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by Narayan

Cultural sensitivity

June 26, 2010 in Community Debate, Regional Flavors, Uncategorized, Values & Culture Clash

Having grown up in a traditional South Indian family, I have been a proud vegetarian all my life. It is quite normal among most Indians in India and NRIs here to separate non-vegetarian food while accommodating vegetarians like me.

Once we were in a Pizza Hut. An NRI boy was serving and we ordered a Vegetarian Pizza. He promptly brought the Pizza. To our bad luck there were couple of pieces of meat. When we requested this boy to take it back and bring a new Pizza, he looked surprised.  He instead asked us to take out the meat pieces and eat. We explained to him that we were vegetarians and do not do that, this only infuriated him.

This boy was either ashamed of telling this apparently weired request of his kind of people to the manager or he himself had no sensitivity to how Indian vegetarians feel when their food is mixed with non-vegetarian food.

In any country a business needs to know everything about its customer and their pet peeves to be successful. However, it was surprising to me that an Indian boy, who should have known more about the customs and habits of its fellow beings more than the American people was not privy to any of these details, instead he looked down upon them. This lack of sensitivity is an issue of upbringing or complete nonalignment of this boy from the cultural nuances of the Indian people. This is just one example of how our next generation would drift away from the subtler issues of cultural differences and become alienated from Indian culture and what its people like or dislike.

In the coming decades ascendancy of India as a economic super power will only benefit those kids that pay attention to details of our culture. If only they learn these nuances and become culturally fit, they can earn the trust of other Indians, do business and succeed.

What do you think?

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by Narayan

Running in circles

June 25, 2010 in Values & Culture Clash

It is the general experience of many people that getting business from Indians is very hard. They are very particular about what they want and have enormous patience to do endless research. In the process they end up running sales people in circles. We can understand this nature due to larger population of India and lesser value for individual time. It is quite common in India for the government bureaucrats to send people from pillar to post to get any thing done. Are these attitudes or ‘values’ extending to NRI’s and the next generation? What do you think?

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by Narayan

Culture Clash

June 20, 2010 in Values & Culture Clash

NRI Parents: Translate “TAMSO MA JYOTIR GAMYA” into Hindi
NETIP Kids: Tum so jao maa, main Jyoti ke paas jaa rahaa hoon