When in Rome, do as the Romans do

A few incidents in the last few weeks, made me think of this saying again and again. There is so much truth in it, which is simply glossed over. The biggest culprits are we (non-resident) Indians. Maybe what I say applies to other nationality as well, but I cannot talk on their behalf.

When we visit a new place, we take no time to dismiss their taste in food, clothing and lifestyle. Why do we yearn for a Indian food, abroad? Do people abroad not eat, or they have no taste for good food? Why not try local cuisine? It is not about imitating others or trying to blend in. It is about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand and appreciate their culture and the generations of refinement that has gone into their way of life as well.

Food was an easy one to pick on, but I can go on about several other things. We never seem to stop and think why are things the way they are. Just because they are not the same as we are used to, they are bad or stupid.

On the flip side, when we visit India, we do not blend in there as well. We will criticize the traffic, the life style, the nosy neighbors etc. etc. We will not even drink the same water that others do. Are they so beneath us?

So instead of feeling at home, we are foreigner or might I say aliens, at home and abroad. What a cursed life to live.

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