The Five Faces of Castes


Age, wealth, descendant, fame, and experience. These things often define how we are seen in people’s eyes, with wealth leading the line, followed by fame, experience, descendant, and age, respectively. Why do I say this? Well, people actually hail rich guys, right? Because they probably could buy everything to fulfill their needs. If a rich person speaks, less-rich people will have higher chance listening to that person because they want to be like that guy. And this applies almost to the other four castes. Everyone wants to be rich, but not everyone wants to be a famous person, an experienced person, a person who is a son/daughter of a famous person, or even an old person. However, they will always look (or forced to look) up to these castes.

This is a problem, why? The higher the caste, the more rock-headed that person will most likely be, especially if that person is discussing with those who have lower caste than him/her. There’s nothing wrong with having high/medium/low level in a caste. It becomes wrong when people with the higher caste start to not listening those below him.

Last Ramadhan, I prayed in a mosque near my boarding house. The imam misspelled a lot of words. This actually had happened since two years ago. This year, I tried something else. I came to him after all people went back to their home, because I didn’t want to publicize his mistakes. I told him that some of his reciting wasn’t valid. He accepted that. I was happy, until he told something about his teacher who taught him how to recite Quran. Then he said, “If you are going to teach me, you are insolent!” I lost my hope right after that. To make things worse, I was coughing for like half an hour so heavily non-stop while he was talking things (but not about his reciting). I didn’t understand. Actually, until now, I still don’t understand. Why older people, when being told by younger people about the correct things, they don’t accept it? But when we are the one being told about the correct things and we don’t listen, they force us to do so? Why there is a level difference between us and them, don’t we want people to do the correct things? They are the one who should be open minded. The age and experience “gifted” to them cloud their judgement.

I have played Dota for 11 years. Last year, when my friend started playing Dota again (the last time he played it was Dota 1 in Warcraft III). He asked me a lot of things, about the current trends, why things are like this or that. I explained them all to him and he listened. Half year ago, I took a break from playing Dota because of reasons. Six months of vacuum really left me unaware of the current trends when I came back to Dota. I knew I had 11 years of experience (with 3 years playing competitively), but I didn’t hesitate to ask my friends who were still actively playing and watching the professional scene, including the friend who asked me when he came back. He told me a lot of things about the current trends, which helped me to catch up swiftly. I may had the higher caste than him in term of experience, but that doesn’t mean I could just threw away all his explanations to me.

Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void – The Daelaam Over Aiur

Above is my current favorite wallpaper. I haven’t played Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void but watching the playthrough gave me a lot of insights. This expansion focuses on an alien race called Protoss. They lost their home planet, Aiur, to Zerg, another alien race. Protoss and Zerg, although both are aliens, have different approach to wars. Protoss race have highly advanced technology, surpassing the human race, Terran. The Zerg race too, have its own technology, but it is used to reproduce more zergs because they rely heavily on number, while falling low on individual power. The technology they have can cover up their weakness and increase their strengths.

The Three Races of Starcraft

In the Legacy of the Void expansion, the current Protoss leader, Artanis, realized that The Conclave– the Protoss Empire back then– fell because of the caste system. They had three caste levels, Khalai Caste (workers), Templar Caste (holy warriors), and Judicator Caste (leaders). In Legacy of the Void, Artanis urges Karax, one of the Phase-smith from the Khalai Caste, to become Templar by leading an assault on an enemy’s facility. Karax accepts the fact that he should become Templar with his saying, “For the entirety life, I have given myself to the art of creation. My war has been one of design. A battle against obstacles that hinder optimization. I am a phase-smith. It will always be my first calling. But, as time change, those who were not born true templar can become so through their deeds.” This act proves that Artanis wants to abolish the caste system from the Protoss race.

The other thing that I love from LotV expansion is that Artanis keeps listening to all his advisors, including Karax– even before the assault on the facility. Hell, Karax is just a Phase-smith, a worker! Why would we hear a word from a worker? Don’t we have better experience and wealth compared to them? Well, that way of thinking doesn’t apply to Artanis. He has the higher caste/position at that time, but that doesn’t stop him from listening and respecting those under his command.

My closing statement is that the caste system is okay. It becomes not-okay if the higher level looks down on the lower level and the lower level doesn’t aim higher. Not to forget, the caste system is just a label. We should still see everybody in the Earth equally as a human– part of the human race.

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