April 12, 2012

Why are Parsi elites welcomed, while Jewish and Chinese elites are reviled?

Foreign ethnic elites who have a disproportionate influence in their host society's economy are called market-dominant minorities. The two best examples are the Chinese who settled southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, and the Ashkenazi Jews who lived mostly in the Pale of Settlement in eastern Europe, and more recently in western Europe and its offshoots.

In her book World on Fire, Amy Chua looks at how the presence of market-dominant minorities can easily spark ethnic tensions, as the lower-status natives feel envy and anger toward what they come to perceive as an intrusive race of bloodsuckers. Again the Ashkenazi Jews and the Chinese provide the strongest examples -- no matter where they go, the locals usually come to view them with antipathy. Occasionally that escalates into full-blown ethnic riots, like the pogroms against Jews in eastern Europe and the series of anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia.

Explanations for the psychology underlying the native masses' hatred of ethnic elites tend to portray the envy and resentment as an inevitable consequence of the presence of market-dominant minorities. Yet there is a clear counter-example of a market-dominant minority group that has been welcomed wholeheartedly by most of the host society -- the Parsis of India, who have a disproportionate influence at the higher levels of the Indian economy.

Even though they are only one case, it is such a strong counter-example that it must make us reconsider what truly underlies the psychology of anger toward ethnic elites. The Parsis, like the Jews and the Chinese, are not a native ethnic group of the society where they have strong influence, having come from Persia into India. (While they do share some genetic and cultural heritage, it would still be like a group of Armenians settling and wielding much control over the economy in Ireland.) They also came to their high status gradually through greater intelligence and industriousness, not through force. And they have been living in their host society for hundreds of years -- plenty of time for the seeds of envy and rioting to have been sown.

And yet, there has been no history of pogroms against the Parsis. If anything, they're seen as more of a national treasure, not that Indians worship them or anything. All the ingredients for an explosion of ethnic hatred and rioting would seem to have been present for centuries, so what gives?

The general consensus by native Indians and by European observers, for at least the last several hundred years, is that the Parsis are incredibly charitable, preferring to spread around their wealth. (See some representative quotes in their Wikipedia entry.) They themselves emphasize this aspect of their community in the phrase "Parsi, thy name is charity." Most importantly, they aren't only generous toward one another, but toward the masses of their host society. A 20th-century Parsi captain of industry, J.R.D. Tata, was right out of the progressive mold of Andrew Carnegie and Milton S. Hershey.

So, it looks like the primary way that they've avoided the fate of so many other market-dominant minorities is to not behave like a bunch of greedy gold-hoarders. They don't give away all of their wealth, but they do donate enough to prove their generosity. Moreover, no one sees them as doing so without any real care for others -- i.e., just being charitable to gain approval or to keep the would-be rioters content. All observers seem to agree that it's out of a sense of duty and empathy.

And it's empathy where the Ashkenazi Jews and the Chinese are lacking. I touched on this in a longer post about why they tend not to be very good social scientists. Popular stereotypes everywhere that they've settled depict Jewish and Chinese people as brusque and rude, whereas the opposite stereotype prevails about the Parsis. They would also not fail basic tests of the recognition of facial emotions like the East Asians do. And unlike Jews, the equally high-IQ Parsis haven't produced scores of fruitcake intellectuals and political "thinkers," from Karl Marx to Ayn Rand, whose failures stem from nothing more than their inability to get other people.

In general, looking over this list of famous Parsis, they don't seem to produce many autistic or nerdy people. It looks more like professionals, entrepreneurs, and entertainers. (The Han Chinese have over 10,000 times as many people as the Parsis, and yet they can't produce a single Freddie Mercury.)

What was it about their niche in India that preserved their empathy, unlike other market-dominant minorities like the Chinese and Jews? Beats me, I don't know their history well enough. Something about the types of white-collar jobs they held must not have selected for having a dim and suspicious view of other people, unlike the case of Jewish tax farmers in Europe.

Their story should give us hope that it is possible for an ecological niche to select for higher average IQ, as well as for business skills, while not corroding our social nature. Sadly they do have very low birth rates, but then what brainy group these days does not?

48 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:31 AM

    agnostic said:
    And unlike Jews, the equally high-IQ Parsis haven't produced scores of fruitcake intellectuals and political "thinkers,"

    Do we actually have any psychometric data on the Parsis, or is this just an inference drawn from their success?

    B.B.

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  2. My guess is that if you go looking for rankings of social scientists, Jews will be the most disproportionately represented ethnic group.

    Freddy Mercury grew up in British colonies, he attended British-style boarding schools, his father worked for the British Colonial office and after the Zanzibar revolution the family moved to England. I don't know how many Han chinese have had a similar cultural background.

