Indian Identity

What is it that is different in my life today? Even if I don’t fit in completely in the environment I am in, I have some element of pride in my roots. If someone were to say that I should abandon my old ways, I’ll probably say “naa, I won’t abandon that which is better, I’ll definitely get rid of the stuff that doesn’t make sense though, yea I will get rid of that.”

Was sent this link today by a good friend. I’ll let him introduce it.

Images from India. [University of Kansas]

A friend of mine labelled this as “mawkish sentimental crap”. But somebody obviously put some effort into this – so what if its sentimentally “patriotic”. I liked it and thought you might too. Or maybe not !
– Mithun

Rishabh writes back:
Dude have you heard that hindi muhavara – “Ganga gaye toe ganga ram, jamuna gaye toe jamuna ram” – What it means is that you have to adopt the culture of the place you are at. I think it makes sense. Not saying that you give up everything but start blending in. My accent has started to change for example. I can’t communicate effectively with Americans in an Indian accent so I have no option but to adapt the American accent slowly. Your sense of dressing, eating, table manners etc have to blend in as well otherwise you start feeling out of place and for heaven’s sake Indians shouldn’t act more patriotic in
US than they were in India. I used to hate the Aug 15th and 26th Jan flag hoisting and march past at School and I hate it as much today as well and now just because I am in US, I shouldn’t be expected to participate in any of that stuff. If Indians want to celebrate their cultural heritage here in the US they should to it decently and from the comforts of their own home and not take things to street because it just gives a wrong general impression about the whole community to the rest of the world. I completely disagree with Indians roaming around the city painted with holi colors. You want to play holi, play it in your backyard… I don’t know man, just my two cents

There is an english version of it too – “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It asks me to be cognizant of, and to respect the customs and regulations of the environment your in. It tells me, that it is wise to adapt to the environment. I couldn’t agree more. Your especially right about going down the streets – playing with colors.

However, I think there is a difference between adaptation and adoption. The muhavra and the proverb only talk about adaptation. My point is, blind adoption of the new or blind faith in the original are both equally wrong – because at the end of the day your still blind and blind still means that you cannot see!

Also, I don’t feel out of place. Neither would I feel out of place because I am an Indian or have an Indian accent. If that was true, wouldn’t I feel at home when hanging out with other Indians?