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Why are cubers in India so slow?

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blah

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Save your political-correctness/politeness remarks.

Bernett Orlando has been around since the ice age. He keeps coming in and out of retirement (I'm assuming), but he's still the fastest guy around. There are only 6 Indians with sub-15 averages, 1 with a sub-1 4x4x4 average, none with a sub-4 2x2x2 average, and the list goes on (besides, these arbitrary cut-offs aren't even close to being "fast" by today's standards). India has ~900 registered competitors and ~30 competitions so far. Seriously, what's up?

Virtually all Indians are fluent in English (at least those educated/cultured/whatever-ed enough to be speedcubing), so there's absolutely no lack of resources in terms of getting faster.

Also, this isn't about ethnic Indians. This is about citizens of India.

Has no one else noticed this? Doesn't this bug anyone? I'm genuinely curious and I would like to hear what Indians have to say about this.
 
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Mike Hughey

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I have noticed very few people from India on speedsolving.com. Those who have seem to have done at least somewhat well - in particular I think of Karthik Puthraya (who's not been around much now, but when he was interested, was really pretty decent at BLD) and Nikhil Mande. I wonder if it's just associated with that - people who do well at speedsolving mostly hang out on some major forum somewhere, whether it be this one or another one. I'm guessing that maybe India doesn't have one.

Edit: I did a search on people who list a location in India with over 100 posts on speedsolving.com, and in addition to those two I mentioned above, I came up with four more:

Akash Rupela: 15.84 average
Manasij Venkatesh: 14.08 average (4.17 2x2x2 average, 1:49.84 BLD)
Rahul Kadukar: 21.44 average (4/5 multiBLD)
Akshay Rao: 23.64 average (3/3 multiBLD)

So it seems like active Indian participants on speedsolving.com are quite similar to those from other places (perhaps even a little better than average), which seems to support my hypothesis. Of course, that still doesn't explain WHY people from India don't frequent the forums as much as people from other countries.

And by the way, it's nice to see you back, blah. It's been a while.
 
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Akash Rupela

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Chester, Everything, everything that you wrote has really been bugging me off badly too. I m really glad to know that other fellow cubers here care about the issue.

Firstly, there is an group of indian speedcubers on facebook, with over 550 members, and anyone who asks for help does have enough resources, As you said, Resources is not a problem (except for maybe 5% small kids who buy a fail cube from market and never bother to care about it and are unaware of our world).
Secondly, 2-3 people have had sub 10 unofficial averages(and a guy has sub8 NL singles), but yes with the big number of cubers here, its just not acceptable for the general community.

Coming to the main point, In India, there are very less people who care about cubing that much. Everyone is busy with studies and stuff. A cube is tempting, of course, its addictive of course, but back in the mind, almost everyone will have a question "What will i get from it?". Like most people study just for a job(and parents dream bla bla), very less people do it just cuz of satisfaction. When someone is putting that much practice, he also has to know its just for his satisfaction, and not many people live upto this challenge. In my college, i have taught 20 or so people, only one of them is sub1 minute, they all say "it will waste our life(study-job life whatever)"

I m afraid, but at this rate, leaving apart a small minority, i only look ahead a decrease in the quality of cubers, with more and more coming in, but less and less willing to give the time it takes.

Mike, Also, Ayush Kumar http://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/p.php?i=2011kuls01, has quite many posts here, his speedsolving id is ilikecubing

Edit:No offence to anyone, just what i feel
 
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izovire

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Coming to the main point, In India, there are very less people who care about cubing that much. Everyone is busy with studies and stuff. A cube is tempting, of course, its addictive of course, but back in the mind, almost everyone will have a question "What will i get from it?". Like most people study just for a job(and parents dream bla bla), very less people do it just cuz of satisfaction. When someone is putting that much practice, he also has to know its just for his satisfaction, and not many people live upto this challenge. In my college, i have taught 20 or so people, only one of them is sub1 minute, they all say "it will waste our life(study-job life whatever)"
A friend of mine in HK has slowed down a lot because he's in Secondary school and he doesn't have time to cube... and his parents took away his cubes for 8 months!