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  3. "Do we actually have any psychometric data on the Parsis"

    Not that I know of, although someone could probably compute it using college graduation rates, grade averages in high school (if available).

    "I don't know how many Han chinese have had a similar cultural background."

    Hong Kong. It's an irrelevant point, though, since his upbringing isn't what made him such a great singer.

    "if you go looking for rankings of social scientists"

    I.e., lists that will put Marx, Freud, Boas, and other numbskulls in the pantheon. Neo-classical economics, Ayn Rand, etc. I don't see much enlightenment about man's private or social life coming from influential social scientists... mostly the opposite.

    Compare that to Adam Smith, Darwin, William James, Galton (and all of differential psychology, the sub-field least full of shit historically), and so on. For a closer comparison, look at Jung against Freud.

    Durkheim and Chomsky would make my list of insightful, original, trailblazing thinkers, though.

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  4. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Is there any evidence that the Parsis are high IQ? The double standard could just be a case of "Parsis are harmless, whereas Jews and Chinese are real competitors".

    Food for thought: The old German anthropologists believed that the Jews and southern Chinese(not the northern Chinese, who are mostly the descendants of pastoralists) were naturally selected for merchant ability, i.e. "how to fuck you over".

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  5. Anonymous2:54 PM

    And I"m not sure if I believe this or not, but those same anthropologists argued that Jews invented their crazy theories as a form social manipulation. Convince the populace that people are basically rotten, and it makes them less trustful of their fellow man - and easier to control.

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  6. I do actually have one Parsi IQ study from India. As is the case with other IQ studies within India, it does not reveal a high IQ subgroup.

    One possibility is that there are other important cognitive adaptations that lead to economic success besides general intelligence. This would not only help explain why many immigrants and ethnic groups are much more successful than their IQ scores would predict, but would also be consistent with some of the differences Agro highlights in this post (e.g. lack of "intellectuals" and autistic syptoms, etc).

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  7. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Re: Jews and Chinese and difficult personalities, with the disclaimer that the Big 5 may be garbage, the Jews do self rate as high in Neuroticism in at least one data set.

    http://inductivist.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/jews-and-big-5-traits.html

    "Jews are significantly more extraverted, negatively emotional, and open to experience. They are not more conscientious or disagreeable"

    "Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, envy, guilt, and depressed mood."

    I wouldn't be surprised if this was also true of Chinese - see Joan Chiao's work about the greater genetic tendencies to depression in East Asians - but in the case of Chinese, I'd guess that this is combined with greater Introversion than their host populations - we all know Asians are introverted -, rather than greater Extraversion and Openness in the case of Jews.

    The Neuroticism gap (mediated by differences in Extraversion) may be why Jews and Chinese are seen as having difficult and hostile personalities.

    Jews and Asians are probably not coldly unempathic in the way psychopaths are (high emotional stability and free from negative emotion, but have no empathy at all and are only concerned with themselves). But they probably are emotionally prone more to anger and/or depression and in the case of Jews, their high Extraversion may lead to strong positive moods and socialisation as well, more public "rollercoaster" ups and downs in mood. This is probably the cause of their perceived "rudeness" - a liability to get pissed off or depressive and take offense over relatively minor incidents.

    The Parsis may not have this.

    The Neuroticism gap may also help explain why Jews have nuttier theories - the Jews may be mapping their own more neurotic (and extraverted and open) personalities onto the personalities of the White European world at large and thus come up with less correct theories about why people act the way they do.

    High IQ European Whites by comparison, seem to have pretty normal personalities for the White European world, maybe with higher Openness. That would lead to them being able to better produce a good social model, for the same level of IQ, as they aren't having to try and bridge as much of a gap.

    If this is correct, Jewish sociology of Jews should be much better than Jewish sociology of gentiles, because they're mapping minds that they can understand much better.

    As to why Jews are more neurotic, I think your tax farmer theory is a good one.

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  8. theo the kraut5:50 PM

    > And unlike Jews, the equally high-IQ Parsis haven't produced
    > scores of fruitcake intellectuals and political "thinkers,"
    Granted, but then their Hindu (and Muslim) host nation hasn't either. Ashkenazi Jews lived and live in Europe and its US off-shot, the hotbed of fruitcake production.

    > Something about the types of white-collar jobs they held must
    > not have selected for having a dim and suspicious view of other
    > people, unlike the case of Jewish tax farmers in Europe.
    Only some per mille of Askenazis were tax collectors (ok, my assessment), and I wonder how many of them fared as did Jud Süß, executed in 1738. Basically, Parsis lived in Indians multiethnic, multireligious societies, while Ashkenazis did not (not that I'm a fan of multiethnic, multireligious societies necessarily. Sidney is ok, Bradford isn't, London has ceased to be). On the other hand, Chinese in Southeast Asia lived in multiethnic, multireligious societies, too. Don't know what to make of this, but all else doesn't seem to be equal here.

