Society & Culture

 Traditional Cultures
- Their Wisdom &     


 'Spirit of India'

  Jews of India

- Cochin Jews

- Bene Israel

- Baghdadi & Manipur Jews

 Technology Feature

 Technology Investments
  in U.S. Stock Market - Intro

- Types of Slowdowns

- Nasdaq & SP 500 changes

- IPO Hard Sells

- Value Investing - Buffett

- Risk Factors & Lessons


 Manny Malhotra -Hot on   Ice


 Memorial at Wagah


' American Desi'


 'Enduring Spirit'

' Silk Road on Wheels'

  Editor's Note


 The Shop

 Old  Prints




the-south-asian.com                            March 2001

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Traditional Cultures - their wisdom and challenges




isabel_allende_-_recent.jpg (19492 bytes)About the author: Isabel Allende is perhaps the world's greatest living woman writer. Her books have been translated into nearly thirty languages and have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. Two of her novels have been made into successful Hollywood films. Isabel Allende was born in Peru, and moved to Chile at the age of three. She began her writing career as a journalist in Chile. When a military coup overthrew her uncle, Chilean President Salvador Allende, she fled to Venezuela where she lived for 13 years, working as a journalist and also wrote and  published her first three novels. In 1985, she came to the United States as a visiting professor of literature. She lives in California with her husband. Her most profound book to date remains 'Paula', published in 1994. 


 "ět is our ethnic and cultural diversity-our differences in language, customs and beliefs-that provide the strength, resiliency and creativity of our species."


I WAS BORN over a half-century ago in the Southern

Hemisphere, before television made its appearance. It was a

quiet life in a provincial atmosphere, bounded by the

streets of our neighborhood. I thought that everyone was

like us, except for the poor people I saw from time to time

when we drove out into the country, and who filled me with a

mixture of pity and fear. They seemed different, as if they

lived in another dimension.


THE FIRST TIME I had any hint of the size and complexity of

the world was when one of my uncles returned from India. He

was the only person in the family, probably in the whole

city, who had traveled so far from home. He had set out in

search of the 999 names of God and returned a skeleton with

eyes of an illuminati, with no luggage but a few yellowing

notebooks in which he had recorded his impressions. We

children would sit at his feet and listen to his stories of

faraway peoples, amazing customs, landscapes of stunning

beauty, and temples of multiple gods. This prodigious uncle

was the professor of a crystal ball. It was, I suppose, only

a simple glass sphere, one of those things fishing boats use

as floats for their nets, but he convinced us that in it we

could see any point on earth. His words were so eloquent and

we children were so hypnotized that in fact we did believe

we saw reflected in that magical ball all the visions

summoned by our uncle. Thanks to him, I developed an

uncontainable curiosity about other cultures that has taken

me many places around the globe, and today I can say, like

the great Mexican writer Octavio Paz, that ět is our ethnic

and cultural diversity-our differences in language, customs

and beliefs-that provide the strength, resiliency and

creativity of our species.


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