Sunday, April 22, 2007

Let the 'miles' roll...

Every good things must come to an end. This is the end of my Victorian era. Victoria, the city where I have spend more time than any other city in the world, the city which is regarded as the most beautiful in North America, the city that made me the person I am today, the city where I started blogging and made friends for life or the city of newly weds or nearly deads (as the brochures for the city says). This city has given me too much to be described in words. Its time to move on but Victoria will remain in my heart forever. I will end my last blog from this city with some of my most memorable memories...

This is where Canada starts...

And this is how you reach the beautiful Vancouver Islands. Ironically, Vancouver is not part of Vancouver Islands, which really confused me the first time I came here.

The Parliament Building of Victoria, one of the most beautiful buildings that define the city.

The Empress, this is where the Queen of England stays whenever she visits Victoria. Seeing her convoy past by me was one of the highlights of my stay.

One of the most beautiful setting for the weekly Sunday market in summer. I have spend almost my every Sunday of numerous summers in these bylanes...

My favorite pub, The Irish Pub, right besides the Sunday market...err....this was not the only reason for me visiting the market every Sunday :P

And then there were the beautiful girls of Victoria in the market...err...this was also not the second to only reason for me going to the market :P

I used to bike to this beautiful "Swan lake" and feed the ducks, when I first moved to the city...

The Engineering Buildings of University of Victoria, where I spend last 5 years of my life working on my second degree which will define my future life...

One of my favourite shot taken from sixth floor of the Engineering building.

This year the theme of the city is my favorite flowers, tulips, with purple being my favourite ones among all...

The Sikh Temple of Victoria, the only place where I would feel at-home and at-peace...

Picture perfect sunset at the "Breakwater". Ah, I will miss you Victoria (and by that I mean the city as well **wink**)

Note: I will be away for a while, till I settle down in a new city, new job, new life, but you all will see me around in your spaces with my comments on anything and everything. So long...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

South Asian Youth 2007

Few weeks back, I had emailed some of my friends a survey that was featured in India Today International (Indian Youth 2007, February 19, 2007). The survey was about Indian Youth and I got a decent response back but the response came not only from Indians all over the world but from Pakistan and Nepal. So, I changed it to South Asian Youth 2007 because even though we are separated by borders, we all have similar lives, similar aspirations and similar beliefs (as was very clear from the survey). I have not participated in the survey, so will give some of my analysis as we go along. In the analysis, I will also give some tidbits from the India Today results, if there are some major surprises.

There are few differences in the methodology. Firstly, the survey was taken by email, and so it will be correct to assume that everyone uses Internet regularly. Secondly, the India Today article was done in person, while this one as mentioned above was done online. Thirdly, it was not by choice but the demographics of the people who responded are 100% females (yohooo !!) but that is the fault of my blog or maybe its true that fairer sex is indeed the better and smarter one (do I get more brownie points for Actually, the mail was sent to guys too but no guy responded. Fourthly, I am only publishing results that someone responded rather than all the choices that were given.

My analysis is in italics

Here are the results...

1. How do you spend your typical weekend?

a. Hanging out with friends - 25%
b. At home/with parents - 25%
c. Others (relaxing, cleaning) - 25%
d. Shopping - 12.5%
e. All of the above - 12.5%

Surprisingly, watching movies is missing from the list which in India Today's survey got 32% votes.

2. For what purposes do you access the Internet?

a. Email, Chat, News, Info, Search, Connect with relatives, Financial transaction, Social Networking - 50%
b. Email, connect with relatives, social networking only - 37.5%
c. Social networking - 12.5%

No surprises here.

3. Which of the following do you regularly watch on TV?

a. Music channels - 37.5%
b. News channels - 25%
c. Movie channels - 12.5%
d. Infotainment - 12.5%
e. Shows - 12.5%

51% of Indian Youths according to India Today watch News Channels more than any other channel on TV.

4. Which of the following do you own?

a. Cellphone, Music system, PC/laptop, Credit card, Car - 25%
b. Cellphone only - 25%
c. Cellphone, Music system, PC/laptop only - 25%
d. None of the above - 12.5%
e. PC/Laptop only - 12.5%

70% of Indian Youth owns a cellphone which is pretty consistent with results here.

5. For which of the following are you willing to take loan personally?

a. Buying a house - 50%
b. Buying a house, buying a car, buying clothes, jewelery, financing a vacation - 25%
c. None of the above - 25%

Indians are still a bit conservative when it comes to taking a loan for households items, not that its a bad thing. It shows that we like to save and spend wisely.

6. Which of these places, if any, do you plan to visit in near future?

a. Abroad - 37.5%
b. Wildlife sanctuaries - 25%
c. Places of adventure sports - 12.5%
d. Hill station - 12.5%
e. Historical place - 12.5%

If you had asked our parent's generation, atleast 90% of them would have said hill station because there was not much choice. Also, the BPO industry is giving more and more Indians chance to travel abroad and so the No. 1 choice is not surprising. Surprisingly, 30% Indian Youth still prefer hill stations.

7. Are love marriages more successful than arranged marriages?

a. No - 50%
b. Depends - 25%
c. Yes - 25%

71% of Indian Youth said Yes but the results here is rather surprising. Are bloggers more inclined towards arranged marriage?

8. How would you want to live after marriage, with in-laws or without?

a. With in-laws - 62.5%
b. Without in-laws - 12.5%
c. Kabhi khushi kabhi gham - 12.5% (lol, this was an answer too)
d. Have no choice - 12.5%

This result will surprise most non-south Asians. 84% Indian youth still prefer living with their in-laws (although I am suspecting this question was mainly asked to girls because most guys will prefer otherwise, which makes you wonder). Some traditions are here to stay :)

9. What is your idea of romance?

a. Candle light dinner - 25%
b. A walk hand in hand on the beach - 25%
c. Candle light dinner with a poem - 12.5%
d. A poem - 12.5%
e. Sending a sms or card - 12.5%
f. Others - 12.5%

29% Indian Youth thinks only a phone call is romantic enough. Its seems the bloggers are a bit more choosy.

10. Do you think both males and females are given equal opportunity in your house?

a. Yes - 100%

Now that's a good result.

11. What is your opinion on inter-caste and inter-religion marriage?

a. Are acceptable - 100%

I wish it was the same result for our previous generation.

12. To what extent do you agree or disagree that it is better to get divorced than to live an unhappy marriage?

a. Strongly agree - 50%
b. Somewhat agree - 50%

No wonder divorce rates in India are getting higher although it doesn't mean that its a bad thing. Infact, in Western society increase in divorce rate means that women are getting more rights and independence.

13. Given a choice, would you work in India or abroad?

a. South Asia - 87.5%
b. Abroad - 12.5%

Go Asia Go!!

14. Which is the best career choice among the following?

a. Entrepreneurship - 25%
b. Private sector service - 25%
c. Academics - 25%
d. Private sector or Academics - 25%

Surprisingly, none of the bloggers choose Government service which is choice of 34% Indian Youths.

15. Do you think there should be uniform civil code for all religions?

a. Yes - 87.5%
b. No - 12.5%

No surprises here.

16. Do you think it's correct to bring down illegally constructed places of worship?

a. Yes - 50%
b. No - 37.5%
c. Depends - 12.5%

Indian Youth do not favor demolishing places of worship over the other.

17. Should religious processions be banned?

a. No - 50%
b. Yes - 37.5%
c. Should have specific timings for the same - 12.5%

A u-turn by bloggers on a slightly different issue than previous question.

18. Would you take into account the religion of a person when you consider giving him tenancy rights?

a. No - 75%
b. Yes - 12.5%
c. Maybe - 12.5%

A blogger gave a very interesting reason for saying Yes, when she wrote that it is to ensure that the tenant won't cook non-veg in the house. I think that's a major consideration for majority of Indians which are still vegetarians.

19. Would you change you religion to marry the person you love?

a. No - 100%

No surprises here, although 27% of Indian youth will change their religion for love.

20. How often do you visit a place of worship?

a. Once a week - 50%
b. Once in 2-3 months - 37.5%
c. Rarely - 12.5%

Its good to see religion still having a very prominent place among South Asian youths.

21. Should there be reservations for OBCs in educational institutions?

a. No - 75%
b. Yes - 12.5%
c. Don't know what is OBC - 12.5%

I didn't doubt bloggers having a fierce opposition to reservations after reading blogs on the issue everywhere last year. 51% of Indian Youths favor reservations on the other hand.