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  9. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Or the Indian elite imported the guileless Parsis for their own nefarious purposes, i.e. "let's watch the lower classes have an ethnic war">

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  10. The number of Parsis in India is tiny.

    When I think of Indian mercantile minorities, I think of the Hindu vaishya caste (the mercantile caste) mainly or Muslim traders.

    Hindu vaishyas are much more numerically dominant, and people dislike them. One famous example is Patels. Patels are known for being brusque, rude, miserly, dishonest, clannish, etc. They are also hardworking, enterprising, and rich. There are no pograms against Patels though. So maybe Indian society is too fractured to produce pograms?

    Another example are the Agarwals.

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  11. The legend goes that they arrived in the kingdom of Gujarat and asked the king if they could settle there. He said no, as the kingdom was already full enough. Then they asked the king for a cup of milk filled to the brim, and they dissolved some sugar in the milk, and they promised that they would be like the sugar dissolved in the milk.

    ---

    The things I've heard about them are that they are in India in such tiny numbers. They took pains to assimilate, in terms of dress, language, and so on. They only kept their religion. The Parsis I've met have not had bad personalities (like Patels have). And they're not antagonistic towards the larger Hindu society.

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  12. I don't think the average person has dealings with Parsis. I've never met a Parsi shopkeeper for example, but I'm from the South India, and I live in the US.

    The only Parsis I've met were at university, and my dad worked for Ratan Tata in India.

    Parsis live in Bombay, which is the business capital. They're concentrated in one part of the country: Gujarat state and I guess Maharashtra state (the capital of which is Bombay).

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  13. India is so heterogeneous that everyone allows for a certain amount of clannishness and nepotism in people who are ethnically different.

    An ethnically homogeneous country with a single market dominant minority could have a different dynamic. Here, clannishness and nepotism on the part of an ethnic minority could be viewed much more unfavorably.

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  14. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Parsis DO have a reputation for being eccentrics BTW...consider the epithet "Mad Bawa"....

    As someone up thread has commented, there are other business communities, "baniyas" and other who are much more ubiquitous and are treated with hostility. And early in the 20th century, there have been pogroms against them. additionally, brahmins are a high acheiving community that are likely to be high IQ, and are disliked and/or not trusted by many people. and there have been anti-brahmin pogroms as well

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  15. Even if you looked at lists without Marx, Freud etc I expect it to be very disproportionately jewish.

    Freddie Mercury wouldn't have been Freddie Mercury without the band. England has an outsize place in rock music. Over there if someone says "asian" they mean south-asian, whereas in the U.S it generally means east-asian. That's because for a long time the U.S had far more orientals than asian indians, whereas in England it is still the reverse.

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  16. Hindus like both Parsis and Jews in India

    There has never been an anti-Parsi or anti-Jewish riot by Hindus in India

    There have been anti-Parsi and anti-Jew riots by muslims in India

    Parsis and Jews are viewed as good minorities because they have not tried to convert or kill Hindus like the bad minorities - Christians and Muslims

    Parsis are grateful to Hindus for giving them shelter.
    Hindus are aware of the gratitude of Parsis and view Parsis as fellow victims of islam

    The baniyas, the native merchant class is despised as blood-suckers, whereas the Parsi businessmen have a reputation for honesty, fair-dealing and genorisity.

    No one grudges the Parsis their wealth, since Hindus feel that it was won by fair means

    The Parsis have deflected any jealousy, because of their civic-minded-ness, their empathy to Hindu society, their charity and their fair dealing and their honesty.

    Tata Industries has a reputation for fair dealing with employees for hundreds of years, whereas an Indian baniya merchant have a dishonest reputation of cheating and squeezing their workers and clients

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  17. There is another interesting historical aspect to this

    The Parsis were the first religious enemy of the Hindus

    The god of the Parsis, Ahura Mazda, is Asura in Sanskrit which stands for demon

    The demons of Zorastrianism were the daevas, Sanskrit- devas - Hindu demi-gods

    Zoraster got daeva worshippers killed in Iran

    This happened about 1000 BC.

    But in practise from about 500 BC onwards, Zorastrian Persia was in peace with Hindu India

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  18. Looks like there isn't a whole lot of disagreement on the basic idea that, unlike Ashkenazi and Chinese elites, the Parsi elites are perceived as being more honest, charitable, grateful, etc.

