Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When two worlds meet...



It all started with the arrival of my nephews from the land of amrica...My sister and family had taken the momentous decision of settling down in Bangalore, one of the main reasons being the deteriorating health of her father-in -law. The children had to make many adjustments. Along with the accents, there also seemed to be a slight communication gap....

We soon learnt that jelly wasn't that which wobbled but the conserve used to spread on the bread. Conserve is not what you do to save energy but the humble jam... and jam was suddenly upgraded to being in a fix!!!These 2 American born confused nephews have initiated their ever absorbent cousin, my son into the world of PBJ (peanut butter and jelly)sandwiches. By the way, it's cookies and milk please and not biscuits! A popsicle is nothing related to your POP but happens to be flavored ice on a stick...(yummy too).

'Are u mad' when spoken by a child does NOT refer to the decaying state of your mind but to a state which is more volatile(read angry)...Of course when spoken by an adult, it means just that, you are 'MAD'.

A footpath is a side walk, you don't skate, u rollerblade...The boot is not what you kick someone with but also happens to be the trunk of a car. Of course the trunk happens to be a very important part of the elephant's face!!! Gas is what you feed the car and not what happens after you eat red beans... An elevator is nothing but our humble lift...and please, you don't take a bath, you take a shower...

There were many hilarious moments. And many difficult ones too. It wasn't easy for the two boys to adapt to a whole new life here, making new friends and studying two new languages (Kannada and Hindi). To the boys' credit, they have adjusted well. But there are many things that they hate about India. The heavy schoolbags, the pollution, the roads, the control...My elder nephew, though close to his grandparents, is waiting for the day when he can go back to his country. As is generally the case, the west wins. We've aped and adopted. The best of our talent goes abroad to fulfil their dreams. Families and values are disintegrating. The emphasis now, is more on how much you have than the kind of person you are.

The need of the hour is change in the right direction...It's good to imbibe the best of all cultures we are exposed to. For starters, let's spread a little of our Desi values around. So that when the two worlds meet, it is a fusion of the best of both. What say?

25 comments:

Raghu said...

This is a subject very close to my heart... we have our cream leaving this nation to "serve" someone else... for those green bucks!

Our education is highly subsidized - in our country where majority of the kids have never even seen the inner rooms of a classroom, we have the 'privilleged' guys graduate from the IITs/IIMs at throw-away prices and then take the first flight to the west!

Yes - its fun to live in the developed world... but I guess there is more satisfaction in BUILDING your nation to a DEVELOPED status!

Are we not tired of being called "Developing Nation" for eternity? Forget 2020 vision that people have been harping about - I want change faster than that! I cant wait that long... I dont have the time!

Finally... there is nothing more refreshing than breathing 'my air' even if it is polluted and feeling 'my land' even if it is congested

dame's diary said...

lol!
Been there.. Done that!

Initially, my ABCD son had similar problems when we relocated to India...
Now he is a DCBA!?(Desi confused by Indians)

Best of both worlds’ works for me!!

Tys on Ice said...

I find these differences so quaint and beautiful...its wht makes us so us...being in a foriegn country, theres a tendency among us to hold on a lil too much to our culture and we tend to push away other cultures deeming it to be perhaps inferior or even damaging...i hve always felt that we will one day have a global culture, where u will have an american in a sari, dining on chinese food, while listening to an opera and is married to an ethioapian..hey, thts already happening...

i seriously dont think it will diminish us in anyway by letting other cultures influence us ...infact our culture as we know it is the result of a lot of other cultural influences...

so iam all with u when u say a fusion...

Thinking aloud said...

@ raghu...
true...but our country needs to improve its infrastructure to initiate any kind of change...my worry is more with the materialism that i find in today's kids...

@dame's diary...
i think it is now the american born cultured desi :)...hope ur son's sorted out the bullies:)


@ tys...
hey...culture fusion is great...i was just wondering if we absorbed the good in every culture and yet retained what is unique to us...

...it is also sad when a 15 year old declares that this country has nothing to offer him...have u seen the international airport in delhi..its pathetic, this is the first place visitors to India see and what a poor first impression :(

Ziah said...

Heheheh Suma! You're having a coupla laffs I'm sure:)

I used to feel very strongly about brain drain, but now I empathise with the buncha masses leaving the country.. and what with 35% of your income taxed and you getting NO social security, NO clean water, constant electricity or even decent roads in return! Half the time some state or the other is contemplating Prez Rule, and hey! Even the Prez is a crook..:) (Don't agree? Try http://asliceoflime.blogspot.com/2007/08/salaam-rashtra-aunty.html)

Thinking aloud said...

