spicysaturday
In India, we often quote culture! The richness of our culture, the superiority of our heritage. I used to take great pride even feel arrogant about this exalted culture. But then that pride got slowly chipped away one day at a time. The biggest blow came when I went to live in the US. Of course, Western thought and way of living was inferior to ours. Weren’t we told this all the time? But my experience was so very different and surprisingly pleasant. I came across gracious people very well-mannered in their daily lives with generous doses of warmth and camaraderie in their interactions.

In supermarket queues and at the DMV, no one pushed, jostled or tried to jump the queue. People maintained a respectful distance from another and politely waited their turn no matter how much time it took. It was such a revelation to me used to as I was to crazy juggling and erratic queues in India. I also saw doors being opened and extreme care shown around me when I was expecting. It was delightful really, made me feel so special and pampered when strangers stopped with a kind word and offered to carry things. Isn’t this how our social interactions ought to be?

What also caught my eye was the respect for and dignity of labor. A carpenter, a plumber, a nanny is just like a friend or colleague who makes small talk with you while they do their job at your house, so unlike the class-ridden feudal mindsets in India.

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and souls of its people

— Mahatma Gandhi

Contrast this to the ‘educated’ elite of our cities and our behavior.

This weekend was the first PTI after the school reopened for my elder son’s class. Since he has school till 1 pm, we normally go to the PTI after 2 pm when the initial rush has subsided. This time again, my husband and I went with both the kids. Right at the Reception, we were dismayed to note that there were no tokens. We know that without tokens, the PTIs become chaotic. Indeed our fears were proven right later. After waiting for our turn for more than an hour, we got thoroughly fed up and left without meeting the teacher. This is the first time that this has happened. In the interim, there were parents who jumped the queue shamelessly in front of other children and perhaps their own too. When some other parents raised an objection, it still did not affect these shameless offenders. It was infuriating to witness. The teacher was helpless as well. Some other parents walked out in protest like us.

Out of there, we decided to pay a visit to the Principal. Luckily, the queue to meet him was very short as the time for the PTI was up. When we expressed our distress about the day’s proceedings, the Principal sounded even more irked. Apparently he had seen a bunch of parents, assembled like cattle who literally ran into the school as soon as the time for the PTI began not even caring to pick up the tokens from the Reception. The rush was so bad that it could have caused a stampede. The Principal caught all of this on the CCTV cameras. He called these ‘over-educated’ parents with such behavior a real bane. He apologized for the inconvenience caused to us and other parents. We even got a note expressing apology from the school. But, it really wasn’t their fault now, was it?

It is the problem with our mindset where we shamelessly do things that benefit us caring little for social propriety. Every time a traffic light does not work, the chaos created has to be seen to be believed. And if there is a traffic jam, there will always be a smart alec hijacking the opposite lane and stalling traffic from both sides causing a deadlock so crazy that it will create a huge headache for all involved.

At every supermarket, every single time I encounter someone or the other trying to jump the queue. What surprises you is that the elders are not far behind either. Another pet peeve is the way people stand next to each other almost falling over you. Is it because they worry that another person will get in if they leave an inch of space in between?

The most horrifying part for me was when at an airport, as people were queuing up to board, comes this lady with a baby who was crying loudly. An airline official asked the lady to go to the head of the line to board first. It is standard procedure which most airlines adopt. But another lady at the head of the line started quarreling loudly at this intrusion. And this lady with the baby was so embarrassed. Despite telling her that this was as per the airline’s policy, the lady continued to grumble.

When the rich, well-heeled and educated behave like this, what does it speak about our country, our culture that we brandish like a medal at every given opportunity?

Look at the way we treat our women, the downtrodden, the elderly, those socially weaker than us, our animals and the brazenness with which we flaunt our wealth, power and connections.

All that I see in our culture these days is regressive mindsets and excuses that stifle our thinking and make us parochial in our views and living. Heinous crimes are committed in the name of culture. Wealth is worshiped. Values like humility, honesty, patience and propriety are all dying a slow death.

Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being

— Thomas Carlyle

So what’s so special about the Indian culture that you witness in your day-to-day life? I would love to hear a few tales of kindness, of generosity of spirit and of humaneness. Do share!

If you wish to read my vibrant memories when I first went to the US, read here.

And for those who wish to read some of my quirky travel tales abroad, read here.

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82 Thoughts on “Culture, really?

  1. Oh, this is so true. I have also found people abroad so approachable and humane. School authorities are not stuck up, there is no pompousness and people actually value each other instead of looking at each others as just competitors and intrusive distractions.

    • I think somewhere in India we have slipped big time in our daily interactions. People are rude and lack all civic sense and etiquette. Really sad!

  2. There will be those who will protest against your post and say you are indulging in India Bashing. I am always amazed when people do this.

    India’s social behavior is atrocious. We are a nation absolutely bereft of civic sense and social manners. Sometimes, when I am in a kind mood, I think we’ve acquired this mindset after years of British enslavement. We don’t respect public property because there was a time when damaging govt property was a happy thing to do.

    The core of our offenses stems from our absolute disrespect for human life. We have no concern for ‘other’ people. Vasudhye Kutumbakam is a dream… we have outgrown that ‘culture’.

    And that’s a shame.

    • I know, some people may construe this as India bashing. That is not my intent. My intent is showing the mirror to the self-righteous who talk in the air. It is not to say that everything foreign is wonderful! What is appalling is how the very basic courtesies are missing from our lives these days. I agree with everything you say, Dagny, sadly!

  3. Nima Das on July 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm said:

    I fully agree with you. Its when you live abroad and come back that you feel this more. The jostling and pushing in cinema halls,malls,any queue and you see the Indians and how cultured they are. visit any religious shrines and witness this,its quite an eye opener. educated or uneducated all Indians lack civic sense and basic civil manners.Period.

  4. I agree with most of what you have pointed out about India. I have been at more extremes – jingistic about Indian culture as well as gung ho about West. But I have learnt through my interactions with Western friends that things are not all fine and dandy there either. But then that is their problem. We need to focus on our own issues – especially middle class first – to reform ourself without losing our core identity.

    • I never intended to say that everything about them is fine. It is not. All I wanted to point out is that many of them have the basic etiquette, courtesies and civic sense that we sorely lack even among the educated. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with us. Take the way we treat our women. I feel much more unsafe now than when I was in my college. You are right, we need to think hard about our core.

  5. Couldn’t be more on the dot Rachna. We keep screaming ourselves hoarse with our parampara and sanskriti and end up with mud on our faces. If graciousness, civic sense , sense of discipline and empathy dont figure in a culture, then I don’t what’s there which is worthy of note.

  6. The problem is that culture is often a mixed up word since it means both the arts and literature of a people and good breeding and manners and etiquette. So it is merrily interchanged with sanskar, something that many Indians still boast of. We are very good at imbibing the worst in both our own and the western culture. And so the shoving and screaming parents in Sid’s school is nothing new or any likely to go away anytime soon.

    • Exactly, all that we imbibe is the worst from all cultures. I think we are at the worst stage in India with everything decent being outdated. It really is very sad how brazen we’ve become even in public.

  7. Rahul on July 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm said:

    One topic on which I would prefer to remain silent as there are far too many things wrong and we are just a borderline case that separates between sanity and insanity! In this respect even some African states are better! I doubt if we as a race will ever get better, if not fall a few notches further:(

  8. Agree with you completely! I think as a country we totally lack basic manners and courtesy! Just the other day, at the airport, our flight was delayed. When the boarding was announced, the rush, jostling and the chaos at the boarding gate was seen to be believed. And then the same thing happened when getting into the Shuttle Bus. Was the aircraft leaving without you? Will someone else occupy your allotted seat? Just following the protocol and patience would have made it easier for the fellow passengers and the already harried airline staff. But then we dont follow that! 😐

    • Ugh! Yes, indeed, it is as if the plane will take off without them or the bus will leave. Even once the flight lands, people immediately jump out of their seats, pray why? There has to be something really wrong with our people.

