Indians have spread out everywhere in this world. Right from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to any meagre employee, you can find millions of our kin leading various types of lifestyles in different nations. Take us for an example. Even though we haven’t thought a lot about our future prospects or what our aim in our rather dynamic lives might be, I can safely bet that the majority of us yearn for attending a prestigious foreign university or work for an esteemed foreign organisation.
But we are not the only ones scheming such a full-proof ploy for ourselves. The Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans … heck, all of Asia is migrating somewhere or the other to find better opportunities and quality of life.
I had a marvellous opportunity of visiting New Zealand last winter and it was indeed a blissful trip. The specifics of my trip are not of concern in this article but what I experienced during my time in New Zealand surely is. Well, a fragment of it. Here’s a fun fact: The maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa. It does have a meaning behind its name - Google to the rescue!
I knew it for a fact that New Zealand has a diverse population where one can find people from various nations. The majority (74%) of the population still remains the “whites”, most evidently of European descent. Next come the indigenous people of NZ, a.k.a, the Maoris. With about 15% of the total NZ population, it is sad but true that their numbers are on a steady decline. Surprisingly, Asians make up about 12% of the total population, of which about 6% are Chinese and 4% are Indian. Not only this but Hindi is the 4th most spoken language in the island with English being the first, Maori the second and Samoan the third. It is indeed really nice to see how well we are doing for ourselves. Bringing Indian cultures to the various nooks and corners of the world and now I can proudly call us an integral part of the globalised world. Or can I?
Coming out of the Auckland International Airport, I noticed that Mandarin played a significant role in the lives of an average Kiwi. Why? There were highway boards and various hoardings where the markings were etched both in English and Mandarin. Announcements in shopping malls involved English, Maori and guess what? Mandarin. Didn’t I just mention that Hindi is the 4th most spoken language in NZ and Mandarin doesn’t even make to the top three? It’s a bit odd, isn’t it?
Indians or Indian origin people aren’t even considered to be of the significant portion of the total population. Even the 2nd generation NZ Indians identify themselves as ‘Indians’ rather than a ‘Kiwi’. On the other hand, the Asians (in this case the Chinese, Japanese and so on) have very well intermingled with the rest of the population. They are widely accepted as kiwis and are evidently the reason behind the wide official use of Mandarin.
Don’t be mistaken; I have no grudge whatsoever against the Chinese or their languages or their wonderful culture. But how have they managed to get along so well with the people worldwide? You may also notice that there are many untrue and obnoxious stereotypes about us Indians, which are circulating throughout this globe. Remember when Nina Duvuluri won the Miss America contest? The reactions of the American junta were very intimidating. Issues like “Miss 9/11”, “Arab”, “Not real American” were raised and so were many eyebrows around the world.
So what makes us socially incompetent around the world? Well, my research and personal experiences indicates that there is a common source of i=origin for such a grave issue. Aren’t we skeptical about the other bunch of people? Those who aren’t doctors or engineers are just incompetent or dimwits - that is the basic Indian mentality, looking down upon others. I guess the white imperials are long gone, yet their traits remain with us as an indication of our racial subjugation to them. This remains my primary concern.
Think about it yourself. Aren’t we skeptical about something that is different? A different culture, maybe? We aren’t patriotic at all, yet when the time comes when our nation’s representation is at stake, we just loose our minds and try to undermine our adversaries. And by adversaries, I refer to the cultural differences. Such phenomena aren’t uncommon to Indians living in India as well. Remember 2 States?
Our food habits don’t help us either. But it shouldn’t have actually mattered what we eat (or are supposed to eat) if the above issues were not of concern. Social gatherings are the time for social bonding with people. Can’t we show a bit of chivalry to our fellow friends, even though our tastes are a bit contrasting? No, we are more concerned about “Aloo-matar kahan hai?”
No wonder we start to drift away from the main population and our strong fraternities do help us to create huge Indian communities with a significant portion of the nation. But are we actually welcome?
Are we just migrants or do we plan to just stay like one? It is time that the majority of us thought about the current situation, which prevails. We don’t have any bad intentions; it is just our ignorance that pulls us down. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but that’s only the case for India, with a whopping 1.3 billion population. No one actually cares.
But trust me, they do. Their country, their rules (not to forget about our great relationship with following rules). I guess it’s high time that we lived up to our prodigious reputation as a country and its people.
Stay classy and respect others.