Chai wallahs


BBC News – Chai – the drink India can’t live without.

Amazing pictures of the people who sell Indians their most popular drink.

Interesting Indian Demographics

India’s TFR is only 2.5—and falling steadily. This figure barely exceeds that of the United States. In 2011, the US fertility rate was estimated at 2.1, essentially the replacement level; a more recent study now pegs it at 1.93. Still, from a global perspective, India and the US fall in the same general fertility category, as can be seen in the map posted here.

via India’s Plummeting Birthrate: A Television-Induced Transformation? | GeoCurrents.

India’s Plummeting Birthrate: A Television-Induced Transformation? | GeoCurrents

The author relates the drastic (and relatively recent) decline to the advent of television, and in particular to soap operas.

Television depresses fertility because many of its offerings provide a model of middle-class families successfully grappling with the transition from tradition to modernity, helped by the fact that they have few children to support.

India’s Plummeting Birthrate: A Television-Induced Transformation? | GeoCurrents

Our Most Precious Resource, Explained

Which Nations Consume the Most Water?: Scientific American.

…meat consumption accounts for 30 percent of the U.S. water footprint.

With rising demand for meat in China and India, how will their water consumption change?

Certain countries, such as India and the U.S., also export significant quantities of water in the form of food and products, despite their own robust consumption. Populous nations that have little land or little water are huge net importers.

Will countries with water shortages, such as the western US, raise prices, or reduce consumption?  How will that change the food supply for the remainder of the US?  What industries consume huge amounts of water?  Will water shortages force the development of ‘green’ energy sources not so dependent on water as coal and oil?

The Girl I talked about today

Nujood Ali was ten when she fled her abusive, much older husband and took a taxi to the courthouse in Sanaa, Yemen. The girl’s courageous act—and the landmark legal battle that ensued—turned her into an international heroine for women’s rights. Now divorced, she is back home with her family and attending school again.

Child Brides – Photo Gallery – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine.

Ends up, she is a celebrity, and in a National Geographic article about child brides..

Immigrants are Everywhere

In Defense of Dubai |

The Indian child above works in a quarry carrying bricks for about $4 (US) per day.  In 4 years, when he turns 18, he can go to the UAE, specifically Dubai, and make much more, plus housing.   The money will mostly be sent home to support the family he left behind.  He might get a week  off every year or 2 to go home and see his family in India, Nepal, or another poor South Asian country.

But recent reports suggest all is not well with immigrants in Dubai – non-payment of wages owed them, and mistreatment at the hands of their employers, among other allegations.

So the question is – should he move, or not?  Will he?  What push and pull factors are at work here?  What effect will his moving have on the Indian and Dubai economies? Will these immigrants change the culture of Dubai?  Will the culture of S Asia change when these immigrants return home?  What do you think?

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, moving toward Mt. Everest

via Railways in Tibet: Mount Everest is singing for joy | The Economist.

“MOUNT EVEREST is singing for joy and the Brahmaputra River swirling with happiness”. Or so says an official Chinese newspaper (using the Tibetan names, Qomolangma and the Yarlung Tsangpo). After much delay, China has started to extend its controversial railway line in Tibet that will draw more tourists to the mountain and boost trade with South Asia. How happy the outcome will be is not so clear.

The proposed railway will bring more Han Chinese to Tibet, further diluting the influence of Tibetans, and possibly damaging the environment of Qomolangma.

It also challenges India’s influence in the region, and could ignite more unrest in the area of Arunachal Pradesh, claimed by both India, who controls it, and China, who wants it.

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