  9. You are so spot on Rachna! They say a man is judged by how he treats his inferiors! And in India all we know is wealth worshiping and servant bashing. And as Ash says rightly the basic values of living in a society as human beings don’t figure in our country’s culture, we are like hollow drums that beats the loudest!

    • Rajrupa, so good to see you here. Welcome to my space! I have developed a lot of cynicism and anger for our people. We just do not have any manners. We are brutally selfish and are willing to trample others in our path. How indeed can we continue to tom-tom our rich culture?

  10. The mad rush to come first is everywhere. Parents too seem to have forgotten that the kids look up to them. School is one example, I see so many times when people driving in BMWs through trash from there cars once their kids have finished the juice or potato chips…the kids obviously think it is OK to do the same.

  11. Shachi Thakkar on July 29, 2014 at 11:16 pm said:

    I completely agree. I always feel why I keep finding reasons to not move back to India, but honestly, the problems are very real. Just getting through the daily routine is exhausting. There are problems here but in my daily life, if I go about minding my own business, no one bothers me. There are guns and drugs but its a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time – and that can happen anywhere. Simple things like bank visits, school admissions, grocery shopping, dealing with maid/gardener/cook…..I never feel stressful going about my daily life.

    Now on the flip side, westerners (or even the desis) are pretty cold here. They will be nice and respectful, but you will not find many who will take a day off to help you when the need arises. In India, I bet you will always find someone coming to your rescue. Random acts of kindness can be experienced every single day. What Purba talks about in her Dilli post – that kind of camaradarie is rarely found here. I really miss that, especially my own family who is so close to me.

    Great post!

    • Shachi, you have hit bull’s eye in your first paragraph. As someone who moved back to India, I grow alienated with every passing day. Like you pointed out, just the daily routine is exhausting. And it is not only about the roads, dust, pollution, water, electricity — those are irritants yes. But it is more to do with how we as people have become. There is a mad rush and lack of social etiquette on all levels. I do what pleases me and care a damn about others has become a mantra sadly. And things have tragically become worse for women. The constant leering, stalking and harassment gets on to you. And it is there every day.

      About the point you raise in the second paragraph, yes I agree. There are neighbors that you can still bank on at least during emergencies. But that spirit is all ebbing in large apartment complexes. One irksome thing that comes with being helpful is being nosy. People do not think twice before interfering or asking personal questions. That can be so bothersome. Yet the random acts of kindness as you mentioned still give us something to hang on to, a hope for the future! What really gets my goat is when the ‘educated’ indulge in boorish behavior. If education cannot amend your ways, what can, I wonder?

      Thank you for such an insightful comment. So good to have you here, Shachi!

  12. As you said, people here are more courteous. It’s more irritating when educated people do such things. In Washington, I saw an Indian couple who were forcing to making their infant urinate in the lawn facing White House. I died of shame, so you can see our culture and what kind of image we are presenting in/outside India.

    • Oh my God, imagine that! What is wrong with people? Even here I pull up kids who try to urinate in the playground or the park when their home is just a couple of minutes away. Makes me wonder what the parents are teaching the kids!

  13. I think I mentioned this before in one of my comments too…When I moved to Dallas and was unloading some stuff from the car, I have seen passers by. No one stopped to give me a helping hand. Those things were heavy. Moving boxes each 50 lbs. But if it was India, I am sure someone would have stopped and helped me.
    And coming to the PTI meeting, I have a couple of questions. Why do the teachers take in parents without tokens at all? If the teachers out rightly say they need to show a token, may be then every parent will take a token. (And I am sure they will cross the queues even in taking the tokens).
    For us here, teachers send out sheets with every kid to be filled in by the parent.; the parent’s convenient time and day of the week giving 4 choices in order of preference. Then the teacher gives appointments to each parent. That way they get to talk to each and every one of them. May be trying talking this option to the class teacher or principal. Just a thought, may or may not be possible. Sorry for the long comment..I know now this has become my space too <3.

