I want my country to be the best and this is coming from the small kid in me who sang the Indian national anthem in her school, everyday at morning assembly. This patriotic feeling will never go away and I’m not a soldier but just an honest citizen.
I have been to many countries with my family, and coming directly to the point, not many countries are happy to have us, Indians, around. My first thought when I felt this resistance was ‘oh! racism!’. It was easy to just give it a word.
Then more travelling and I also came to this understanding that there are Indian restaurants in every corner of the world, there are more Indian tourists in so many parts of the world than tourists of any other nationality, there are so many countries depending on the Indian tourists for their tourism industry. They should be waiting to have us then, don’t you think?
Then came some more travelling and believe me I can’t stand some of the Indian tourists, not for more than 10 min. I hope you’re not one of them. I know there is still more travelling to do and more to understand but at this point I have to write, I have been challenged to protect my country from getting a bad reputation, how am I supposed to face that when I’m on a holiday.
So I write this to every Indian who is holding a passport and plans to leave India, do not push in any queue or cut lines in a queue, you have got to wait for your turn and I’m sure we’ve learnt that in our country, if not now is the time.
There isn’t anything as one’s “Personal Standard Time”, we have to stick to the time we say we want to reach a place and by doing that we save a lot of trouble for the people helping us see their country.
We cannot look down upon people based on their professions or their occupation standards, they are living their lives in their capacity and we have to respect them as humans and behave as you would expect them to behave with us.
We know we love our celebrations and the festive feel when we have a big group with us, but is it fair to encroach upon the space of other people by bringing the noise along with us where ever we go? We need to understand that space means so much more than just physical body, it’s the whole environment around us and we need to respect others’ spaces. Keep it quiet if there are others commuting or in public areas have fun in your own space.
Yes we have a very different culture back in our country and we can learn how to adjust incase we travel, not throw garbage around their city, or cross the roads everywhere.
Yes, I was lucky to have parents who have helped me learn, but I can now understand that it’s a culture clash and many have not had the opportunity to travel and for first timers it can be a challenge to face different cultures. But please let’s do our best and build some good reputation for our future, so our kids don’t face resistance just because they are Indians.
A word to other countries, please stop generalising, one bad experience does not mean every Indian you meet is going to give you a tough time and it is mutual tolerance at the end of the day, we all have something to learn. Let’s have patience and help each other.
For India, because the more I travel the more I love my country and people, we are so much more as a country and we can change for the better and we will.
TED talk: A Brilliant watch-