    Since it's an elite's deception, stinginess, and ingratitude that host groups get angry about, this seems to be the simplest explanation of why the Parsis have not only escaped the fate of Jews and Chinese, but enjoyed such a long welcome.

    As for the side issue of whether they're higher in IQ, British observers remarked that they were the most intelligent of the Indian groups. Where they stand relative to Europeans isn't clear in their writings, but it's only where they stand relative to other Indians that matters for whether they'd be the target of envy. (Although again, envy is based more on economic differences, not so much braininess.)

    Here's a recent LA Times article about young Parsis:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr/13/news/adfg-parsi13

    It says that 80% of young Parsis in India graduate from college. Taking the threshold of IQ to graduate college to be the same in India and the US (where about 30% are graduates), this implies a 1.4 s.d. difference favoring Parsis.

    Of course Indian colleges overall are probably easier to graduate from. Even deflating the Indian threshold for graduating college by a full s.d. still leaves a 0.4 s.d. gap favoring Parsis, about the advantage that East Asians enjoy over white Americans.

    Deflate even that away, and they'd still be as smart as Americans -- and so, more than 1 s.d. above the average Indian.

    It'd be interesting to see the details of the IQ study done to see how it fits in with the other evidence that points the other way.

    It's not just business where they excel, though that is the most common choice. Medicine, law, engineering, too. Nothing too abstract like physics, math, or microbiology.

    Overall, seems like they're smarter than the average in India, probably a bit more than the American or European average, but that they apply their brains toward more concrete and practical ends.

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  19. I know you're into Strauss & Howe's "Generations" idea. There's something up in Slate which discusses that in the context of Lena Dunham's "Girls", but it's so long and uninteresting for this non-NYer who's never seen any of the referenced movies or lived through the campus "rape" panic that I can't bring myself to link it.

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  20. 1 - Perhaps the cast system in India reduces envy (after all, unless you belong to the cast of merchants, you don't have any special reason to ressent the sussefull foreigners - they are not occupying your place)

    2 - Unlike Chineses, the country of origin of Parsis (Zoriastrian Persia) does not longer exists; and, unlike Jews, they are not an "international" minority, with relatives and co-religionists in several countries; then, perhaps they are not really "foreigners", but simply one more of the several ethnic/religous groups of India

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  21. Anonymous3:56 AM

    before drawing too much out of this examination of parsis and how differently they are perceived as an elite group. recognize that they are an incredibly tiny minority community in india. perhaps one should reduce the scope of this study to gujarat and metro mumbai because small town folks in most of india are barely aware of them. they are very urban, and it would be like studying how americans feel about iranians from glendale and beverly hills even though they are so much richer and smarter

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  22. Anonymous10:39 AM

    First of all, I do not know if you should so easily make this generalization about the Parsis. I recall one Indian movie, "Rocket Singh", about a young Sikh computer salesman trying to make his way in the backbiting and corrupt world of Mumbai's business community. Who was the bad guy of the movie? An ivory-skinned, mustachioed patriarch who had the distinctly un-Sanskritic name "Puri". The hero even compares himself to Alexander the Great in his struggle with this man. Much in the way that Hollywood gives Jewish villains WASP surnames or has them toss out an anti-Semitic comment, this movie could only imply this guy's ethnicity (probably because of the role Parsis play in the Indian film Industry), but it was an obvious stereotype. A similar villain appears in "Love Impossible", where a slick, pale-skinned businessman who attempts to rip off the short, nerdy, dark-skinned hero. In an industry which places such value on pale-skinned actors, why is it that these films root for ordinary dark-skinned nerds against rich, effete, English-accented, pale-skinned slimeballs? So I do not think resentment against Parsis is non-existent.

    Secondly, Jews may have been reviled in Europe, but in America the relationship does not display a lack of generosity or commitment to the host nation. The two most obvious examples: (a) Jewish scientific talent was essential to winning the Second World War and (b) Jews were the biggest non-Black group to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. It is no coincidence, I think, that when Germany was a top industrial and scientific power ready to assert itself globally, it had a loyal and patriotic Jewry. When it turned against them, it became a second-rate power.

    Thirdly, and this is tangential, the comparison between Jews and Chinese is facile at best. Two middlemen minorities who are good with money and love education - the comparison stops there. Jewish culture has tended to favor dissent and argument, while Chinese culture favors at least the appearance of the consensus - compare the rambling arguments of the Talmud to the one-liners of Lao Tse or Confucius. Jewish culture gives a wink and nod to chutzpah, but to the Chinese such behavior would be mortifying to all involved. The stereotypes reflect this - the gentile's stereotype of the Jew is a scrawny, restless, abrasive, in-your-face loudmouth who has to get his way and has to disagree about *everything*. The prabumi's stereotype of a Chinese is a soft-spoken, conniving, robotic, ghost-like figure who lives in a gated community and always inexplicably seems to wind up as your boss' boss' boss. By these standards, Amy Chua's boasting about Tiger Moms is more Jewish than Chinese.

