I Am Not My Country Even Though I am

I was at this restaurant with my friend and we stuck up conversation in jest with the lady on the next table and this turned the entire time there uncomfortable and it is amazing how ignorant people can be and how much more rude they are capable of being.

When she asked as to where he was from, and then here is how it goes

1)   Oh, so you are a <religion>?

Wth? How can someone try to place you in a box immediately because they are from a certain place? One country can have people with different religions. Also, religion is a no go area with a stranger. If unsure, ask, do not assume anything. And what difference does it make to your life if they are from a particular religion especially, if you just met them.

2)   *** men are all like that. I once knew a *** man and he was…….

How the hell can one generalise that all men from a certain place are a certain way, just because you knew one from there? So is knowing one woman knowing them all?

3)   On being told that she may like visiting that particular place, her immediate remark was ‘ah no! It is a war place. I do not want to risk it.’

Read the news. Update your general knowledge. Stop claiming it a war torn place for a conflict that occurred many many years ago. Which place is safe today? Does your country not have problems?

4)   The lady and her friend were talking about different places and they kept dropping the name of the place my friend was from as an example. Wth? I don’t need to hear you mentioning that place when you do not even have the slightest knowledge of it or never set foot within 1000 miles of it.

5)   When we left some food because we could not finish it, her comment was “You are wasting food. People of your country do not have food.”

This was the lamest and the most irritating. What do you know about the economics of the country? I could also say, why are you eating so much/spending so much on food when people of your country/other humans are starving/ dying of hunger/begging/jobless/homeless. Why are you spending so much money on your make up/clothes when people do not  have money to buy the basic things in life?

How many times do we generalise because people are from a certain place even before getting to know them? This applies everywhere not only across countries. How many times have I not come across highly educated people from cities claiming that the entire south India speaks ‘Madrasi’, survives on sambar for sustenance and that’s all there is to it.

Stop putting people you do not know in boxes. If you do not know, ask, be curious. Learn. Explore.  Do not just assume things about people even before you have spent 5 minutes knowing them. Definitely do not make statements about their country, their war, the problems of a particular place because I am not responsible for the actions of my government and definitely not for the entire society. Stop looking down on me because of certain things in my society unless I have participated in them.

How can you know who they are if you have already put them in a certain definable unit? If you have closed yourself to the possibilities? I someone does not fit in any box you can come up with. Where will you put them? Off the face of this galaxy?



12 thoughts on “I Am Not My Country Even Though I am

  1. Agree with everything you said. I think the problem comes down to names – they are too distinctive. From someone’s name you can tell whether they’re Hindu/Muslim/Christian, what part of the country they’re from, their caste e.t.c. before you have even gone past “Hello, what is your name?”. I don’t know what the solution is, other than to start giving children atypical names, but I don’t really see that happening anytime soon 😦

      1. Oh I was talking more within India – where you can sometimes tell where a person is from just by looking at them (Keralite, Gujarati etc.) or their religion or what have you. But sometimes it is not so obvious – which is where the really distinctive names come in – i.e Venkatasubramanian – which immediately places you in a category 😦

  2. Generalizations, prejudice and racism are all examples of lazy thinking. When trying to align your opinions with reality is either too much effort or too much of a challenge to your established ideas and is emotionally unacceptable.

    We’re all like that to some extent. It’s obvious though that there are many who take it way over the top.

      1. I can attest to that and so do many people I know. Trying to fit in when you don’t is such a massive struggle and so draining on you.

        1. I can so relate to this, I felt like an outsider in India for the first 18 years of my life.
          Why? I was a pretty young, educated thing? Right? Nope. I was half muslim and half christian and therefore didnt not belong to any box. I was christian for the muslims, and muslim for the christians and as much I decline to comment on my religion or lack there of, it didnt matter. I was a Non Box person, I did not belong. I remember being In Kerala and because I did not speak the language, I did not belong. I moved to the US and all of sudden I was an Indian student and belonged. Far away from a place that I was never accepted, I hung on to some semblance of belonging. And yet underneath it all, you were an outsider.
          Today I am an American of Indian Descent. How about I am a person?

          1. Exactly, I am a person. I write, read, I like this this that that. That is who I am.

            It is amazing how many Asians have such a huge cultural burden on them, not only Indian, even south east Asians, but Europeans are less burdened by it. What you are and what you think matters, not if your parents are from wherever

  3. Well written! I share your opinions with all of the above. Generalisations in general are weak and come from an uneducated and closed mind. I hope people have the urge to seek truth and not just be stuck in their armchair, commercial tv news fed opinions. I enjoy your writing, keep it up 🙂

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