Guyana and India

Owen Bennett Jones introduces wit, insight and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition: Sarah Grainger reflects on Guyana's elections and its British heritage, while Justin Rowlatt learns why the cremation business is booming in the funeral ghats of the River Ganges.

A remnant adrift from the rest of its continent?

Think South America and you're likely to think automatically of the Spanish language -- or at of the special kind of Portuguese spoken in Brazil. But there is a country there with a British rather than Hispanic history.

Guyana is a former British colony: the capital, Georgetown, not only has a very English name but also cricket pitches and a statue of Queen Victoria. And much of its current political landscape has also been inherited from the colonial period - not always for the best. Sarah Grainger, normally based in Venezuela, has paid its smaller neighbout a visit.

Express way to heaven?

Globalisation may sometimes seem to be making the world more homogenous – it can appear that there's a Starbucks and dozens of McDonald's in every big city across the world. But there are also counter-trends.

Justin Rowlatt has been to sacred funeral ghats of Varanasi, on the River Ganges, and learned that India's booming economy is fueling a corresponding rise in cremations at one of Hinduism's holiest sites.

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10 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 Nov 2011 04:50 GMT
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