Arriviste India.

Being Indian in foreign a country one of your first experiences is one of a strange disconnect. A strange feeling of being out place in more ways than one. I first came across this strange outplace feeling on my first trip to Europe in '98. This disconnect I think was born more from that general populations lack of knowledge on the world and the rest of the world. The developed world right wing stereotype that would characterize you into a wannabe immigrant class of misfits, robbing their country and steeling their jobs doesn't help [now shifted to concentrate on outsourcing]. But then again the world is changing and forces like globalisation are spreading information faster. More light.

India is a country that loves exerting her culture, has been doing so quit successfully for millennia. Yes, there was in a fall in ratings but it looks like we’re making a come back. What I’ve found is that more and more people are welcoming the “arriviste” India. Slowly finding her way into the so called big league.

Ondrej Novotny, is a tour guide in the Czech capital Prague. What picks Ondrej apart is how he shows his off his city. Well he does so in his green Bajaj auto rickshaw. He’s quiet happy with his Baajaj he tell me. “They’re open, slow, cheap and most importantly magical just like Praha”, he adds with a smile. Being the accomplished tour guide he was he tried selling me a tour, “So you’re from India eh Want tour? special price 50 kroner for you.”

Other things you can’t miss in Europe is Indian clothing. Walking down a streets of a small alpine town , eh wait a minute- did I just see a girl in a kurti just walk by. No way, must be imagining things, no you surely I did. “Indian ethnic clothing is ‘in‘, does with the ‘boho’ look”, my sister tells me. Irony is the reverse trend exists in India, may be that’s because we’re a few years behind.

Then I saw this ad, which shows me the money our government is actually spending money they allotted for a specific cause instead of eating it up. Thank God.

Then there is always Bollywood, surely they’re going to reel you in with some colour, some song and dance and a pseudo-fantasy plotline.

Bollywood Berlin

I know all the above examples are small and mostly insignificant in the bigger picture. But I would like to think of them as baby steps, as India re-invents herself.

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phucker said...

Hey Akshay,
these examples are far from trivial. I noticed these things on my trips to HK and Singapore as well, where they sell Kurti tops as 'Tunics'. Bollywood is popular in more countries than we care to admit. Some people respect the fact that we still manage to hold on to Family. Like I said, sometimes, when rise above the Arundhatis and Rohinton Mistrys you find that there are many positive contributions as well, inside, and outside India.

Akshay said...

I agree, they're far from trivial but also they're many among us with a strange pessimistic streak who would love to shoot to this down. Well I believe this is happening .

Nick said...

Good post, I enjoyed reading this. FabIndia for life.

Akshay said...

Nick, fabindia for life would have been a good heading for this post.