August 24, 2007

West as we see it!

In my previous entry I wrote that I am very lucky with friends. But the ‘oldest’ friendship I have now is just 7 years old. I lost my ‘old’ friends in the same speed as I get new friends. Especially after coming to Paris, some because of physical distance and some because of the psychological distance. In my process of adapting to new place, I have changed, not the changes forced on me by the society, but the changes I enjoy and the changes which made me mingle with the new environment, but my ‘old’ friends living with a bundle of prejudiced view about western society, is not able to see me mingling in that. It created lots of friction and arguments with friends. Sometimes, I feel that we don’t speak the same language anymore. Yesterday, I rediscovered one of more friend from my university days. Preethi, after the masters she moved to USA for Phd and got married to an American. Finally I got an 'old friend' in my boat, who can understand my language. As we were talking about our process of adaptation, I found that we have fought against similar myths

The common western society myth, that we fought.

  • Platonic friendship doesn’t exist here. Indian girls should not discuss their problems with western men, in process of consoling you; men may take ‘advantage’ of you.(sex is very easily available in west they don’t have to make such big diplomatic efforts to get that, I feel they see a opposite sex relationship more objectively than we do.)
  • The bar is a place for drunkards and for one night stand (you know in the bar they server fruit juices, coffee and tea too)
  • Being gay is not a natural thing, it’s a ‘new’ disease of the west, keep away from them.(my gay friends have cried in my shoulders during their break up, their tears were more than real and natural. suppressed in the east doesn’t mean that its absent there).
  • Vegetarians have to starve to death in west. (All the places I have traveled so far I was able to get vegetarian food. Some places its bit difficult but its not completely impossible.
  • Westerners don’t have family values and bondage (after living with Micha’s and Anton’s families in the past two summers, I didn’t see any difference between an eastern family, in fact they are more frank to their parents than we are)

We are all human, there are some superficial differences, but still we are the same species. Thanks to orkut, I am very happy I found Preethi!


Anton said...

you forgot another important point: the westerners are free and democratic and went to the moon in 1969. these are huge misconceptions, and even the westerners believe them!

Uma said...

moon and the political controversies? it will be great if we can start to fix the everyday and small misconceptions. i personally feel that if can fix the problems in out micro(immediate) environment, we can easily start understanding the global issues

Anonymous said...

Well said...absolutely loved the points u put forth..
I do agree with ur reply to Anton's comment too. But, I think that comment-and-reply reflect the basic difference between a man & a woman too..:) smaller details attract a woman's attention..being perceptive of people's FEELINGS around..while a man sees only the ACTIONS of the people ..:))

Uma said...

right! may be its because of the gender difference. it reminds me of a joke which i read in NYtimes.

There is the joke about the husband who makes the big decisions and lets his wife make the little decisions: he decides whether the president should work for peace in the Middle East, and she decides where they should live and where they should vacation.

Anton said...

well i was just kidding... not about the moon thing, but about the fact that she forgot to put this (it surely wasnt relevant to the topic!). i agree with uma's and anonymous's answers as well!

iamyuva said...

totally with you. I can endorese those from my limited pan-world travel/living experience...

people are people. everywhere people live with simple desire to be happy and happiness is subjective not by nationality but subjective to individuals.

"all Americans are not Bush"..i know many nice people.