Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Identity

People have always asked me if I am a Gujarati or Rajasthani or Sindhi or Madrasi or North Indian or Telugu or Marathi or Kannadiga or South Indian etc. ( I have mentioned the exact terms used by people while talking to me.) I remember one lady in Chennai asked me if I am a "Seth" (the local term used to address Rajasthanis and Marwadis). A couple of people even swore that XXX is just not my mother tongue when I mentioned it to them since I did not look like I belonged to that state. All this has irritated me since I feel every place where I have lived has contributed to what I am today. After all we have a Passport mentioning "Republic of India" and not "Republic/State of ....(name of the state we belong to)".
Whilst abroad, I was asked by people whether I was Asian/Pakistani/Indian. I felt proud of my Indian/Asian identity. Sadly Indians asked me the same question as asked in India. I remember a young guy (Indian) saw me shopping in the supermarket and instantly came up to me and asked " Are you from India?". I replied in the affirmative only to face this question " Are you ..... ( Regional Language)?". I said no and does it make any difference? But I could notice a small downslide in his excitement since I was not from his state. Does it matter in a place which is alien to both of us and where people club all of us together as Asians/Indians?

6 comments:

K 3 said...

Hi, Thanks for stopping by.

I have a different issue while I was back in India - my face clearly showed where I am came from that almost everyone would tease me. Oh how I wished I had a face that did not imprint my identity so easily. But now in US, its just Indian. Its kinda nice.

(BTW, I use firefox browser and your blog appeared a little weird. Looks good on IE though. Can send you a screen shot if you want.)

Back later.

Aryan said...

hi..you are about about the Identity..Yes we should be proud to be INDIAN..that is it...
Aryan's mom

utbtkids said...

In the person from the supermarket's defense, he wouldn't have meant any offense. May be he was just homesick. And if you happened to speak the same language as him, it might have given a small way to reach back home. Mother tounge, soul food these things have a very powerful, healing effect on people when they are down. Don't you think so?

Timepass said...

K3- thks for visting. Yes, my blog is viewable fine on IE. couple of others have also pointed out that the blog gets screwed up on Firefox.

Aryan's MOm- Absolutely.

Utbt- First time here I guess, welcome and keep coming. I completely agree with u that its good to speak and meet up with people sharing the same native language. But some people make it too obvious on their face that they dont like to converse with people not sharing their mother tongue. That's why I have specifically written abt the change in the person when he realised that my mother tongue is not the same as him.

Swati said...

Nice post :)

WhatsInAName said...

hmm and in the face of the medieval thoughts of Raj Thackerey, the things are only becoming worse!