Thursday, March 25, 2010

CULTURE SHOCK YOU’RE NOT READY ENOUGH TO HANDLE

We in India pride ourselves in our culture so much that we don’t allow any outside influence to come in and say that one who does is going against Indian culture and go to the extent of beating him up, burning him or killing him. But what we miss is that culture if and when relevant to the practical daily life of the people to whom it should be will never be a area of insecurity. It will rather give you a sense of security and hope and make you feel comfortable with the life you lead, things you do and people you are with.

The western world on the other hand is somewhere you don’t find people really having this culture struggle. Most people live within the practical domains of their culture – they do what it tells them to almost most days of their lives. One great difference between the cultures of India and the west is primarily that a lot of the culture in Europe is elitist yet reachable to by the average person. Things that rule culture in Europe are things like wine, cheese, chocolate, fruit, cakes, baked stuff, food and the likes. This kind of typical European delicacy is ‘accessible’ to everybody. You’d walk into a top restaurant and eat a delicious delicacy that looks like the kind of stuff that you’d get only in a five star hotel and then you’d come to know that’s as delicious when served otherwise in any other home. You’d taste a rural French wine and think “Man, this is prime stuff” but if you look closely enough it’s almost like water in its native land.

Here in India, the ideal native delicacy is maybe a paneer mattar, tandoori chicken or some mughlai taste dish. And if you had a guest at home that’s what you would take him or her to. For an exquisite taste of India, you’d rather have them eat it at a top class Indian restaurant than the local roadside dhaba, the roadside adda or the upahar down the road. Bhelpuri from the roadside stall or some yummy golas would be your otherside snack time but that’s not where you’d take someone to impress them your native food – you’d rather have them taste a ‘cleaner’ version of it.

If you were on tour in Germany and you were to stop by at a local farmer’s, you’d see them dressed all smart in traditional attire proud of their jobs and lives and also well enough to do. The same scenario in India will be one in which the farmer is wearing clothes that he can barely afford and living in a hut wishing he’d have a job in the city.

So wake up people. Now I don’t mean that your culture is not worth anything at all. If it lasted long enough to be called a culture then there’s something in it in the way you know it that is gone a miss. So if that is the case and you still hanging on because you know it to be true then it must be true if it is. So find out what has gone a miss. But if it don’t work, it ain’t worth it.

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