Sunday, August 07, 2005

Being an NRI

I've heard some discussion on the fact that NRI's are doing a disservice to their country by leaving the country to work in another county and how some people absolutely refuse to go to another country even if they are given a chance. I appreciate their choice but I feel that living in another country gives you a perspective that you wouldn't have gained otherwise. It makes you more aware of who you are. If you keep living with people who are basically the same, you would never be aware of how you differ from people with different cultures.

I feel that I am now very aware of myself, of my likes/dislikes. For example, I know that I like eating with my hands;I don't like when people step on books or paper; I get a bit uncomfortable when people make sexual jokes; I don't like talking about money or stocks much; I love spicy food; I love and respect my parents; i have an inherent respect for older people; i nod my head side to side when i agree which confuses people.

These are things I probably would never have thought of if I was living in India because these are the common basic qualities that most people around me would possess. Like I would have never even thought that I prefer dating Indian men if I had never gotten the opportunity to date American men.

Similarly, when i go back to India there are a lot of things I am more appreciative or critical of as a result of having lived in another country. For example, I realize that personal distance is shorter in India, people ask and tell salaries, and other trivial differences one wouldn't think about if one had always lived in the same culture.

I am always comforted to see people back in India who look like me and behave the same way, but I am also appreciative of the ways we are different from people in another country. So I think that everyone should try living in another country for sometime, just to gain the perspective, learn about a different culture and most importantly learn about oneself.

NRI's contribute with the money they send back home religiously.

And, of course, with a global perspective and homemade patriotism, a lot can be done.

Mahatma Gandhi was an NRI too. And it was his experience in S Africa that sparked a lifelong struggle against injustice leading him to become the father of the Indian nation.

A very patriotic NRI from Dubai
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