    • I had posed the same question to the Principal. He should have been heavy handed and instructed the teachers to not allow anyone without tokens. Indiscipline must be dealt with strongly even if it is adults indulging in it. I hope that the next time they do it better. Your suggestion is very good. But I wonder if they can give time slots here. They want the PTI to be done with on one single day. I wish the system could have been more systematic though. Your point about helping each other. Yes, I believe that still works in India. One of the few saving graces in the ocean of misbehavior that we are drowning in.

      You already know I love long comments. This is as much your space as it is mine. I always look forward to your comments. <3

  14. Agree 100%.
    This Indian Culture dialog is just nonsense. What culture are we talking about?
    when people sprout the Culture nonsense here I usually respond with – A culture which doesn’t respect basic human and social values is not a culture I am proud of!!
    This usually makes people defensive.. sad really.
    Unless this mentality changes, we are nowhere at par with the rest of the world.

    • Absolutely, you said it perfectly, Pixie. Unless we accept that this behavior is wrong, we will never try to rectify it. The entire tom-tomming and later defending is not taking us anywhere and we are just in the news for all the wrong reasons everyday.

  15. One can find this behaviour in Delhi all the time. The moment I land in bombay, I find people standing in a queue everywhere.

    Culture is shaped and reshaped all the time by the people. Wherever you find refugees or displaced people, you would see that there is lot of aggression. In Delhi, people who suffered from Partition came and settled. Then followed people from Bangladesh and much later by Kashmiri pandits (who are less in number). Delhi has played host to persecuted people from other countries too. Apart from them, people from all the states are in Delhi to eke out a living. It is a case of survival of the fittest and all civilised norms are thrown to the winds.

    Money doesn’t equal to true education. 🙂 So don’t get dismayed when some parents wearing expensive clothes and accoutrements jump the queue. 🙂

    • Very interesting observations about Delhi, Sabya! Incidentally, every time I visited Delhi, I did not like the city. Maybe, being brought up in Bombay could be one reason for it. One good thing about Bombay is the taxi and autowallas. They are better than in any other Indian city that I have lived in. Oh but I digress, sadly education or rather degrees is really no reflection of how cultured you are. Yes, I have to learn to take this behavior in my stride :-). Thanks so much for reading! I always love your detailed comments.

  16. I agree…the social graces and civic sense is totally amiss in society. We culturally take pride in breaking rules (do we know what a traffic signal is?!!) and enojy breaking queues even more. Just recenlty I quareeled with a young boy who very casually went and stood in front of me in a queue at a concessionaire. I was so pissed felt like asking for his parents to put him back in school. Yes, this happens…a lot. And as much as we’d like to make amends it is a long walk as of now.

    Thanks!

    • Ugh! The younger kids and their even more obnoxious parents leave such a bitter taste in the mouth. I wonder what is the ray of light in all this? We seem to going from bad to worse. Thank you for reading, Kajal!

  17. Firstly I think most Indians are literate not educated… secondly culture, I think also stems from how society is formed today. Earlier the classes (middle/upper middle etc) of society had a degree of refinement (or lets call it culture) that was associated with it. Today those classes of society are driven by money. Like it or not yesterdays lower calls has the money today to call themselves upper middle as well. But with that money, has culture come along? Unfortunately no…Gurcharan Das has given a wonderful perspective on this in his book India Unbound…

    Your reflection on US ways reminded me of something that happened when we lived in Chicago. I was about to leave office when a tornado that was to hit later in the night, decided to make its entry. Thankfully that day Pradeep was going to pick me up. The rains had begun to lash and signals had stopped working, we were at one such signal, believe it or not despite the torrential rains, everyone followed the sequence that is to be followed when the signals are out… giving right of way … it was amazing….imagine what it would have been like here…..

    Sorry, just realized that was one long comment 🙂

    • I love long comments, Seeta! They give an opportunity to share experiences and I love that. Yes, you are right, despite their degrees and flashy jobs, they are in essence uneducated. I have to pick up Gurcharan Das’s book. You are absolutely right, the money can be gotten with dubious methods but not so the class and the etiquette. What is dismaying is that there are too many of these uncultured folks around.

