1. Indian Standard Time: Arriving at a party several hours late is usual for Indians living here in the USA. In a recent party, a sole non Indian couple guest asked if they could come at 8PM instead of start time 6PM. Guess what! The non Indian couple was the first one to come while most others arrived after 8PM.
2. Return after use: Taking pride in exploiting return policies of department stores is awful. It is not unusual for several fellow Indians to buy an item without any intention of keeping it, using the purchased item and then returning it. Such items include formal suit for an interview, GPS when lost at a remote location, lawn mower for temporary use etc. Proudly boasting this ‘ethical’ conduct is common practice of some people.
3. Lawn: Working in lawn is not our cup of tea. Walking in any neighborhood, by just looking at the condition of a yard, one can figure out the ethnicity of the owner. Yard full of weeds, overgrowth and crab grass means an Indian family in the house.
4. Let us wear casual – it is America: Business casual is acceptable dressing at work. Wearing casual outfits in parties and gatherings works. But casual clothes need to be clean too and as per occasion. Think about a wedding where only a handful of males besides groom wore formal suits and rest wearing faded dirty jeans with sandals. I have attended a few of them here.
5. We love organizations: Does 100 Indian organizations in a population of around 20,000 Indians sound right to you? Let us justify. One organization for each state including new ones like Jharkhand. Organizations based on religion. Organizations based on special interest group. And then organizations just to integrate numerous organizations. Of course friends are also from the same Indian state and speak same Indian language. Other Indians count but are secondary. Unity is diversity is the slogan for India.
6. Best use of money: Using money sensibly is good. Saving money is good for economy in long run. While buying expensive cars and houses, spending a trivial amount to buy a card and a new present for a birthday appears unwise to some people. Recycling gifts is not uncommon. Asking for special discount at Indian stores is not uncommon and don’t be surprised if you find if an NRI asking for a discount at BestBuy.
7. India is Superior: While India advances in technology and economically, it still had great heritage, culture, values and glorious past. Being proud of own culture is good but respecting other cultures is necessary. Unfortunately some of us don’t consider other cultures to be equally good. Different does not mean inferior. Indian culture teaches us humility that a lot of us tend to ignore.
If you agree and most importantly if you disagree please post comments.
My next post: Habits NRIs must retain.