Sunday, September 9, 2012

Disgusted By Their Own Culture

I'm sure this happens in every culture in the world but today I'm only discussing Indian and American culture as those are the two I'm exposed to regularly.

This disgust I'm talking about is something I noticed in US culture before I ever left for India in the first place but it is just weighing heavy on my mind today. Before I left for India I was disgusted by a lot of things in the US. To name a few I was absolutely disgusted by the Christian church in my area. I won't go into a lot of detail but to sum it up, they weren't practicing what they preached at all. Another is American men in my area. I won't speak for the rest of the country because there's so many different cultures here in the US but I have a serious disgust for the men in my life (friends and family members). I was, and still am, sick of the political bullshit going on in this country.

Without dragging that list on, I think you all get the idea. What I have noticed over these last few years is that I'm not alone. There are a lot of girls in the pardesi community that are disgusted by many things in this country.

More recently I've noticed the same trend among Indians. Quite a few Indians that I know in person and online are disgusted by things they see in India much the same way Americans are with the US. Given what a pardesi normally sees in Indians, this shocks me a little. I guess like everything else in life and as the cliche goes - there are two types of Indians, those who sing Indias praises and those who don't.

What I find intriguing about this is that the Americans who are fed up with the US somehow seem to gravitate towards the Indians that are fed up with India. What I don't know is if this irritation started before they met or after. (Meaning that one person was already fed up, met a normal person and taught them to be fed up with their own county.)

I see a lot of ways this is good. It's great that Indians are fighting back against the ills in their society. I hope they are learning from America where, as hubby says, we fight about everything lol. Whatever disgusts you, stand up against it. No nation can be great if the people don't use their power to make it great.

What country are you from and what about your country disgusts you? What would you like to see changed and what do you think the people can do to change it?


  1. I think that people worldwide are becoming more socially aware. The internet has done a lot to change things. Of course in India, only a small portion of the country has internet, but the MEDIA certainly has it, and many people have mobile phones and SMS. Information travels quickly these days and people are able to react to events almost as they occur instead of having to wait around until the media spins it a particular direction. Even the media doesn't have time to make things fit into their narrative these days, as the story will break on Twitter first.

    "Given what a pardesi normally sees in Indians, this shocks me a little. I guess like everything else in life and as the cliche goes - there are two types of Indians, those who sing Indias praises and those who don't."

    I'm not quite sure what to make of this part. You have these kinds of people everywhere, jingoists, people who reject their country and culture, and everything in between. Remember the "America - love it or leave it" propaganda post 9/11?

    There are probably Indians who get involved with non-Indians as a ticket to a green card because they are disgusted with India and they just want out, using marriage as an opportunistic means to an end. Likewise, Americans who go all Eat, Pray, Love and escape to India, maybe with an Indian lover in mind, thinking that their life in India will be more human, more spiritual, than the one in the capitalistic country they leave behind. However, I think that these are stereotypes, and the people who embody them are on the fringes and, if they exist, have a very shallow view of how things work and will be severely disappointed in the new country they wish to call home, because things aren't all rainbows and roses in either place.

    I think the majority of people realize that things just aren't perfect anywhere and that we just have to make the best of what we have, fight against injustices, stand for what we believe, try to leave the world better than we found it. We are lucky that India and the US are both democratic countries that offer an incredible amount of freedom as compared to others in the world. It's okay to leave one for another, but if we go from one to the other thinking our country is hopeless and the other is the Promised Land, we're just setting ourselves up to be disappointed when the reality doesn't match with our ideation.

  2. I'm originally from Nepal and I'm not even going to go into what disgusts me about that country (too many to list). It could have been a Switzerland of South Asia, instead, it's a dump...close to Cambodia after the war.

    I grew up in the American south so, once again, too many to list. Not unlike the reasons you've listed.

    As for Canada, I lurve it too much. I think it's the perfect country for me. However, I do sincerely wish that they were a teeny tiny bit less politically correct.

  3. I'm from Switzerland, what pisses me back home is the still rampant xenophobia, not racism, as there are Swiss of all hues, but the fact that many people discriminate against non-swiss. My grand ma is still convinced that all people from eastern Europe are gangsters and not to be trusted, that all spanish are only good to build homes and clean them afterward...UGH! the list can go on and on in that area, and I hate this whle blind pride in a system that no loger really serves anybody but need to be preserved: such as neutrality...I kid you not nobody even really knows what this was and what purpose it served, and the infamous bank secrecy, I cringe each time I hear one of my compatritots cry foul because another country pressed Swiss banks to release infos, bank secrecy sucks, it opened the door to all terrorists and goons and corrupted ass ont he planet to have accounts in Switzerland, and judging by the amout the Indian authorities have been able to get info about, it's a favourite spot for corrupted morons in India to place their money and evade taxes...the swiss bank secrecy policy is in part responsible for the lack of developpment in India...but I live on the other side of the fence, too many of those I know back home want it to be protected and still call themselves neutral in international affairs :-(

    That said, India is of course no better :-) but that's not why I moved there in the first place, I met and fell in love for a man who happened to be Indian. I loved the man, not his origin, culture or passport, and that makes all the different, when you move simply because you want to bridge the distances, without any set expectation about that your new home will be like, it becomes easier to adjust, because you aren't limited by stereotypes and set ideas you had about a place. You can build your life from scratch and take what you want from both worlds to build your new reality.

  4. I think "America - love it or leave it" was such a racist campaign. They were targeting immigrants in a bad way. I was being a little silly with my comment and mostly referring to the Indians who are disgusted by what they see in India. You do have people like that everywhere.

    You got exactly what I'm saying, I can tell by your third paragraph. People are looking for a way out, not knowing what they're getting into. We do need to leave this world better, stand up for what is right and work toward a better future for our world, not just our country.

  5. Thanks for your insight Kay. It's nice to hear from someone who's been to several countries. I think you and I could have a vicious rant session about the American south lol. (Of course we would both be in agreement about how screwed up things are here.) You know, I rarely hear people complain about Canada now that you mention it. Interesting.

  6. We have similar racial issues in the US sadly. Before I ever met my hubby it angered me to hear people say that immigrants could get out of the US when I knew they were the only reason we had a country. We're all immigrants really. I just hate racism with a passion.

    When I went to India it was under strange circumstances and I figured why not go. I had some idea of what it would be like but not nearly enough knowledge. I didn't go to be part of the culture, I went for my husband. I'm like you, I fell for him because of his personality and nothing more. I didn't even know he was Indian when I met him and I didn't care at that time. It made for a better relationship because there's no 'exotic' factor.

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