@ ziah...
heh..heh...started with something and ended up with a conflict...

Compassion Unlimitted said...

couldnt help but to keep the smile on..in keeping the traditions on,parents also need to be sensitive to it..but easier said than done..keep up the good work
tc
cu

Prats said...

fusion drain and brain drain!!! Finally everything is just getting drained out....So true and so depressing. But can we blame if it is our own state of the nation. Nothing lucrative being offered to even the ones who really want to be here....and the ones who have made an effort to stay on, are being upstaged by the politics of the nation. No wonder kids are totally confused, for them its just about their toys, games, and friends...nothing else matters....and we lack there too :(
So they want to go to "THE US"

Thinking aloud said...

@ cu...
as u said...easier said then done...

@ prats...
Ohh yes even our drainage sytem stinks...so perhaps i'll stick around here a lil longer till u sensible citizens get everything back on track ;)...

Raghu said...

@tys
Fantastic! I agree with your thoughts... just to add, Indian culture has been preserved even though we have been 'influenced' for centuries. It morphed beautifully, accomodated the present day needs and yet preserved its core!

@ziah/ta/prats
agreed... we do have a lot of obstacles and hurdles - but *who* is going to clean up the mess? if politics is a problem, why not we get into it? Lead the way! My vote guaranteed to you guys, should you decide to contest! :)

Ps said...

hee hee--poor things. But I love Bangalore (moved from there a year back) and consider it 'home'--despite traffic JAMS and despite pollution and everything.
Here's wishing them happiness and a bright future.

Thinking aloud said...

@ps...
thanx for the wishes...i love blore too, it's where we spent most summer holidays. but the city has changed and the one-ways can make u cry:(

Pri said...

u said it!! :D
these ABCD'S need to know a thing or two about their motherland as well..though im not too sure if they wud want to :-/
i dunno why they always seem more fascinated by the western culture much more than indian values...not tht im against it but juss cant stand anyone belitteling our country and most of my ABCD friends do exactly tht...its said!:-/..time we got them back...heehee

rayshma said...

love this topic. it's made me think so many times. my nieces are born here. they DO know more abt indian culture than prolly i did at their age. but it's a constant effort for their parents. hopefully, they'll grow into, as u say, american born cultured desis! :)
and yeah, d differences are hilarious! :))

Thinking aloud said...

@pri, rayshma...

it used to make us laugh 'cos the kids used to have a tough time understanding their cousins :)
and yes, make way for the new AB cultured desi...or perhaps as dd says 'Desi confused by Indians' :)

Prats said...

hey.....waiting for new post!!!!

Thinking aloud said...

@ prats...

as u wish ;))

Hip Grandma said...

Same here when grandkids visit.But I chanced upon a book which says that American and British English are equally different and the same goes for Australia and New Zealand.I wonder if Canadian English is different or similar to the American version.

noon said...

First time here. Loved this post! Interesting observations written down so well!
Brain drain - agree - but I don't know enough statistics about how much this has helped India too.
And I agree with this commenter about global culture...I feel more at home in the US having come here at an earlier age and more because all my family is here - Indians can also make other Indians feel out of place - it is not like just because you land in your country you feel at home or made to feel welcome - every where at a certain level people are the same...

Thinking aloud said...

@hipgrandma
I think canadian english is a mix of both british and american english...i'm sure ur grankids adore u...

@noon...
glad to c u here... good observation that ***Indians can also make other Indians feel out of place***

indicaspecies said...

Here's a topic on which we can have endless discussions.

I concur with you on this: 'It's good to imbibe the best of all cultures we are exposed to.'

In these times of globalization, I perceive its not just 'two worlds' meeting but more so a case of the all worlds meeting and, let's hope, merging beautifully!

Thinking aloud said...

@indicaspecies
let's raise a toast to that :)

Preethi said...

Hi.. nice to read your blogs.. just happened by and find that I relate to this one and all the cubby tales.. Have a little ABCD of my own.. who prays before eating food and wants to give his heart and hand to this bright land!! Have always worried abt the adjustment when we head back homeward

Thinking aloud said...

@ preethi...

hey thanx..will drop by yours too...and not to worry...the all adjust albeit in diff ways but they do...

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