwing stone to man women until do they die of bleeding in the name of adultery. Yes this is true in this part of the world except some places, like UAE.
But at least in Canada there is freedom of any forms. And please don't compare with India, we have everything for the name sake!! First it shall be democratic country in true sense. With this hi volume of illiteracy rate you don't get democracy, illiterates among parliamentarians are in the same proportion as in the population. You will have more Lalu and Mulayam in centre in Coming years. India is exceptionally special in history of modernization, people still die in hunger where our politician boasts about 120 billion dollar foreign reserve. :D

New Guy
We can always do better!

Member since: Oct 02
Posts: 3409
Location: Mississauga

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 07:27:15

Orginally posted by Manasvi

Havent v witnessed hate crimes against Sikhs in canda and US ---post 9/11..........call that religious freedom ??? or take France for eg ....... u win some u lose some ........make ur choice !!

Although I do agree that every place has its benefits and drawbacks, I feel this comparision is not at all apt.

As wrong as they are, taking the isolated hate incidents post 9/11 and comparing the U.S. (still a beacon of freedom) to a blatantly racist and closed society like the ME is a joke.

It is a different story that people routinely swallow the jagged little pill of unfairness and look the other way because of the lure of money there. That does not make things right though.

Are you there?

Member since: Mar 03
Posts: 2606
Location: Toronto

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 11:13:05

I think we have to look at it from a broader perspective than simply comparing each country.

Each society has different set of rules which are made not out of madness, but certain things that might have happened in the history of which most of us are not aware of, or some of the things which cannot be explained to a layman. Like the case of fasting. In my view, if I were a muslim living in the ME, devoted to my religion (which we all know muslims usually are - and far more than Hindus which is a very tolerant society), i would feel gravely offended if my neighbour cooked during the day for two main reasons:

1. The neighbour is not showing respect to my religion and the society he is surrounded by. Whatever said and done, it is a muslim nation and one must follow both local laws as well as customs to respect that country and society. By doing something which is forbidden (for whatever reasons) in that society, the neighbour is disrespecting the society.

2. One of the reasons I am told by my muslim friends in Indonesia who also practice same thing during Ramadan is that if someone cooks, the smell churns up juices in others' stomach, and that makes it extremely difficult for others to stick to their fasting and they long more for the food. This therefore disturbs them directly, though the neighbour might not feel so. Like in that society, if someone is not well, say like a lady having her periods which make her really sick, is allowed to eat during the day, but not in front of others so as not to entice their cells to eat.[ I would compare it to someone walking nude on the street - it is his/her body - why should anyone force him to cover it? but no, for obvious reasons, it is considered going against the norms of the society and therefore not allowed]

Similarly, while in Canada, kissing in public places or hugging member of the opposite sex is not considered a taboo, in places like India it is. Both have their own set of rules or social behaviour and no one is right or wrong. That does not mean that westeners should go to India and not follow it - it would be termed as not respecting the Eastern society.

On the other hand, if in India you saw a preety child on the street or in a park, you would love to hug or kiss him or her and parents will not mind it, rather become friendly to you. However, as we all know, if we tried that in Canada here, it would termed as child molestation or sexual abuse. So don't we start following those rules once we come to Canada, though in our minds there is nothing wrong in it. But if we thought that since I am used to it, why should I change it - the next thing we will see is police being called and we taken to the station and sued (as if the money they get from the suit will take away the kiss I would have given to the child!)

Forget about Canada, or Middle East - even in our own India, there are tribes where polygamy is a way of life and adults spend each night with a different member of the tribe. Now would you consider them traditional and uneducated or Modern way beyond the world of the west where sex is not a taboo and swapping of partners not an uncommon thing, and strip bars available in all downtowns with both men and women available for paid/unpaid sex?

To summarize, different societies have different set of rules and unless you were born and brought up in that, you will never understand it. Just like a Canadian doing university studies followed by a doctarate in Asian studies will never ever be able to FEEL from inside the close association we have with our family units and festivals like Diwali. The best is to respect those rules and not make fun of them. Evolution is constant and things keep changing in the same societies.



Advice is free – lessons I charge for!!

Member since: Oct 02
Posts: 3409
Location: Mississauga

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 13-01-05 11:42:32


The different between the scenarios you describe and the incident that pardesicanadian narrated are subtle yet critical. What you describe are social norms, in the Middle east, these are laws.

Behavior out of social respect is not mandatory. Although it is not an Indian custom to hug or kiss on the street, a couple doing that won't be arrested by the cops, will they? And if they are they can certainly challenge this in court.

You may get reprimanded here in Canada if you disrespect someone's religious customs. But unless you're harassing someone, the law will not intervene. And if they intervene without merit, you can challenge this.

Maybe I'm not aware, but can you do any of these things in the middle east? Can an Indian take an Arab policeman to a court of law? Can you sue the administration? Is there even a real court of law?

Are you there?

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