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  23. Puri is a Punjabi Hindu name

    In the movie Love Impossible, the villains name is Varun, a Hindu name

    I have never seen a bollywood movie with a Parsi villain

    The caste system does limit jealousy

    Businessmen are rich and the caste system makes it an acceptable thing for businessmen to be rich.
    And there is no need for hatred

    There are plenty of Hindu and Jain businessmen, who are disliked by the Hindu public for being greedy, cheats, and compared to them, Parsi businessmen shine

    In Mumbai and Gujurat, which have a Parsi concentration, there is no hatred of Parsis and they are well liked

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  24. I have to say this. I don't like Sikhs. Many members of my family have complained about them. They have that offputting costume. They're also aggressive and clannish and waged a successful terrorist movement against Hindus.

    I don't watch Bollywood movies, but from the one or two I've looked at in passing while eating at an Indian restaurant, Sikhs are portrayed positively. So are Muslims, but then, a lot of Bollywood is run by Muslims.

    I know that in Indian movies, you're not allowed to portray Muslims negatively. Maybe this rule applies to Sikhs? I don't know how Parsis are usually portrayed.

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  25. Anonymous10:02 PM

    A pretty lazy comparison about Jew and Chinese with Parsi. There are three points i think that are the real reasons why Chinese/Jewish are prosecuted.
    1: Number
    Parsi population is extremely small (just over 110,000) out of over billion Indians. On the contrary, there are over 40 million oversea Chinese, and over 8 million Jew lives outside of Israel. Parsi is too small to be a perceived threat to any societies.
    2: Societies
    India is a diverse society, a small minority group get less hostility from any groups than in a homogeneous society. Likewise, Jews were discriminated but prospered in multiethnic empires( Persian, Roman, US, USSR...).

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  26. Anonymous11:31 PM

    3: Achievement
    Parsi is not that dominant as a group in India, that honor belong to Baniya. They are not that impressive when compare to Chinese/Jewish.
    OTOH, Chinese absolutely dominate the economy activities of SE Asian countries. Thailand: ethnic Chinese (12% population) control around 80 per cent of companies listed on the stock market. Malaysia: Chinese (25%) control over 60% of Malaysia economy. Indonesian: Chinese (3%) control about 50-75 private wealth. Philippine: Chinese (1%) control 40% of economy.
    American Jew (2%) with 40% of the richest 100 Americans.
    Top Russian richest oligarchs: 6 out of 7 are Jewish.
    Rothschild family wealth was about US 1.5 billion in 1800s (about US$400-500 billion today term).

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  27. How was Sikh terrorism successful?

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  28. Way too many parameters being thrown around, and that don't even capture all of the pattern. I have a single parameter -- the greedy vs. charitable variable -- and it explains not only why Parsis have escaped persecution, but have been welcomed and even loved.

    What about the Parsis being small in numbers, part of a multi-ethnic society, etc., would make them so warmly received? Only their charity can explain that.

    And in any case the Parsis have not been small. I agree it's better to speak more about the feelings of the local or regional populations where they've lived, not India as a whole.

    An 1851 census of Bombay estimated 110,544 Parsis, and the estimates of Bombay's total population for the mid-19th C. would lie between 200,000 and 800,000. That puts them between about 15% to 50%.

    If it's just about how common they are to the average person, why did the people around Bombay in those days never come to detest the Parsis, much less launch pogroms against them? Indeed, why did they welcome them so fondly?

    Parsis have only been a small fraction of the Bombay area in very recent times. Go back over the last 200 years, though, and they have never been maligned and attacked like the Jews and the Chinese have been by people living next to them.

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  29. "the comparison between Jews and Chinese is facile at best."

    I explained in the link on why Jews and Chinese don't make such hot social scientists what the subtler differences are between the Ashkenazi and the Chinese brands of misanthropy.

    All that matters here is that they share another trait you did not mention -- namely that wherever the average person has good contact with Jews or Chinese, they view them as greedy, stingy, and ungrateful.

    That shared trait explains their shared fates of being targeted by majority populations who they have influence over.

    LOL at trying to suggest that the average American thought of Jews as altruistic for putting their brains to work on winning WWII. Americans, if they have any feelings about Jews at all, see them as stingy.

    Jews marching in the Civil Rights movement doesn't work either -- if anything the average American would see that as tending to split up the national unity, not promote harmony.

