My America

From : Joseph Sirosh

1999

R.K. Narayan write a very readable article about the expatriate Indian community in the USA. Many such articles have been written by him and others in a similar vein. The focus is always on the differences between the Indian culture and American, and what emotional problems they engender.

What RKN does not mention is that this is a common fate of immigrants all over the world, all over history. The first people to come and settle in the United States from far away lands must have felt the same way. The first generation of Indians who settled in South Africa and the West Indies felt the same. South Indians moving to North India feel lost too. The millions of first generation Chinese, and other Asians in the United States have all experienced similar troubles. So does that mean that no one should immigrate to a foreign place or seek to sink roots in a new land?

We must stop thinking in narrow terms. I remember how my mother used to tell me as a child that I should marry a girl from the same village her family hailed from. RKN's philosophy is almost an extension of this advice. Increasingly as globalization links people across the world, the world hasbecome our playground. Indians must avail of this immense opportunity and spread far and wide. This does not mean that culture and traditions go away: only their dependence on physical proximity goes away. Indians should be thinking about going forth and settling the globe and contributing our culture and ideas to humanity far and wide, instead of staying put in an increasingly small and crowded subcontinent and fighting a million little mutinies.

Joseph Sirosh
Senior Staff Scientist
HNC Software Inc
San Diego, CA.

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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