      Your Chicago experience reiterates what I have experienced as well. I think it is wrong to blame it at the huge population of this country, It is imperative that this wealth worshippign culture be denounced. How do we even begin to redeem this? Thanks for reading and for your perceptive comment as always!

  18. Rachna, a large reason for this is overpopulation…. the way our people have been ingrained with the fact that they have to struggle to get everything… be it an admission for their kid, or to beat the traffic and get home on time, or even a spot in the queue. We have become so blatantly shameless and apathetic.

    I recall an incident when I travelled to France 8 years ago. The Metro was on strike and only Line 1 was working. People behaved like maniacs to get on, clawing and pushing away at each other, some even got into physical fights. And these are supposed to be sophisticated Westeners, people who are above all this and who are known for their graciousness and courtesy.

    I don’t like this country and most of it’s people, no, in fact I absolutely loathe the culture and environment in India. But if any country faces such huge endemic problems, the system, culture, and people will all be full of rot. There are no two ways about it.

    • Ash, you do make a pertinent point but surely this lack of opportunity does not apply to all. What I saw at the PTI was a clear unabashed getting away with breaking rules. Most of the time the dude in that flashy car who causes the traffic jam would be expected to have better sensibility. People like you and me who follow rules also hate waiting our turn but do it because it is the right thing to do. As most of us have middle class roots, where did those values vanish in just one generation? What makes me flinch even more is that we don’t think for a minute what example we set in front of our kids.

      I do agree that we face huge challenges in this country as you’ve mentioned and there is a rot not only in the system but in our people’s mindsets too. I have also come to hate a lot about this country sadly.

  19. …. it has a lot to do with too many people for the same set of limited resources… clamouring and fighting shamelessly for stuff has become an essential characteristic of the average Indian.

    • Yes, I can still understand in a ration shop queue but why would people jump the queue while boarding an aircraft or alighting from it. It surely is not running away leaving them behind. There is no limited resource there.

  20. Things have reached a point where the very word ‘culture’ feels like a joke!! I love that scene in Swades, where Shah Rukh Khan’s character takes on the village elders when they start the ‘Bharat Mahan’ dialogues. Overpopulation and lack of basic resources brings about that crazy, competitive side to Indians, and they exhibit it even in circumstances where it won’t make much difference.

  21. Anita Desai on July 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm said:

    It is a fine depiction of the state of our ‘culture’ and the behavior of educated class at something as humble as a school PTA best reflects this sublime tragedy. Indians have reached a cultural impasse to the point of no return and we can no longer claim our right to a rich ‘cultural heritage’.

  22. I see that Zephyr has hijacked my point 🙂 We have retained the worst in our culture and substituted the worst from other cultures for what was the best in our own.

    Civic sense comes from a belief that awaiting your turn will not cost you the benefit. The years of ration shop queuing and all that have taught exactly the reverse, NOW, even though waiting costs you no more than time, you are attuned to breaking queues of all sorts.

    Respect in our Society was not merely driven by money OR possessions AND boasting/flaunting was looked down upon. THAT we have discarded in favor of the worst of the West. Go far enough back and you will find that religious tolerance was practically the exclusive hallmark of India. The Jews, in particular, will cite India as practically the ONLY nation where they were not discriminated against. And, now, in the name of Culture we are becoming an intolerant Society.

    Indian Culture has a lot to be proud of. The problem only is that we have thrown away the baby and retained the bathwater 🙂

    • Suresh, your comment is perfect and throws light on this behavior. What more can I add? I completely agree with you. I wonder if there is any hope that anything will get better because this is just so distressing.

  23. While I agree that our behaviour leaves a lot to be desired, I think it has largely got to do with the demand for any product or service being much more than the supply AND lack of proper systems (or failure to implement systems). There have been instances in the US and Europe when people have behaved similarly under such conditions.

    Having said that, we definitely need to improve. And this improvement must start with educated people like us.

    • I am sure there must be, Pro! But overall my experience in both US and Europe have been largely good. Like Shachi above says in her comment, life on a day-to-day basis is pleasurable not like the struggle it feels here.