    Remember, the context was whether they're charitable with material resources like the Parsis, not whether they promote abstract rights of other groups.

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  30. The Gyspsies have always been small in numbers in most of Europe. And where they are concentrated (in southeastern Europe) has tended to be a multi-ethnic region.

    So I guess that, being so infrequently encountered, and living in a broader context of apathy about inter-ethnic relations, the Gypsies mostly escaped being hated and attacked by their host society.

    If you give the host society a good reason not to like you, it doesn't matter how small your numbers are, or how jaded they might be from all the ethnic heterogeneity and lack of ethnic-racial consciousness.

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  31. How was Sikh terrorism successful?

    Lots of Hindus were driven from Punjab state. Punjab is a Sikh majority state.

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  32. "Like sugar in milk" - One interesting, perhaps apocryphal Parsi legend relates the course of the initial meeting between Jadi Rana and the newly landed emigrants: When the Zoroastrians requested asylum, Jadi Rana motioned to a vessel of milk filled to the very brim to signify that his kingdom was already full and could not accept refugees. In response, one of the Zoroastrian priests added a pinch of sugar to the milk, thus indicating that they would not bring the vessel to overflowing and indeed make the lives of the citizens sweeter. Jadi Rana gave shelter to the emigrants and permitted them to practice their religion and traditions freely.

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  33. Hey Agnostic,

    (1) What do you think of Indians in the USA? Will you write a post on that subject?

    Unfortunately, I have to admit Indians are arrogant, immodest, greedy, ungrateful, stingy, uncharitable, and selfish. Also nerdy/dorky and fat/ugly. Combining a lot of the worst traits of both Jews and Chinese. If Jews and Chinese were dumber and browner, etc.

    I've been thinking about Indians in America for some time, but I have no idea how our behavior can be improved, unless Indians are kicked out of the West and each kind of Indian starts his own Zionist type movement in India.

    (2) By the way, what do you think of Zionism? It should lead to an improved type of Jew, no?

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  34. Gypsies seem rather hated to me. The Nazis tried to exterminate them, and they get much less sympathy regarding that than Jews, homosexuals or even communists. Because europeans still want to kick them out for their flagrant criminality and all around messed-upness. The mayor of the town that "Borat" scene was filmed in said to dismiss their complaints because such people would sell their own mothers!

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  35. "What do you think of Indians in the USA?"

    I haven't had enough experience with them to say anything insightful. I knew a couple in high school, many more in college (including a close friend), but haven't really been in touch with them since. And I didn't live in a part of the country where there are a lot of them, like New Jersey.

    The only thing I notice is the pastoralist vs. agriculturalist split that goes from the northwestern part of the Subcontinent to the southeastern part.

    So, the farther south and east, the more like the East Asians they are, since both are adapted to agriculture. And the more north and west, the more like the Persians, Arabs, and Turks they are, all adapted to pastoralism.

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  36. "Gypsies seem rather hated to me. "

    No shit, that's the point. If small numbers or being part of a highly ethnically mixed society is what makes the Parsis so loved, then the Gypsies should be much more tolerated than they actually have been.

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  37. Anonymous3:55 AM

    Agnostic, interesting observation about Northwestern vs South Indians.

    South Indians tend to be seen as highly industriousness, unemotional, restrained in personality, insular, very parochial, somewhat apolitcal, and academically oriented. Sort of like the East Asians of India.

    Some of the Northwest Indian ethnicites (Sikhs and Jatts) are seen as belligerent, giving high importance to keeping their word, honor-obsessed, quick to take offense at perceived slights, talkative/friendly, very supportive of their friends. A bit like Arabs, but without the Islam.... and maybe higher IQ and work ethic.

    Other North Indians are not really into the honor culture and less warlike, but have more in common with Sikhs and Jatts than with Southies.

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  38. I posted the following comment to Parsi Khabar where I first read this stimulating blog:

    Deep bow in gratitude to Arsan Sam Wadia for publishing this thought provoking blog. The value of a writing can sometimes be determined by the number of ideas it releases in its readers and the number of questions which follow; on that basis, this blog is certainly stimulating. Our knowledge of DNA can be rather limiting, examining only biological/psychometric conclusions. Wouldnt it be incredible if a measure for a "spiritually genetic" component could be found/proved just as the familiar DNA was. The Hadron Collider now searches for the Higgs Boson (the God particle); now there is a new venue for science if I ever saw one. I tip my hat to those respected scientist who search for the "spiritual" further element; perhaps our current panorama of thought is just too young, too much in its beginnings for grand summarizing conclusions to be made. Yet, this blog evidences multiple unanswered mysteries for the WHY. Upon one thing the readers seem to agree: the Parsi Elite do seem to exist in numbers greater than in other elite populations compared to their wholes. India has been the petrit dish during these past centuries, yet the Persian genes have an equally strong influence....another nurture vs nature equation; the fact remains that genetic material cannot survive unless it is protected and the Indians can certainly claim a large piece of that pie. This leaves us at the doorway of enlightenment. A tiny population of individuals full of mystery has survived. There seem to be elements present which defy explanation. Let's all step out with courage as we engage
    scientific method searching for answers to these mysteries; and, let all nations of the world model India as they initiate their own Protectorate around the Parsi Elite who have migrated to countries worldwide.

