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Changing Cultural Boundaries - Indian Outside India

 


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I often find people debating on whether one should plan their career in India or abroad? Which is a more lucrative option? Well, to me it's a subjective concern. There is no correlation between the two. At some of point in the past, it was a different story where the development in India was an absolute miss, but now with globalization, India is no longer in the same shoes. It is still much behind the other developed countries, no doubt on that, but it is no longer an underdeveloped country without any growth and progress.

The charm and charisma of Non Resident Indians was so much influential some time back that people back in India almost made them a Gods. Parents used to go hunting for them to get their daughters married to them. In short they were the most adored group of people, who were earning filthy money, had style and attitude, were intelligent, had awesome looks and to top it all, most of them were bachelors. These most eligible bachelors came back to India to get the best bargain and take along the finest brides.

The craze to settle abroad has not lost its’ charm over decades. Still people are no less awestruck with the idea of going abroad or even better, settling there for the rest of their lives. They have all the reasons to debate in favor of settling in a foreign country without even visiting it once, amazing isn't it? I mean one doesn't even purchase a pair of jeans without trying it once, and here we have a breed of people who argue to settle there for the rest of their lives purely out of fiction. I'm sure apart from this crazy decision they never make any other decision based on hallucination. Anyways, that's a different set of people, as I already said who have their own ideologies.

Today over 30 million people are Non Resident Indians or PIOs (People of Indian Origin) across the globe who have left their motherland for their own good reasons. There are few common categories of people in which this bunch of people can be divided. Firstly we have people who go abroad feeling thrilled with the decision, but after their honeymoon with the foreign land is over, they start to sulk over the decision. Every now and then they miss India, and continue to count the positive things of their motherland. They leave no occasion on which they can go back to India for a visit. Next we have a set of people who are just dying to go abroad for one or the other reason. And the moment they land in the alien country, without wasting a moment they start to worship the land. They take the Indian-ness attached to them as a curse, and starting with the foreign slang to dressing and eating, everything changes in a jiffy. But no amount of changes makes them the natives of the place and all their lives they are treated as second citizens, who have to prove their loyalties every now and them.
Lastly there is the most practical lot of people, who go abroad to earn money, enjoy their stay in that country and come back. They never try to switch identities, change their habits, or criticize their motherland. They enjoy the new set of people, learn from them, gain experience and move on. They equally enjoy a visit to the Disney Land and a good Hindi movie in a cinema hall.
My personal vote goes for the last bunch of people who are reasonably ambitious and seem to have a head over their shoulders which allows them to think and take decisions. But it is really sad that the percentage of such people is comparatively low.

The people, who stay on for unpredictable tenures, are generally observed to bring in a change in their lifestyles. In order to catch up with the rest of the world around, they try to introduce weird changes in their lifestyle. Some go ahead to even changing names, while others start celebrating Christmas, Halloween and 4th of July with greater enthusiasm than a normal native. The essential family values go for a toss. They start respecting Mohd. Rafi and enjoying Madonna. Speaking in their mother tongue becomes undignified for them, and English becomes their obvious dialect. This to the extent that they start communicating in English with those who understand the language and also with others who are not language sensitive, like their dogs and cats or any other pet. Enjoyment options change from watching a good Hindi movie to online gambling. Anything which allows them a small place in the foreign land motivates them to repeat the act again in the future, even if it is against their individual liking

There are generally three reasons which attract the Indians to become NRIs’. It can be either in Quest of Wealth, or the attraction of Power and Influence of Western Media or Complex of the Western Lifestyle. Usually the first and last reasons are predominant.
Earning big money apparently looks very easy to such Indians. They quickly convert currency and calculate it in terms of rupee, to achieve satisfaction. But, the reality is very different, and earning good money is actually a big deal. There is huge population of Indians who in order to earn have taken up jobs of taxi-drivers, newspaper sellers or waiters.
The Western complex is also a misguiding factor. Such Indians have preconceived notions in their minds that they are not up to the mark and probably staying abroad would give a jump to their existing standards. They are not able to break this myth all their lives and resort to options which would take them abroad.

Embracing a new culture is not a crime but, going overboard becomes something to be mocked upon. The new culture looks so alluring to these Indians that they become a product of cross culture, who is neither an Indian nor a foreigner. Identity crisis becomes an ongoing affair. Although with time everything becomes evident, but still there is no need to take this unnecessary strain and jeopardize ones’ life for becoming a Non Resident Indian.

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