Sunday, June 28, 2015

The American Myth Buster

I haven't written in last 8 months. If you are a regular follower of my blog(which perhaps means that you are a friend and I shove my link into your inbox and implore you to read my new post), I apologise for being a lazy bum. If you are reading my blog post for the first time(which means you know me for less than 8 months), please don't judge me!

Okay, cutting the chase short, I am writing this post obviously because I went to meet Uncle Sam and came back with a lifetime of an experience, good, bad and amusing. There were a lot of advises given to me before I left, some stereotypical, others complete bull crap.

1) Americans are dirty, look at their toilet habits: Since we are on the topic of crap, how about getting this out of our heads? I will prefer euphemisms here, for obvious reasons. Imagine a plate which had served chocolate syrup, now you have two choices, wash it with water and bare hands, or, keep wiping the plate with napkin, until there is no chocolate syrup left on it. And when the time is right, run the plate under running water. I am not saying it's the best way to wash the plate, but it may not be as bad as we think it is. You get the drift, don't you?

2) It is unsafe in some place, because you know, there's a bigger African American population: It was said about Atlanta, and many other cities with high concentration of African American population, that the crime is high, wherever they are. It was said in hushed tones, but said nonetheless. Guess what? Race has nothing to do with crime. Education and poverty certainly has. Any community which has higher school dropouts and poverty(and not to mention history of extreme injustice) is bound to have higher crime rate, but to associate an entire community with crime is akin to saying all Indians are computer engineers and all Chinese work in factories.

3) No poverty, awesome infrastructure : America, like every other country in the world, faces problems of not always having adequate infrastructure. A quick visit to NYC downtown, and you will notice pot holes on the roads(yes, your heard me right), Taxi drivers jumping traffic lights, and lot of homeless people and over population. The NYC subway has stations which are so unkempt that you really wouldn't miss India. We have really good infrastructure there and here, and equally bad infrastructure there and here. Perhaps what differs is the ratio of good against bad.

4) It is really easy to hook up with a person of opposite gender: So basically, what Indians mean by this, is that American youth are slutty/casanova(which BTW is very condescending). Sorry to burst your bubble, the fact is, if you are not good enough, just like India and every other country, you won't be taken. If you are good though, you don't have to wriggle your way in. In a way, the girl wouldn't empty the first glass of water on your face and say, "How dare you approach me?". Americans are far more liberated than us, and do not hesitate in mingling and/or making the first move. How is that bad?
5) Amoral society, high divorce rates : My uncle just read out a joke, which went like, "Father's day is the most dreaded day in America, because 80% of the people don't know who their father is, and the rest 20% dread that one from the 80% may turn up at their door to wish em". I have seen so many successful families there (even though it was just a month, my social interaction was high) that I don't even find this funny. The American parents give far more freedom to their children, than we Indians could ever imagine, and yes, they do not abandon their children, even if the child is born out of a wedlock or from a previous marriage. The divorce rates may be higher than India, but this is because they marry by choice(oh yes! They do) and when it doesn't work, they don't sulk and drag a failed marriage.
6) Americans hates Indians, are racists : They certainly hate us much less than the hate we have for each other. Americans in general are one of the most friendly people I have ever come across. They don't judge you for what you do and where you from. An average American is far away from vagaries of technology industry(in which most Indians are employed), and do not care about the supposed 'job snatching' we do. Oh, and about racism, I didn't see American mothers put up ads on matrimonial site asking for a 'fair' daughter-in-law for their son. They also do not refer anyone who is dark as 'Kalu', 'Kaaliya' or 'Koyla'. And the Chinese, or anyone with oriental features is definitely not called 'Chinki'. So who's racist?

Having written everything that I wrote above, Indians too are stereotyped, but I will leave it to an American to visit us and be the myth buster.


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