    Jk Synar
    jkws@ecewb.com

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  39. Anonymous2:23 AM

    "1 - Perhaps the cast system in India reduces envy (after all, unless you belong to the cast of merchants, you don't have any special reason to ressent the sussefull foreigners - they are not occupying your place)"

    I don't think its envy. Envy is something associated with lower intelligence - as agnostic explained, its something associated with those racial types that developed in egalitarian societies without social stratification. Whites and Indians, on the other hand, both developed in socially stratified societies, so they are better-equipped to handle jealousy internally.

    Besides, why would anyone ever be envious of Jews or Chinese immigrants? Even with all their money, they're still usually sexually unattractive and don't get attention.

    I think its more the perception that both groups are hostile. Its been said before, but both groups tend to be rude and pushy, especially the women. I've had Jewish women who almost walked into me because they did not want to deter course or even just say "excuse me".

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  40. Anonymous2:31 AM

    Also agnostic, you should seriously read Carleton Coon's "The RAces of Europe" or some other book by the old physical anthropologists.

    They discuss much about the physical changes that different social organizations cause. Pastoralists tend to have long faces, long limbs, and generally lanky or lanky-muscular. Agriculturalists are typically short-faced, round head, "puffy" look, and either overweight or short and slight. Hunter-gatherers are stereotypical "muscle men" - think black men or Arnold Schwarzenegger(who is a good representative of the hunter-gatherers who lvied in Europe before the pastoralists showed up).

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  41. Anonymous2:55 AM

    For the record, I think Mideasterners can be separated from Celts/Latins.

    Arabs are def. outgoing and fun-loving, but they are also very hard to get along with. They get upset over stupid things, always have to be the big man, and will grudge people good fortune. They get upset if you have an attractive girlfriend, for instance; or will fly into a rage if someone accidentally takes their seat.

    The Arabs don't seem to have had as high a level of social stratification, so its still very much a dog-eat-dog world for them. Every guy wants to be chief; every girl is the prettiest etc. This is probably why they can't get their act together.

    I would lump Greeks in with the Arabs. If you read ancient Greek texts, they're always obsessing about envy, individual glory, people screwing each other over, etc. The ancient Athenians would regularly jettison celebrated war heros over petty jealousy.

    Celts/Spanish are the best - and I count myself in that lot, since I'm phenotypically dark-haired Celt. They're not as physically-oriented as Mideasterns or Greeks or Italians, and not as macho. But they're easier to get along with, won't grudge you your good fortune, and generally more intelligent. They're often "extroverted nerds" - like to talk about serious things, but in a fun, go-with-the-flow way and aren't afraid to break the rules of political correctness.

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  42. Parsis are much better looking than the average Indian. I'm sure that counts for a lot.

    In India, fair skinned, caucasoidal types are definitely fawned over and given preferential treatment. I guess in general, good looking people are treated much better than ugly people?

    ---

    Great post and very interesting thread by the way.

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  43. Agnostic, Have you read "World on Fire" by Tiger Mom Amy Chua?

    In that book, she's scared to talk about the Jews because of the Holocaust.

    She definitely makes in sound as though people hate Jews, Chinese, Lebanese, Indians, etc. because these people are smarter and harder-working, and richer than the populations they live among. They are hated because they are better, in other words. (In the case of Indians, I think relatively smarter and harder working).

    She does mention that these foreign elites treat the natives with contempt and suggests that they could be nicer.

    I looked up her book on Amazon, and searched for the words "rude," "brusque," "cheating" and so on, but didn't get anything. There was a hit for "honest" and "dishonest."

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  44. What about pornography and prostitution? Does this have something to do with how people view Jews and Chinese v. Parsis?

    Businessmen can be very amoral, and minority middlemen even moreso.

    ---

    Jews dominate the pornography business in America, no?

    There are also Jews involved in the prostitution trade, though I've never heard that dominate it.

    They've definitely been instrumental in tearing down anti-pornography laws and morality laws though organizations like the ACLU.

