Sunday, 25 April 2010

Cultural Apathy

I see in people all around me a lack of appreciation for those whose way of life is different from our. It is most obvious in reactions to food. So of course Indian Chinese is better than Chinese Chinese never mind the fact that the Chinese were the ones who came up with Chinese food.

What is even more disconcerting for me is the fact that this cultural apathy often gets tied in with some sort of jingoism where by everything done the Indian (in this case) way is right and every other way in the world is just a compromise or a second best or the actions of an ignorant mind.

To me the only solution to this apathy like in gearing our education system to expose people to different cultures and create in them an appreciation of varied ways of life. At an age when we are free of prejudice, if we are not fed with propaganda, we may be a world of more tolerant and sensitive people. We may be people whose understanding of others living in myriad parts of the world goes just beyond their nationality; we may find more joy in exploring the unknown and letting it flow through us instead of judging it in a fit of  jingoistic superiority.


cynduja said...

Indian Chinese seems better to you because you're Indian...that's just bias and ignorance...
I often feel for all the 'diversity' that we harp about, and the others don't really harp about (America or France for example), we are not really so diverse...India may have different states representing different ethos, but our underlying beliefs and values defining our way of life is the same, based on the same mythological stories!
So, you are right here, exposure through education is so strongly needed

Nithya Ravi said...

@Cynduja Yeah am not talking about the so called diversity that exists within India. I am talking about our attitude towards it. And if you see, the same intolerant attitude exists within India also. North Indians are derisive about the South Indian way of life and vice-versa. We may be diverse but I am not so sure that we appreciate that diversity the way we ought to.