22. How often do you base your decisions on the experiences of your peer group?

a. Sometimes - 50%
b. Occasionally - 37.5%
c. No choice on the question - 12.5%

Don't we all to a certain extent.

23. If you become Prime Minister/President, which task would you take up first?

a. Fire corrupt ministers - 62.5%
b. Build schools in villages - 12.5%
c. Strengthen the infrastructure -12.5%
d. Unbiased handling of religious fundamentalists - 12.5%

Corrupt Ministers seems to be on everyone's hit list esp. after Rang De

24. Which of these applies to your mother tounge?

a. I can read, write and speak - 75%
b. I can speak it - 25%

No surprises there.

25. Do you think pub culture is in line with Indian values?

a. No - 75%
b. Yes - 25%

One blogger rightly said that if our culture is strong enough then pub culture won't affect it.

26. Do you think it is alright to smoke and drink with parents?

a. No - 75%
b. Yes - 25%

Bloggers seem more liberal than Indian Youth in general on this issue.

27. Do you think it is alright for women to smoke?

a. No - 62.5%
b. Yes - 37.5%

Some girls compared smoking to equal rights for girls on this issue even though smoking maybe harmful.

28. Which would you say is your Indian youth icon?

a. Sachin Tendulkar - 12.5%
b. Sania Mirza - 12.5%
c. Shah Rukh Khan - 12.5%
d. Kiran Majumdar Shaw - 12.5%
e. Mahatma Gandhi - 12.5%
f. Mother Teresa - 12.5%
g. Amitabh Bachchan - 12.5%
h. None - 12.5%

No clear winner here though Indian Youth preferred Sachin by 14.5% although I am guessing that was because the survey was done before the World Cup.

29. Money is very important source of happiness. Do you...

a. Somewhat disagree - 37.5%
b. Strongly agree - 25%
c. Somewhat agree - 12.5%
d. Neither agree not disagree - 12.5%

45% of Indian Youth thinks that Money is the very important source of happiness.

30. Would you stay with the person you love before marriage?

a. No - 75%
b. Yes - 25%

Indians are still conservative on this issue but I am sure "Yes" percentage has increased from our parent's generation.

So, this was the survey. Some results are not surprising, while others are debatable. The good thing is that South Asia is in hands of youth that is using all the modern amenities but are still rooted in tradition. We are the generation that will make the future and so these results matter. All I know is that South Asia's future is in good hands...Amen to that thought.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sights n Sounds of Vaisakhi...

Happy Vaisakhi Everyone!!

Vaisakhi is the Punjabi new year and the day khalsa (the pure sikh) was founded by the last Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh jee. In a way, the religion of Sikhism was formalized into a separate religion on this day. On this auspicious day, I have completed my second degree. Here are some sights n sounds of the beautiful festival of Vaisakhi from around the world...

Lights on the eve of Vaisakhi in the Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab

The Panjh Pyare (Five Faithfuls) during the Vaisakhi Parade through streets of Southall, UK

Vaisakhi 2007 celebrations at Gurudwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Let the bhangara and giddha begin...

Biker club of Sikhs during the Vaisakhi 2007 parade through the streets of Vancouver

Prosperity to everyone on the first day of harvest

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Beat Of India...

India is a country of folk songs and it is one tradition that is dying everyday. Its dying because it is not something that is recorded but passed from generation to generation and it is dying with every generation. It is to keep this tradition alive and give them chance, a group of 5 people started a website, Beat of India. They went to deep corners of Indian villages, recorded their folk songs and have put them on this site for people to listen the samples and buy it as individual songs or an album. A percentage of revenue from this is given back to the artist because the site hasn't been profitable yet. There are some wonderful videos of artist themselves singing in their natural setting.

The CEO of the company is Shefali Bhushan. She and her group have traveled from interiors of Kutch to Punjab and recorded these songs in their natural settings. She has also made short documentaries on her journeys that takes one through these villages and show these artist in their backyard singing love songs, songs about the world around them, songs about the color of their lives, songs that make India unique...

The site is giving these folk artists a chance to be heard and its giving us a chance to listen and save our tradition. The least we bloggers can do is spread the word. Let's play the Beat of India...


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