Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thrifty Thursday Update

Synopsis of The Space Between Us from inside flap:
The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hid the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. This extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture.

Sorry that this update is so late!!! Too many things going on today and not enough time to sit down and write this up!! I'm still enjoying this book...totally immersed into the Indian culture and trying to learn about the different ethnic groups within the country. This week we find out how Maya came to be an orphan. The author takes us deeper into Sera's life and how the physical abuse of her husband came to be. Domestic violence knows no age, sex, affects women all around the world.

Here's what I've been contemplating this week:

  • HIV- huge problem in India. With such a large group of people that are illiterate and uneducated about the ways you can become infected with HIV, this disease has ravaged a lot of people. I've also decided that just by reading about their hospitals and lack of medical care, that we as Americans, really need to think twice before we complain about our own health care system. Try living in a third world country and see what kind of medical care you receive. If it's better than anything here in the U.S. then you may have a legitimate rant.
  • Parsi Women
  • Ethnic groups and prejudices- I believe that prejudice is everywhere, not just in America. Sometimes I think we all believe that it is better somewhere else. Sort of like that old adage, the grass is always greener on the other side, right?? Anyway, trying to understand the ethnic groups is difficult to say the least.
Parsi-The question of Parsi identity is a contentious one. There are those who say that the term Parsi (or Parsee) may only refer to the descendants of the original immigrants from Iran 1000 years ago. Others refer to just about anyone hailing from Iran as a Parsi regardless of when they came. Others still see anyone accepted as a Zoroastrian as being a Parsi by default. 
Genealogical tests of Parsis in Pakistan confirmed that their DNA was significantly more similar to Iranians than any other immediate geographic neighbours but other tests of the Parsis in India suggest that they have more in common with the Gujuratis, suggesting a greater degree of ethnic assimilation than might be comfortable for many proud Parsis. Parsis have always tried to be strict on not inter-marrying with other faiths and races in order to preserve their lineage but it's unlikely that such a strategy will prevent them from dying out in the near future.

Gujarati people (Gujarati: ગુજરાતી લોકો Gujǎrātī loko?), or Gujaratis are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking and can trace their ancestry to the state of Gujarat in northwestern India. Famous Gujaratis include Mohandas Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The Marathi people or Maharashtrians (Marathi: मराठी माणसं or महाराष्ट्रीय) are an Indo-Aryan linguistic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages. Although their history goes back more than a millennium, the community came to prominence when Maratha warriors under Shivaji Maharaj established the Maratha Empire in 1674. Mee Marathi (मी मराठी, I am Marathi) are two words that have always inculcated Marathi pride.
Marathi Dancers  

 Please visit the other readers and see what their thoughts are so far:
Ti at Book Chatter
Kathy at Mommy's Reading
Booksync at Book In The City
Bailey at The Window Seat Reader
Mari at Bookworm With A View


  1. Thanks for all the interesting info in this post!

  2. This sounds really interesting!! Ohhhhhhhhhhh and to answer your question...each lo takes me about a 1/2 hr... don't hate me! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. I'm enjoying your posts for the book - I won't have time to post this week but did finish the book last night.

    Thanks for the background information - this is very interesting.

    I agree with you about your comments on the hospital - this broke my heart.

  4. I find it so surprising that a group of people that are really Iranian were allowed to rise to the supposed "top" and allowed to consider themselves so much above everyone else. I suppose it's all about the money and power now.

  5. Glad you're enjoying this read-a-long Staci. I wish I could have kept up.

  6. This was a very educational post. I hadn't heard of the Parsi before.

  7. I'm enjoying, vicariously, your read-a-long of this book. It seems like you are learning a lot of things in addition to reading a good story.

  8. sounds interesting and informative

  9. I love how you've addressed this book and such important issues right alongside it. This book really touched me when I read it quite a while ago.

  10. Thanks for all the info - I am loving the book (in fact I finished it - I couldn't help myself last week!)

    I was very interested to learn about the Parsi culture and their station in Indian society.

  11. This is a great and informative post. Thanks for all the details.


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