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An Island in a Sea of Villages
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One man went to a village about 15 miles away by bicycle to sell the milk and sometimes to bring back things the village couldn't produce itself. It wasn't the remoteness of the village so much as it was off any of the roads and/or regularly-traveled paths. The years and the usual influences had just passed it by. No electricity; radios of any kind (if you're thinking battery-operated) closely controlled by the government and anyway batteries were prohibitively expensive. How would they have had outside contact and why would they have cared to?

I often wondered about just how closely related each of the families was to the other families and where did they get their wives for the arranged marriages, but some matters are too private to tell outsiders, especially a woman outsider. The men might have been more willing to talk to a man about relationships outside the village.

Insularity and a position outside the flow of regular interaction with the outside world isn't unique to Indian villages, however. Example: In the school in South Central Los Angeles where I taught--none of my students had ever met a white child face-to-face until integration was mandatory in the 70's. Most of them had never been to a supermarket (mom and pop stores only). There are other examples, too, even in this media-saturated world.

You do wonder, though, how they could have not known about the British who seemed to have been everywhere....

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