I decided in favor of writing about my Pet Peeve. There are two big ones presently, hence this will be a 2 part blog. Since its a peeve there are extreme emotions involved here, namely anger....which strips this blog off some rationality and adds some prejudice. So the disclaimer is, that these are my emotions... and anyone who reads can agree or disagree. I like the average American who is very friendly and approachable albeit a little dumb. Its not about them.
I imagine that love for one's country is not a strange emotion or does it depend on the country your are residing in or a national of. I am an Indian National temporarily residing in the US thanks to hubby's job. He works for an Indian IT company. I wanted to get this fact out of the way because I hope it leaves less room for the possibility of double standards.
Over the course of my stay here I have met and formed friendships with many Indians. Indians who are so, by their birth but not by their choice since they have either acquired a US Citizenship or are in the process of doing so (desperately). I am OK with this so far. After all we are born into our families, nations and religions and we may want to cut off those ties at any time for a variety of reasons...money, lifestyle, lack of promising career opportunities....I repeat I am fine with all that. Each one to his own.
But what gets me a little red in the face not with embarrassment but with anger when I hear these Indians with American citizenship, people who have adopted a new country talk about India in such terms:
1. India is becoming just like US actually worse...the girls don't want to wear Indian dresses, they are disrespectful and 'fast'. They have forgotten their culture.
2. India mein kitnee gandgee hai ( India is very dirty). Don't know how people use the bathrooms when travelling in the trains.
3. Global warming is not a surprise. Have you seen what's happening in India...now Nano cars will only add to the poisonous emissions....so cheap, everybody will drive cars.
4. I want to go back but can never go back because my children fall sick in India.
5. I wanted to stay but the system stinks in India....corruption all around.
And so much more.........
My replies sometimes aloud and sometimes in my head only:
1. Yes things are changing and fast. But we still cannot compete against the likes of prom (high school grad party) culture here..where many parents actually give the money to book hotel rooms for post party revelry (read mostly sex,drugs and booze. We might follow suit but I fervently pray we don't. But such double standards I swear! I have seen people act in such impossibly cruel ways towards their children and aging parents all in the name of career,money or a piece of paper..GC or Citizenship. What kind of culture is that, may I ask? Oh yes it is TCBP... "The Culture of Being Practical"
2. Yes India bahut hi gandaa hai...the roads, the rivers...But hello! you live in a country which is the largest contributor of global warming however much it denies it and wants to pass this crown to China. Oh ! but you don't see it because they like to dump their trash in our oceans. And sell their toxic waste to our susceptible and greedy population. And of course abiding by the rules of 'Do Not Litter' is a new religion for you. A religion which takes back seat as you drive past the International airport in Mumbai and throw your boarding pass out of the car or spit with an abandonment on the road. And I find such discussions very offensive when my family and friends back home are travelling in those very trains you look down upon now.
And you are worried about the number of cars? Residing in a country which probably has more cars than people. Or are you feeling foolish that the upward mobility you left your country for is becoming the order of the day there. Not to worry,it will be a long time till we truly catch up.
4.. Children fall sick in India???????? Anybody would after travelling cross continent in a plane...a breeding ground for e-coli and stomach virus. And as if that was not enough the heat will certainly steal some of your American weather bred steam. And if all the life long allergies which are still unheard of, in hot and dirty India, do not faze you, why should a temporary bout of diarrhea leave you so frazzled.
5. System certainly stinks in India. Once it did not, many, many years ago. But then it does now, for the last many, many years.
In the US the system does not stink ( I am not sure the Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and many not so obvious groups share the same high opinion though). But then systems were not free of reproach and left a bad taste in the mouth for the African slaves, for women who had no right to education and vote, for the native Americans who are now relegated to reservations. Things changed but not automatically. Someone or some people were willing to sweat and sacrifice.
Bana banaya pakwaan khaana bahut asaan hai. I hate so many things in India. But have I worked to change any of them? I am like so many others waiting for someone to do it for me. Then why complaint or complaint so much.
I am not blind to the chaos in my home but its my personal chaos.And once you choose another nation over mine..you lose some if not all of that right to criticize and publicly complaint.