Sunday, February 08, 2009

How to say if an Indian is having an identity crisis outside their country

1. They try and speak only in their native languages as much as possible. All of a sudden a peak in their affinity for India, its culture and Indians grips them.

2. They speak loudly in their native languages in public places and particularly in the midst of foreigners.

3. They speak (many a time loudly and in groups) in their native languages in offices, office elevators (lifts), restrooms, restaurants etc. Sometimes the topics of discussion are outrageously silly too.

4. They take part in public gatherings of their festivals displaying to the fullest extent possible their native attire, music, dance etc.,

5. Getting over-actively involved in India related group-activities such as Politics, Bhajan, discussing religion, visiting temples, forming associations and groups.

6. Forcing (that's the word) their children who were born in these foreign countries to imbibe, be in constant touch, imitate and absorb aspects of Indian culture, particularly dance, music, acting etc.

7. Organizing and playing cricket regularly at a public place particularly in non-cricket playing countries like the U.S.

8. Making visits to Temples, Churches, Mosques and places of worship an outrageously regular habit (things they would have never done back home). Organizing Homams, Poojas, Annadhanams etc which they would have never dreamt of doing while living in India. One guy I remember was making such a scene of his "Namaaz" that almost in the middle of the hall where guests and friends had gathered he streched out a blanket and started his prayers.

It is Thaipoosam now and you have no idea what goes on in Singapore during the "Theemithi" or fire-walking ritual. Can you find Indian men (most of them Singapore born) walking barefoot, barechested in and around temples and streets in Singapore? Well you'll see scores of them during this festival scorching their feet in the red-hot coals. In Malaysia it is even worse. Indians, mostly Tamil folks pierce their skin and body with all kinds of sharp instruments and parade in the streets and up the stairs of the Bhatu caves bleeding. Is this true devotion to God? Can there be a better example of escapism than this?

By the way in India all these body piercing practices are supposed to have been officially banned. The late Arthur C Clarke and a professor in Astrophysics in Sri Lanka proved in a documentary how fire-walking and and body piercing procedures can be done by almost anybody and that there is nothing religious about them.

No comments: