The new age caste system

May 6, 2015

I was having dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago when the discussion suddenly got heated up. The subject at hand was society and how we should only be hanging out with people of the same “social standing”. I was basically being scolded (in a humorous manner) for being openly sociable and accepting of all people into my group of friends. I do indeed sometimes get dubbed the “mayor of Dubai” (as a joke clearly) but that doesn’t mean everyone fits into the same friendship category! Didn’t you read my “Circle of friends” post?!

I personally love meeting new people and discovering the world through various pairs of eyes. However it seems the archaic caste system still exists nowadays and no one bothered to tell me, until now that is. Call me naive, call me whatever you want, but I really had no clue.

For those who may not know, the caste system, thought to have originated in India, is a system of social stratification which historically separated communities into various groups, basically known as “castes”. You were born into a caste, which determined your class and social standing. Certain groups were excluded from the system altogether, ostracised as “untouchables.”

Various contemporary scholars argue that the caste system was concocted by the British colonial regime, in order to better appoint jobs to various Indians by caste. I’m no expert in history, so I’ll skip that part and dive right in.

There’s an old adage which states, “You can’t soar like an eagle, when you hang out with turkeys. ” But what determines a turkey? It most definitely varies from person to person. Some may say it’s the number of diplomas one has amassed, others may say it’s their wealth standing, or maybe the way they hold themselves in public?


Has our society failed to advance to the point that we still classify people according to their background, education level, wealth standing and many other irrelevant man made facts? I’m not discussing marriage here, but purely friendship. Are we not supposed to go out for drinks with people of a different “class”? Will it hold us back from moving forward in life? This is where I was bewildered that people still think this way nowadays.

I personally believe I can find something in common with everyone in this world. Even the old man who used to beg for pennies on Crescent street in Montreal when I was younger. I know people with a million diplomas that not only put me to sleep but fail to bring any positivity or added benefit to my life. I look at a person’s soul. Yes, you can’t see it, but you can feel it. That means more to me than any amount of diplomas or business card titles.

Sure, if there are people who drain the positive energy out of you, then I agree they’re holding you back. Time to reevaluate those so called friendships. But if a person is good to the core, doesn’t that transcend any social standing classification?

Call me crazy if you wish; I’d agree with  you, but then we’d both be wrong.

8 thoughts on “The new age caste system”

  • Loved the article. I agree with you. And we always need to remember that only “God can judge us”. As long as the individual isn’t causing us harm then they are just another human being; why not be friends. I often find here in Dubai we are so derived to live in a social class manner, however when you move the US it is a completely different ball game as it’s one big melting pot. Love the last couple lines of the article put a smile to my face. Well done.

    • Sure, in some places in the U.S. But you’d be surprised how many people still think this way in North America. It’s not solely a Dubai thing. It’s an overall society problem. Glad I put a smile on your face

  • very well said Dana. How u accept people in your life goes back to the way you were raised. there will be people from every walk of life , every class of life who will pull you back, it will be up to you to pull back up and stand your ground. it’s not the class of the individuals that should scare us, it’s our strengh and resilience.

    • Thank you Rima. I agree with you 100%! I appreciate these insightful comments.

  • Well put, the rebellion is well and truly under way now. B-b-blow down those walls society has put up. Plus turkeys have feelings too. At least I know I do.

    • Excellent one Osama. Indeed the rebellion is well under way. It may be a turkeys’ rebellion but it’s nonetheless a rebellion!

      • You may be well and truly on the side of the turkeys, but with your collection of stylish must-haves, surely you’re no turkey 🙂

  • Great job Dana & great points, thank you for writing this.

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