Its a never-ending argument between our generation and the one before us about us aping the culture of the western countries.
As time progresses and information travels faster, we’re becoming more and more western-culture oriented… live-in relationships, independence, moving out of home at a young age, public display of affection, friday night partying, social drinking, etc, the things which were considered taboo some years ago are commonplace and are increasingly being accepted by the older folks, who’re also becoming more tolerant to the penetration of the ‘western’ culture.
But are we taking all the good points from the western culture?? One important (and probably only necessary) part of their culture that we’ve picked up is the independence.
Dressing is another thing that we seem to be copying a lot from them, however obnoxious the trends might be… i’m all for western clothing (i mean who wouldn’t), trendy yet comfortable… but there’re a lots of trends that they come up with which at times are obnoxious and we still end up wanting to follow them because its ‘trendy’ in the west.
Anyways, coming to the point, when i was chatting with a friend who was down from the US for a holiday, we were just chatting about how the ‘westerners’ and the indian expats behave in some important situations.
A simple example is, in college, an Indian and a White kid had some doubts about the marks that they received in the exam and the first question from each of them was as follows…
White kid : “Prof… Is this the right time to come and speak to you about my grades”
Indian Kid : “Sir, why have i been awarded lower marks? i deserve much more”
How often have we seen the latter happen here… be it in colleges, in offices, etc… but not many people seem to be bothered about this because we’re tuned to accept this… but is it the right thing to do? Absolutely not.
Another thing, ever noticed that all strangers remain exactly that… strangers. There’s hardly a situation when we most of us try to talk to a stranger or be nice to them or offer to help a stranger who might need it.
Most of us tend to stick to our close circle of friends when we travel abroad… and many times within their ‘communities’ normally defined by languages, normally occuring because of our socializing habits… never try and get away from our comfort zone and this translates into a very bad image about us when we go abroad…
The habit of giving the status of a person based on their profession… A doctor is considered to be one of the most respected person the society, but talk about a salesman, a bus driver or a cab driver… people give them the least respect… its as if they don’t deserve to be respected… but it is totally the opposite in the ‘west’… any profession is considered importnat… and why not?? Ever imagined how difficult life would be if drivers or plumbers or electricians or the housekeeping staff stop working… but we still seem to give em hardly any respect unlike in the west where a person in a ‘lower’ job like driving, etc is given considerable respect.
We’re so proud of our education system and always say that we can solve more problems than the kids of same age in the west… but have we every tried to take the positives out of their system?? Like emphasis on practical work… emphasis on sports… of course we dont, because the only respected professions in this country are Doctor, Engineer, IAS officer and of late, an MBA.
All said and done, people here are always pissed about the western culture’s influence on us… but we never try to draw out their positives to make life better for ourselves and for people around us… rather than harping about the negatives of their influence, lets try and draw out a balance between the good, fun and the negative parts of their culture.