I have a flag counter (it collects IP addresses from visitors) on my website and I have a lot of Indian visitors. I have also noticed that they abandon shopping carts more than any other country. I don't know why maybe it's a money issue. I don't know if it's related to the slow cubers there. Are they all buying Rubik's Brand 3x3's instead? Because (imo) they suck!
 
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Escher

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Socio-political reasons. Cubing (generally) is an incredibly middle-class, pre-adult hobby, for those with far too much free time on their hands (in order to get at all fast).

This comment is obviously riddled with Western bias but I get the impression that if, in India, you have enough resources to get a good education, you really goddamn work for it.
 

Dene

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Just a stab in the dark, but perhaps they are too isolated from the rest of the cubing world, and lack an internal fast figure to aim towards. I mean, over here we are isolated but we have Feliks to target, which would help explain why we have other fast cubers coming through. In Japan they have always had a fast figure to aim towards, and in China they eventually got fast figures to aim towards. Perhaps what they lack in India is one person to step up, work their ass off and get really fast, to have something to aim towards.
 

sa11297

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Socio-political reasons. Cubing (generally) is an incredibly middle-class, pre-adult hobby, for those with far too much free time on their hands (in order to get at all fast).

This comment is obviously riddled with Western bias but I get the impression that if, in India, you have enough resources to get a good education, you really goddamn work for it.
I agree with this. I am Indian, but have lived in the US my whole life. My parents have moved here from India during college. My dad said that he would not have had time to do cubing, at least not past ninth grade.
 

rohit94

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A friend of mine in HK has slowed down a lot because he's in Secondary school and he doesn't have time to cube... and his parents took away his cubes for 8 months!

I have a flag counter (it collects IP addresses from visitors) on my website and I have a lot of Indian visitors. I have also noticed that they abandon shopping carts more than any other country. I don't know why maybe it's a money issue. I don't know if it's related to the slow cubers there. Are they all buying Rubik's Brand 3x3's instead? Because (imo) they suck!
In India, our system is different from yours in all ways. Parents have full authority over their children. If they say 'dont cube, study'(what they always do) we dont have anything left to do except for studies. In addition our education system is the most difficult one. I'll just say come to India, live our lives and then we'll see how you cube......
 

Bhargav777

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Chester that's actually not true.. Many here cube a lot too.. But that we cannot devote as much time as all other World class cubers like you do...
Secondly, the awareness has started coming up only in recent times.. I have been conducting some workshops in my city to boost the awareness, and I am sure, if guided in the right way, even India can have world class cubers in no time.. MaNY of us have got excellent times at home and fail at the competitions, probably because of insufficient exposure to tourneys...
Many of us do use this forum but just to gain things, we actually don't log in and post like you people do as we already have a very big group on facebook... Since all of us are used to posting there, we do not think much of this forum.. actually, even we have a forum, but not many use that too all because all our queries are answered in the facebook group..
Finally, there have been about 10 to 15 people with sub-1 singles and about 4-5 with sub-1 averages in 4x4... We do have a lot of people(around 20) with sub 10 singles in 3x3 and a guy named Dharmesh Shahu ( http://worldcubeassociation.org/results/p.php?i=2011SHAH01 ) gets sub 10 averages often and has got many sub 7.5 singles.. I have even got sub 3 averages in 2x2 with official scrambles and sub 18 OH averages... Our country has been consistently getting NRs in each competition since last year (incase there's a competition, we have a NR for sure)..
It's just the time it would take... I can promise you, we'll surely produce many more Eriks, Michals, Zanes and Hugheys within a year or two =) JUST WAIT AND WATCH =)
 
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palash_du

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I am a casual cuber from India. I started cubing a few years ago. I went to sub 30 and stopped. I became interested in BLD and FMC after that.. I was very much interested in commutators and cube theory. Since the cube is a very good example of a non-abelian group. I even gave a few workshops in my institute on the cube. But I think everyone got bored of it. I stopped because I don't like learning algorithms. I tried BH for BLD. But I always had my memorization problem. So after sometime I stopped doing BLD also. those are my reasons/excuses for stopping.

