Very shortly every 4th person in the world will be an Indian. In the earlier days Indians went to England, USA, Canada and to a few places in Africa such as Kenya, Nigeria. Today we see Indians everywhere and no country is spared. One thing good about Indians is our sense of fair play – why should any single country suffer Indians – let the whole world suffer us. We specialize in sticking to ourselves and make no effort to mingle with the local population or to understand the nuances of their culture, way of life, customs and traditions. The moment we set foot on foreign shores, we form an Indian Association and as the numbers swell, the association fragments and gives birth to – as in USA – Malayalee, Gujarati, Telugu ,Goan, Tamil, Kannada, Punjabi, Marathi and Bengali Associations among others. One may be surprised to find that there are more than 25 different Malayalee associations including the ‘Palm Beach Malayalees’ in the US. Kannada associations are not far behind with 20 or so. When we were posted in Port Harcourt, Nigeria we used to be invited to attend a ‘once a month Beer and Biryani’ party at the Indian Cultural Association. Six mallus got together and opened a separate association of their own.
If we do not socialize with the host, how and when will we get an insight into their culture, values and way of life? TOI report dated 04 Dec 2012- OSLO, The Indian couple facing criminal charges of child abuse were convicted today by a district court here with the father getting an 18-month jail term and mother being sentenced to 15 months. If we decide to go and work in Norway kindly see to it that you are well versed with their way of life. BBC News India May 2011-Norway's Child Welfare Agency (CWA) said it took three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwariya Bhattacharya into custody last May alleging their parents did not adequately look after them. India Today 05 Dec 2012- Another Indian mother Annie 'Kumar' Johansson is crying out to get her 11-year-old boy back. The child is allegedly being held by the Swedish authorities.
Every country has its own way of life and it is our duty to understand them and follow it. Mail on line, 18 April 2007 - Kisses from Richard Gere plunge Shilpa Shetty into India row. Crowds burned posters of the Celebrity Big Brother winner and the American actor in protest at their behavior. On 26 April 2007, an Indian court in Rajasthan issued a warrant for Shetty and Gere's arrest. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India subsequently dismissed the suit and suspended the arrest warrants.
Whichever way we look, these incidents are best avoided. Coming back to Indians, we need to introspect and adopt ourselves to wherever we choose to go. Diary of a White Indian Housewife by Blogger Sharell on January 15, 2010 - A Tale of an Indian’s Culture Shock Abroad notes “His morning puja (worship) soon had my housemate and me running to our rooms. He appeared daily in the kitchen, fresh from showering and naked except for a small towel, to collect the oranges. Following his puja, he hunted us down to apply red powder not only on our foreheads but on our throats”. The list is endless. The Hindu 07 May 2012 – “The average Indian traveler is perceived to be loud, aggressive and lacking in civic sense and invites hostility.
We need to change.
We need to change.