Monthly Archives: January 2013

Who is an Indian ?

There are two perspectives to look at Indians. One from the eyes of an Indian and another from Western. According to western perspective an Indian is one who is uncultured, highly un-organized and illiterate.

According to me Indian is one who understands the Concept of “Adjustment, Accommodation and Customization.”

Examples –

  • Food influences the way people think. In west, Imagine people eat proper four course meal: first there is the soup, then the salad, then the main course and finally desert. Everything is controlled and sequential. Now imagine eating a traditional Indian Thali : Everything served simultaneously, the salad, the rice, the roti, the curries, the sweets, even the chutneys and Papad. The Western meal is served in a linear way while the Indian meal is served in a cyclical way. The Indian dishes are not eaten individually but have to be mixed, a practice that is uniquely Indian. So in Western cuisine, we taste what the cook serves but in Indian cuisine we taste our own mixture. This is the height of customization.

 

  • The “Masala Box” is a powerful tool to explain Adjustments and Accommodation. Every masala box had the same ingredients – but the proportions used by different cooks created different flavors. Bad food could be made good by adding another spice. Thus everything could be managed, with a little bit of creativity.

 

With readymade masala packets coming in, the tastes are getting increasingly standardized, a sign of what may be called Westernization.

 

According to Westerns, Indian Food habit is chaotic and since our food habits are chaotic so our others habits are also chaotic whether it is buying style, living, thinking or bargains. Westerns are organized because their food/eating habits are organized hence are other activities.

Since we are aware of India is a federation of states and is Multi Religious. Religion also plays and important roll on thinking. Christians have one God “Jesus”, Muslims have “Allah”, Sikhs of “Guru Granth Sahib” but an Hindu has lots have Gods and Demigods. For a Hindu there are lots of option of gods available according to their wants and needs.

Hence for an Indian Everything is all about “Adjustment, Accommodation and Customization.”

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