    ---

    I don't know who controls the prostitution trades in Southeast Asia or in China itself.

    ---

    In India, I don't know either though I've never heard Parsis being mentioned.

    In the US, in NYC, there are these newspaper/magazine/candy kiosks which seem to be run by Bangladeshis. A lot of them have pornographic magazines prominently displayed.

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  45. Anonymous6:56 PM

    Isn't there a massive difference in their history? Christians never liked Jews because of the whole Jesus thing. Muslims are still angry about the whole Israel/Palestine thing. Jews aren't hated in Asia because not as many are Christian, and not many care about the whole Israel/Palestine land grab. The history is simply different.

    Chinese are hated because they are often seen as imperialistic. As an ethnic, they great ethnic enclaves wherever they go and keep to themselves. They keep to themselves and are seen as outsiders because they treat everyone else as inferior. Its not a matter of jealousy. In Japan, a nation where the Chinese majority never really became prominent, they're hated still. Same with in Korea, Vietnam etc... There's no neighbor of China that really likes China or the Chinese. During turbulent times, Chinese minorities are seen almost like spies for China.

    Parsis are different. They don't have a nation, so they don't run into the same problem China does. No suspicion. They integrate quite well into Indian society. They didn't kill anyone's prophet (or at least perceived to be descendants of anyone that did). Apparently they're also quite charitable, so they don't come off as selfish and withdrawn.

    The history is quite different. Jews are seen as selfish. Chinese are seen as amoral. Amoral not in that they purposely go out to screw others over because it's fun (that's immoral). Amoral as in, if it benefits them, they'll do good, and if it benefits them, they'll do bad, they simply don't care. (Who else made baby formula using poisonous materials because it's cheap and can make a bigger profit? who else can put lead in baby toys and not give a crap? I know it's a minority that does it, but it does propagate quite a nasty stereotype of the Chinese)

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  46. Cawas Jehangirji Bardoliwalla:

    Born in Bombay Cawas attended The Sir J.J.P.B Institution and was to be the Highest amongst those who Passed The S.S.C.Examination in 1953.

    Mini Bio:
    Cawas was born in Bombay and attended The Sir J.J.P.B Institution and was to be the highest amongst those who passed The S.S.C.Examination in 1953. He subsequently went on to achieve a 1st Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Bombays Technical Instute for Science and Technology. He was awarded a full honorary Scholarship from The ex-students Jubilee fund to further his studies at London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology during which time he worked alongside Professor D.B.Spalding CBE in the field of Heat Transfer and Rocket Combustion from 1958 to 1961 and was later awarded The Prestigious DIC (The Diploma of ‘Membership’ of The Imperial College). He was subsequently inducted as a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and later went on to be appointed Senior Architect at The World Most illustrious Car Giant Rolls Royce & Bentley Motors UK Ltd. Three months prior to his death he was due for promotion as Head of Aerospace (Civil & Defence) Archtectural Engineering and Design at Rolls Royce’s Aerospace Divisional HQ in Crew. Sadley he passed away due to heart failure in 1978 aged just 44 years. Deeply missed.

    Sincerely,

    Neville Cawas Cyrus Bardoliwalla (Son)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Son: Neville Cawas Cyrus Bardoliwalla
    Email: nevillebardoliwalla@hotmail.com
    Web: http://www.facebook.com/neville.bardoli


    My late father Cawas Jehangirji Bardoliwalla was born in Bombay and attended The Sir J.J.P.B Institution and was to be the Highest amongst those who Passed The S.S.C.Examination in 1953. He subsequently went on to achieve a 1st Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Bombays Technical Instute for Science and Technology. He was awarded a full honorary Scholarship from The ex-students Jubilee fund to further his studies at London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology during which time he worked alongside Professor D.B.Spalding CBE in the field of Heat Transfer and Rocket Combustion from 1958 to 1961 and was later awarded The Prestigious DIC (The Diploma of ‘Membership’ of The Imperial College). He was subsequently inducted as a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and later went on to be appointed Senior Architect at The World Most illustrious Car Giant Rolls Royce & Bentley Motors UK Ltd. Three months prior to his death he was due for promotion as Head of Aerospace (Civil & Defence) Archtectural Engineering and Design at Rolls Royce’s Aerospace Divisional HQ in Crew. Sadley he passed away due to heart failure in 1978 aged just 44 years. Deeply missed.
    Courtesy of Parsis, Iranis, Zarathushtis All Under One Roof - All Rights Reserved 2013

    Sincerely,

    Neville Cawas Cyrus Bardoliwalla OBE

    ReplyDelete
  48. Parsees were grateful to India for giving them refuge
    All else flows from that

    ReplyDelete

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