The "brilliance" of the caste system is what Ambedkhar characterized as its inherent "graded inequality." In Nepal, the gradation can be found not just between the five castes, but also between the ethnic groups, between communities that make up an ethnic group, within communities and therefore between individuals. And because social status is valued so much, the gradation has determined who you could marry and form a familial alliance with, which in turn dictates who you socialize with the most. Were inter-caste marriage the norm, the caste system would break down.
Nepalis generally make a lot of assumptions about and are judgmental of fellow Nepalis based on their appearance and/or their name and/or surname, a consequence of our social system, the caste system. In this blog post I relay a typical incident of a fellow Nepali making assumptions about who I am and what I do based entirely on my facial features.
In Nepal's brand of groupism the most important and valuable functional unit is the extended family. That and following the dictates of the caste system means that we live and move within small social bubbles. Who one forms alliances with -- such as marries, works, socializes etc. -- depends a lot on ones ethnicity and caste. It's as if like we are tribes living in the hunter-gatherer phase of human evolution!
Outcastes, foreigners, according to the caste system, are supposed to be of lower status than Dalits, and therefore even more "impure." At one time, some category of them were treated as such. But no longer. Nepalis have changed their views of, attitude towards, and behaviors with them within a little more than a generation. When will we do the same when it comes to fellow Nepalis and stop discriminating against them so so much more?
Birth is a beginning...of unrealized, unpredictable, unimaginable potential! But the Hindus will have you believe that it is an end and make many suffer for it, consequently. Of course, that's completely WRONG.
Some of the standard reactions White people have to statements about or discussions on their racists ancestors and conversations about present-day racism, the hill so-called called high caste Hindus in Nepal also have when it comes to their ancestors and casteism. Here are the most common ones and their alternative!