There’s no grass on the other side

I’ve often wondered about cultural differences and the role they play in our lives. It does play a big role and it teaches us tolerance. Or even better, teaches us to adapt. I like learning about different cultures and the way people from other countries live. It’s intriguing and also puts the way we live into perspective. Helps us appreciate ours more or maybe even gives us room for improvement. 

But here’s what I don’t get. When people who have the balls to actually comment about other cultures and almost always point the faults out. Here’s a piece of advice to these very opinionated people – your opinion doesn’t make you well-observant, it borders on arrogant and ignorant, and it’s not appreciated at all. 

The thing that bothers me is that how people portray certain cultures. Promoting the idea that people take a dump on the streets or try to make a living selling food from a cart or throw garbage around doesn’t define a culture or the way people live. I live in the same country and I do none of the above. It’s a shame really when they visit a country like India which is rich in it’s own cultural heritage with the diversity in languages, clothes and food, to name a few, they get lost in the cloud learning about it from people who only know what they do from the badly researched articles they read and cliche documentaries they watch made by those who seem to think they know it all. I’d like for them to know two very important things – first, we do not ride around on elephants and second, we all speak English. And it might come as a surprise to them but we speak it very well, perhaps even better than most cultures for whom English is a second language. I don’t think they understand how much is too much. Fine, I understand that it’s too hot and crowded but what are you going to do when you have 1.6 billion people around? 

I’m not writing this just to justify why the country is the way it is. I’m writing this because I’m really miffed by the way that other people perceive the country. And only highlighting what is dirty or broken or incomplete is not what the culture is all about. I’m not just talking about India. This goes for all cultures. Every big city in the world is dirty, crowded, noisy and smelly. It’s how well they cover it up or even so, condition themselves to accept it for what it is. 

I think that it’s great that someone selling food from a cart is trying to make a living. At least they’re not carrying iPhones and living on welfare, or just spending the working man’s tax money and running bills of thousands of dollars in credit card charges and adding to the already mounting national debt. 

What I’m also trying to get them to understand is that every culture is different. And just because it’s different from yours, doesn’t mean yours is better. If there are certain rules or cultural norms that people have just go with it and stop cribbing. Perhaps they have these rules and ‘stupid things’ because it’s the fool-proof way to curb certain behaviour. Yes, it might seem strange but when their country has over a billion and a half people, then maybe they’ll understand why things are a certain way. 

So, here’s what we can do. If we can tolerate other people’s shenanigans, I think they can stop promoting another country as a shit hole. It just goes to show how small minded and ignorant they are. 

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One thought on “There’s no grass on the other side

  1. Pingback: Homesickness | sopravvivereinindia

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