Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have of course always known that India was a very hierarchical culture. After all, it is home to the Caste system. I have also been told that young people are not given freedom to implement their ideas and that they basically must do as they’re told. Before my first day at the College where I am working, I was warned that research associates are treated badly and that they are really considered second class citizens. This didn’t really make sense to me and I didn’t really understand what it meant until today. There is a dining hall on campus. It is free to students and staff members. However, eating in the dining hall is considered a privilege. As a result, research associates, who are the lowest paid staff members, must go out to eat. Furthermore, right next to the cubicles where research associates work, there is a large hall where tea is served and people relax and socialize. However, at tea time (10:30 and 4:00 daily) research associates cross through this hall around the corner, up the stairs, and down another hall in order to get their tea. They stand in the hallway and have their tea rather than relaxing on the sofas in the airy hall with everybody else. Finally, temperatures here often reach 100 Fahrenheit, and it is rarely below 85. All offices are air conditioned. However, the cubicles where research associates work only have fans. It’s going to be hard to adjust to being a research associate.

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