The thing is to cube you need to devote time to practice to get good. I don't think anyone has that around here (at least not in my institute). There were at least 30-40 people who solved cubes when they were in their first year here. But now when the time constraints have increased. I see the cube with hardly one person in a month.

Unless the general cuber here starts devoting time to cubing (which in this country is very very hard) we will always be slow compared to you guys.

If you want to really know what is wrong and why we don't have time just compare the education system of Germany and India you will get your answer.
 
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TimMc

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Why so fast?

Code:
3x3 Ao5    Sub 14  Sub 12  Sub 10  Sub 8  Competitors
-----------------------------------------------------
Australia      10       4       1      1          141
China         107      27       5      0         2655
India           3       0       0      0          893
Malaysia       23       8       2      0          314
USA           128      46       8      0         3267
What did China and the USA do differently to have 100+ <14 competitors?

What did Australia, China, Malaysia and USA do to have a handful of <10 competitors?

What did...

Tim.
 

theace

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Chester, Everything, everything that you wrote has really been bugging me off badly too. I m really glad to know that other fellow cubers here care about the issue.

Firstly, there is an group of indian speedcubers on facebook, with over 550 members, and anyone who asks for help does have enough resources, As you said, Resources is not a problem (except for maybe 5% small kids who buy a fail cube from market and never bother to care about it and are unaware of our world).
Secondly, 2-3 people have had sub 10 unofficial averages(and a guy has sub8 NL singles), but yes with the big number of cubers here, its just not acceptable for the general community.

Coming to the main point, In India, there are very less people who care about cubing that much. Everyone is busy with studies and stuff. A cube is tempting, of course, its addictive of course, but back in the mind, almost everyone will have a question "What will i get from it?". Like most people study just for a job(and parents dream bla bla), very less people do it just cuz of satisfaction. When someone is putting that much practice, he also has to know its just for his satisfaction, and not many people live upto this challenge. In my college, i have taught 20 or so people, only one of them is sub1 minute, they all say "it will waste our life(study-job life whatever)"

I m afraid, but at this rate, leaving apart a small minority, i only look ahead a decrease in the quality of cubers, with more and more coming in, but less and less willing to give the time it takes.

Mike, Also, Ayush Kumar http://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/p.php?i=2011kuls01, has quite many posts here, his speedsolving id is ilikecubing

Edit:No offence to anyone, just what i feel
Akash has covered almost all the points I would have like to make. As has been observed, several new cubers come in each year and several good ones drop out. Once prominent cubers like Varun Karandikar, Udai Singh, Sauravh Bhave (People I used to look up to) are hardly active active these days! All of them are busy with their studies or with their jobs. Several new cubers are being added to the scene every month - some serious, many not so.

A MAJOR issue out here is parental pressure. They do not want their kids doing ANYTHING apart from studying. All that matters is "how much money will this particular skill set earn you in life" and "how well can a particular skill set help you sustain a family". Since cubing is a skill set that does not directly let you achieve either (unless you are extrordinary), it is something that is rather frowned upon as a "waste of time", "unnecessary expenditure" and "distraction from (what is considered as) life's priorities".

One of the major reasons people join the scene (temporarily) is for some or the other personal gains (usually portrayed as a boost in mental ability which will help you academically). There are VERY few people who join in simply for the love of the game.

A friend of mine in HK has slowed down a lot because he's in Secondary school and he doesn't have time to cube... and his parents took away his cubes for 8 months!

I have a flag counter (it collects IP addresses from visitors) on my website and I have a lot of Indian visitors. I have also noticed that they abandon shopping carts more than any other country. I don't know why maybe it's a money issue. I don't know if it's related to the slow cubers there. Are they all buying Rubik's Brand 3x3's instead? Because (imo) they suck!
Confiscation of cubes is a very common story here for reasons that I highlighted above. The common notion here is "If it ain't fetchin you marks, it ain't worth it". Another issue that is common is the lack of awareness of the availability of GOOD cubes. The Rubik's brand ones are VERY common out here and are marketed by a firm that has great public relations (Funskool). A problem that is more at hand (specifically in North India) is this chap from RackTheBrain, who has been consistently trying to cover up the existance of quality speedcubes to promote whatever stock he has (and that too at exorbitant prices). He basically wants to commercialize the entire sport.