      I completely agree that this change has to come from each one of us. But before that must come the understanding that this is unacceptable behavior. Imagine what our kids are imbibing?

  24. We are a sham. It is foolish to presume otherwise. Those who do, should visit a developed country to see how real human beings live.

    • I sometimes regret my decision of moving back. Perhaps if I hadn’t seen a better life, I would be okay to live like this. You are right, exposure is the key to understanding how horribly wrong our society has gone. Thanks for reading!

  25. Agree with you and everyone else have said all that is to be said. I have never understood what our ‘culture’ really is.

  26. I think culture is too broad a word and can be applied to so many aspects and situations. Also, it keeps changing in response to time and circumstances and somehow we Indians have totally lost any perspective of what we once had. I completely agree with Zephyr and Suresh’s points. You did a good thing by approaching the principal and expressing your anguish over the mismanagement. I’m sorry but I am not overtly optimisitic in us changing for the better anytime soon…

    • Absolutely, it can. But it has to apply to the behavior of a society as well. The sad part is that while other societies evolve for the better; we are going from bad to worse!

  27. Whenever I am out of India I feel an immense sense of relief. Each country has its own set of problems, the countries I have visited mainly Japan, I have lived my daily life without any hassles or stress. Catchign a train, a visit to the bank or supermarket is relatively hassle free simply because people are disciplined. They follow the rules. In most cases if you need help they will help you.
    The daily life in India is so stressed. The disorderliness in public places, the lack of discipline. Its gets to me. And honestly I have often been embarrassed at the way Indians behave when abroad. If people call it India bashing let them, but this is the truth.

    • Completely agree, Ruchira! Just board a flight and see the Indians getting drunk on free liquor for starters. It is so distasteful how loud and unruly Indians are.

  28. The problem with us is that we think we are superior in everything…Our culture is superior and then our language and religion and the list goes on…The sad truth is we are the most uncultured lot that I have met in my life time atleast…There is no order and no compassion only false pride… I hate to admit it that this is my country! In Amsterdam we went to a restaurant where a bunch of other Indians had also gone and my God the chaos they created! It’s sick sometimes!

    • I agree, Nabanita! It makes you feel ashamed, really! You are right; we are delusional always harping about our culture, language, religion, customs and look at the way we behave.

  29. Very true, Rachna.
    Queue-Jumping & expecting to be served 1st is another bad-habit that some Indians shamelessly display.
    We have to politely inform them that we were there first…as if they didn’t know…even if they knew, they don’t care!

  30. This Culture,Vulture has got restricted to old books only.

  31. Pingback: Top Indian blog posts

  32. You’re absolutely right, of course. We just like to shout and scream about our Indian culture… the reality is we a boorish lot.
    Working in a rural hospital, the one thing that struck me was exactly what you mentioned… the educated class were so cocky and uncouth, demanding right of passage over less fortunate or economically stable patients. In fact, most of the docs here agree that they prefer treating the economic middle or lower class because they end up being more courteous and respectful.
    The same applies abroad too sadly… so many incidents are there of us Indians making a spectacle of ourselves and destroying our image in the hosts eyes.

    • Ugh, yes it is the moneyed who are worse behaved definitely. And your experience reiterates that! True we make a nuisance of ourselves wherever we go bringing a bad name to our country.

  33. And what about the queues at temples where people are supposed to be all calm and quiet? I don’t know where the whole need to push comes from. It doesn’t help save time, it doesn’t make things any faster. It’s just like blaring the horn in the middle of a traffic jam – another thing that irks me no end. I guess some people just get worked up when they see a crowd.

    Major catching up to do on your blog! 🙂

    • Very valid point, DC. It seems we are just frustrated people doing crazy things which just make everything slow and more irritating for everyone else around. That sticking to each other in temples is so repulsive! I can see you did some catching up :). Welcome back!

  34. Well we are defined by our actions and our offspring follow our lead. So what examples parents were making in PTI is question to ponder.

