Monday, April 2, 2012

Baniya, the businessman by caste

His ancestors have been traders for thousands of years. Whether it was genetics that put them in the “trader” caste, or if it is generations of conditioning that has made them so, ‘baniyas’ are born businessmen. When they are buying, they’ll argue that a quarter-dozen of something should cost less than three of the same, and insist that 18 is not a dozen and a half when they are selling. 

There are people who use the word in terms of disparagement, but I have nothing but admiration for the baniya’s business acumen. Modern society is built on trade, after all. 

There are words, and there are words. Some words can be easily translated, others need to be described.  In April, I’ll attempt to capture the Soul of 26 'Indian' words in a  drabble of exactly 100 words.


Jan Morrison said...

I self-identify as a baniya - although my wares are not temporal but rather services. Being an entrepreneur teaches one about the true nature of autonomy...

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - Baniya have shrewdness and the ability to think on their feet that have made them survivors. And as you say, modern economies are built on their skills. Thanks for the reminder.

Stephanie V said...

I admire merchants who have chutzpah and buyers who bargain with confidence. I have neither.

Chuck said...

I look forward to learning more cultural info from you this month. This is a down to earth business lesson here.

Ola Jaggers said...

I am really loving your posts for this challenge!!!!

Thank you for sharing!


Damyanti said...

That's a great catch of his expression.

...I used your photo as a prompt for my fiction today, and linked to you.

--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z


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