Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

April 19, 2011

Dubai, like South Asia, except with non-browns

Filed under: Culture,Dubai — Razib Khan @ 8:18 pm

The informative KXB points me to this story in Vanity Fair, Dubai on Empty:

Its skyline erupting from the desert in just two decades, Dubai is a cautionary tale about what money can’t buy: a culture of its own. After gorging on the Viagra of easy credit, the emirate has the world’s tallest building, the world’s most expensive racetrack, and a financial crisis to match. From the Western mercenaries and Asian drones who maintain the gaudy show to 100-odd families who are impervious to any economic reality, A. A. Gill discovers that no one truly belongs in Dubai, where the legacy of oil has made everything worthless.

But is Dubai’s racial caste system that different from what you can find in much of South Asia, whether in rural Uttar Pradesh, or rural Punjab? I’m reminded that M. K. Gandhi famously was initially offended that high caste Indians were meted the same treatment from some South African authorities as black kafirs.

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