  35. Agreed!! My daughter’s school too had their first PTM, last weekend. Thankfully, it was better organized. They had allotted half hour slots to only 4-5 parents, thus ensuring there was not much rush. Since, we were in the first slot, it was smooth, but I am sure it would have been similar to your scenario later with people not adhering to assigned time slots and later demanding to meet teachers at once.
    Sad thing is that you are considered slow if you patiently wait for your turn. I have seen this happening with children too. My daughter is one of those kids who will wait for her turn and other kids just bypass her and their mothers stand there laughing ” Hamara bachcha to rough and tough hai”, because they push and jostle with other kids.

    • Yes, Priya! They do give time slots too at times. But then again for later roll numbers the same problem surfaces. Also some parents want to finish off earlier even if their child’s slot is later. Most teachers don’t protest. You are absolutely right about the rough and tough thing. Some parents and their attitudes make me sick. Thanks for reading!

  36. And you wonder, despite the pushing, jostling, incessant honking and breaking traffic rules, why people are rarely on time. Why apologizing is such a big thing and we are ready to lunge at each others’ throat at the slightest provocation!

    I am already preparing myself for the inevitable. I have gotten too used to kind and polite people.

    Very good post, Rachna.

    • Thank you, Purba! Your point is so valid. If only these people would follow rules, traffic behavior would be so much better. Oh yes, it will be tough when you are back in India. I think it hits you more when you have lived abroad.

  37. well well well what do i say on this. the funny thing is these so called educated people behave perfectly fine when they come abroad. its only in india they have this attitude “its ok” to do it .. “CHALTA hai”.. which is such a shame ..

    actually i shud take my words back that they dont do it here when they come abroad because I find people behaving like this here also and sometimes inspite of politely reminding that there is a queue they dont bother .. but thankfully the people who serve or are working then make sure these people are asked to MOVE and go and stand behind the queue..

    lately I had a lovely experience with a lovely gentleman who showed me his “ID” card, telling me , how important he is in his country and he is not treated like that, he furthur wanted to have a word with my supervisor as I was being rude to him – (thank god he did not play the racist card, as he was brown too 🙂 ) …
    So he was taken to the interview room where we brought the CCTV footage to show him exactly what he had done .. he was let off with a warning over wasting police time etc.. I bet he has my foto at the indian airport the moment i land I am gonna get it he he he he

    I think the idea of public schools has gone haywire, When I was studying in YPS even then parent were allocated a TIME and it was parents whose responsibility it was to be on time .. if you missed you could wait till a slot was available or lose your turn.

    abd believe me more than 50% of the children that came to school had parents who were either farmers or not very educated themselves and THEY all behaved very nicely. the reason i mentioned that is because i feel the more we think we are educated the worst we become.

    I mean what are the parents of these kids who rushed as if it was end of the world, and jumped queues etc teaching their own kids that it is OK to do this all

    shame on them..
    Bikram’s

    • oh damn.. I wrote a POST 🙂

    • Oh God! Seriously, that incident you mentioned takes the cake and bakery too. Imagine he is letting you know about his connections in India. Totally agree with you about the parents’ attitude. Do they even think for a minute what lessons they teach their children? I just hate such ‘educated’ parents. I do love long comments :).

  38. Most of the Indians are literate, not educated. We speak highly of our culture but we find it so difficult to utter words like ‘sorry’ or ‘thank you’ ….it’s beyond our dignity to show minimal respect to people like auto drivers, plumbers, newspaperwala etc. Dignity of labour is an obsolete word in India.

    I’ve similar experience in my son’s school and parents are so indifferent to the fact that they are setting an egregious example to their children.

    You’ve pulled down the skeleton from the closet …great post… 🙂

    • Thanks, Maniparna. It does make me so sad that this is an omnipresent problem. We are just becoming nastier day by day. And even education and wealth is not doing anything towards improving social niceties and civic sense. Tragic really!

  39. Hi Rachna

    There is a lot of truth in what you say. The word culture is now used for political means or to simply gossip about or find fault with someone. Like the way people dress, their views etc. Simple things that ought to be an inseparable part of culture like courtesy and mutual respect are going for a toss !

  40. Pingback: Think before you speak! - Rachna Says

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