Monday, February 13, 2006

Love for white collar jobs

I was talking to one of my close friend in school. After school, we studied together for predegree (Plus Two) and then he took BA and MA in English. After that he started a driving school and is going well. Since childhood he was curious about automobiles and he really likes being the owner of the driving school.

Now his parents are seeing girls for his marriage. He was telling me that no parent is willing to marry off their daughter to him because he doesn’t have a "permanent job". He was telling me what happened to him 1 month back. He saw a girl after all formalities (like horoscope matching etc). She finished BSc Physics. Both liked each other but the girl's relative's doesn't want to have this marriage as he doesn't have permanent job. He was telling me that finally her marriage was fixed with another guy who has passed 10th grade and working in "Gulf". That guy can't take his wife with him for another 2 years.

Story of my friend made me think about the "white collar culture" prevailing in Kerala. This may be the only state where graduates will apply for last grade job because they believe any government job will bring social status. A Government job, jobs in Gulf are considered to the best in Kerala. No one is there in Kerala to respect and appreciate youth who are self-employed and doing well. When I was a kid, dream of my mother was that I should land up in a good government job. For her (and for majority of malayalis) a job in private sector or self-employment was never a job.

After coming to US, I found how much US people respect job. The respect an American gives for a college professor, bus driver or a janitor is one and the same. It is high time for all malayalis to wake up, appreciate and respect the people who are self employed.

Malayalis-Don’t forget- Self employed people are also part of our society
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't blame the girl's parents.
Considering our culture and the values that we've been brought up to respect, it is only normal that every girl's father wants for his daughter money and security.
Self-employment always comes with risks(what if noone come to learn from your friend's school one day?)and given a coice, which parent would want that for their children?
And considering Govt jobs in our country, they are an epitome of security. Once you are in, you stick on like a leech. Even if you are accused in a murder case or two.


February 13, 2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue which you picked up for discussion is a very important one. And we(malayalis) need to definitely do some serious soul-searching and adopt a holistic approach inorder to deal with this issue. I also agree that the chances are quite high that your friend and his proposed bride would have been married to one another, IF they were in the US (because you said they liked each other and assuming everything was conducive for that relation to grow.. including NON-INTERFERING "family members". blah blah blah... ;). :).. ).

However in your last paragraph you seemed to be too eager to reach your conclusion based on this example. In my opinion, it would be more appropriate if you hadn't drawn a generalized conclusion but instead said that people are usually not discriminated based on their jobs (rather than say that they are respected equally). Everyone knows its not true..

Studies by Urban institute ( indicates that even my suggested conclusion is NOT accurate and what we see as the perfect undescriminating society has an even darker story to tell.

February 13, 2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Vijay Ramamurthi said...

"This may be the only state where graduates will apply for last grade job because they believe any government job will bring social status"

Gross generalization

February 13, 2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the Govt job doesn’t bring social status, it is really an epitome of security. Whatever happens you get paid and you are part of a good pension and medical plan. All you need to do is strike at appropriate times (read before elections) and get the raises.

February 13, 2006 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This situation happens a lot in northern states also. Actually, as Anjana said our government are the epitome of security .... and who ever goes in becomes a leech. I expect this to change in years to come .. when this generation takes over the reigns of kerala !!


February 15, 2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger flutteringeyes said...

"The respect an American gives for a college professor, bus driver or a janitor is one and the same."---there is a small difference...but yes in general its pretty good here....
people are not looked down as bad as they are in india....

February 21, 2006 11:10 PM  
Blogger Mind Curry said...

you are so right..malayalis have such convoluted thoughts on things like marriage, job, caste, religion etc. its simply pathetic. i keep hoping atleast the gen-next will think more progressively, but alas, i dont see it.

March 26, 2006 7:00 AM  
Blogger Umesh said...

I dont think this mentality is strictly reserved for malayalees. It is a common trait among Indians.

April 18, 2006 1:10 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

it is more for malayalis. There sole goal is to get government job.

April 18, 2006 2:34 AM  

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