A huge issue (in terms of availability) of cubes in my opinion is the RBI being an absolute b****. Indians have on too many restrictions with paypal and hence, buying cubes is a huge pain in the edge-piece :p. I've been trying to conbat that situation for a while - many of you must've seen the mass order unboxings on YouTube. I've opened a make-shift webstore like thing to try and make cubes more accessable (www.scmu2012.net23.net)

Due to the issues already highlighted, parents are skeptical about providing money to kids for cubes. The common comment is "why the heck do you want to spend so much on that worthless toy". Most kids save up from their daily expenses to buy cubes and it's rather hard.

Just a stab in the dark, but perhaps they are too isolated from the rest of the cubing world, and lack an internal fast figure to aim towards. I mean, over here we are isolated but we have Feliks to target, which would help explain why we have other fast cubers coming through. In Japan they have always had a fast figure to aim towards, and in China they eventually got fast figures to aim towards. Perhaps what they lack in India is one person to step up, work their ass off and get really fast, to have something to aim towards.
YouTube is everywhere. Everyone knows Feliks. Though not official, Dharmesh is someone who many people use as an example. Gaurav Taneja is kinda fast too. Dharmesh has a ton of sub 8 singles, sub 9 averages and even a 5.xx single which he couldn't get on cam. It was sub WR btw... A huge attitude problem here is "I'd never be able to beat those guys. Chuck it... I ain't going to even try".

I am a casual cuber from India. I started cubing a few years ago. I went to sub 30 and stopped. I became interested in BLD and FMC after that.. I was very much interested in commutators and cube theory. Since the cube is a very good example of a non-abelian group. I even gave a few workshops in my institute on the cube. But I think everyone got bored of it. I stopped because I don't like learning algorithms. I tried BH for BLD. But I always had my memorization problem. So after sometime I stopped doing BLD also. those are my reasons/excuses for stopping.

The thing is to cube you need to devote time to practice to get good. I don't think anyone has that around here (at least not in my institute). There were at least 30-40 people who solved cubes when they were in their first year here. But now when the time constraints have increased. I see the cube with hardly one person in a month.

Unless the general cuber here starts devoting time to cubing (which in this country is very very hard) we will always be slow compared to you guys.

If you want to really know what is wrong and why we don't have time just compare the education system of Germany and India you will get your answer.
^ +1
Personally, I've pretty much stopped not just cubing but also Music, Internet Randomness, Photoshopping, etc thanks to studies. Most of you must've noticed the sudden decline in my activity out here. I used to cube a lot in the past year but that was while travelling. Since I drive now, I cannot cube at all. My course structure is such that I hardly am at home. Thanks to research, cubing just doesn't seem likely in the rest of the year. However, I do intend to teach as many people as possible and try and support the entire scene here in India.

In my opinion, what needs to change is the education system, the way people look at things and the general attitude towards competition. Also, issues that need to be addressed are those of cube avalability, improving the standards at competitions and (because of the mentality of the people out here) somewhat glamorizing the whole thing. That factor might just provide a good push.
 

CuberPanda

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Hello, I am Subhankar Panda and I am indian too. I agree with Dene Indians are isolated from the cubing world as every indians story, Become an engineer or doctor and fulfill your parents dreams. We donot get any good cubes in the country (there are funskool cubes but i would rather die than use them in competition). Educated Indians being the innocent people that we are we get easily fooled and dont have any knowledge about cyber crimes. So they get their accounts hacked et cetra. So they are a bit like reluctant to do online buying (I hope that answers your question, Bradley) And yes, DO NOT underestimate us, My friend Akash too knows some of the amazing cubers that we have. No one supports cubing in India, Parents are like "Why dont you study, what will you get by solving a cube?" and We have ONE delgate JUST ONE. People are'nt exposed to cubing here, But we are growing, One cuber at a time.
 
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