So the other day, I was working in my office, trying to ponder over why disposable razors are not a craze in India (we prefer system razors with spare cartridges refills), while in arab countries, they sell like hot cakes.
And then, like any other post-lunch-yawn-filled office hour, my train of thoughts led me to think about the way people behave in UAE in general and Dubai in particular, and compare it with the rest of the world. And I reached a dilemma. But we’ll get back to it later.
For now, the only word that comes in my mind when I think of the Arab culture is…
“Conservative”. Yeah, I know you had already guessed it.
The people here are proud of their culture. And they should be. Hell, I am, for my country’s culture.
But there seems to be a sense of unusual continuation. And there are contradictions. For example, it makes sense to wear white robes with heads covered when walking under the hot sun in desert areas. But if you have left the hot deserts for air-conditioned malls and camels for the BMWs and the Ferraris, why not adapt the attire too?
That’s for us to wonder and them to know.
Moreover, how much sense does it make for the ladies to wear all black then. Even in the desert in the first place. I visited Dubai museum. Couldn’t help but marvel at the commendable hard-work they have put into building a city from almost scratch. Extremely persevering people the arabs are, I must say.
But then you also see the traditional statues. You just can not miss the extreme slave-like appearances of the traditional arab women folk. The picture below shows a display in the Dubai museum:
You can see a man and a woman in the picture above. No, wait, you can’t. I ain’t a burqa-critic, but I would like to understand the reason behind this immense protection. It leaves me with two ideas:
- Either the arabs consider their women so precious that they don’t want to share them with the world.
- Or the arabs consider their women as slaves. Since the beginning.
I would like to believe the first one. Whatever may be the reason, UAE is not a honeymoon destination, for sure. Not even for the Indian Muslims. The culture shock is just too much to handle.
The Arabs are very closed about their culture. They would have banned tourism had it not brought money into their economy. The laws are different, the expectations are different and the living is different. Even in the age when the entire world is becoming a global village, the arabia stands tall with a separate Burj Khalifa.
Whether the arab culture is better or worse, I am not qualified enough to comment on. But yes, they are a conservative bunch of people. You can see them, but all hell would break loose if you touch them. Like the displays in the museums say.
And that brings me to my sweet little confusion. If the Arab people are this conservative, why is the disposable razor such a rage here, even among the ladies? In India, we are more used to the razors with a static handle and keep changing cartridges, while here people throw away the entire thing after using.
Not conservatism. After all the disposable razor advocates the ‘Use and Throw’ mode of life. For both men and women.
Does it say something about the hidden aspirations of the sanctuary of a civilization or am I just being a cynic?
That’s for me to wonder and them to know.
P.S. I didn’t have any intention of maligning any culture while posting this article.