One of the things that has confused and yes annoyed the students and us is how Indian people stand in line or don’t, exactly. Here is a picture which tells the story. The concept of personal space does not exit, and I dare say Indian people have no idea about it. As a culture, Americans stand one behind the other not touching others in line. Note the difference in the line in the image. People butt in line and move up at will. There never seems to be malice in thought or act. It just is.
The question came up as to why the Indian parents don’t teach their children not to rudely stare or now butt in line. It is a good culture lesson in that it is not rude to do those things here. Period. It is India and there is a difference. After six months in country, I have just understood the standing in line situation. This is exactly the way they drive, scooting in out our of traffic, moving ahead, even going the wrong way to avoid the stopped traffic. It is just the life in a country with over 1.2 billion people all squeezed into a land mass the size of 1/3 of the US! The population is more than all the people in North America, Central America, and South America combined ! I think I have solved the mystery! Do you agree?
images from Google Public Domain
This Is Incredible India!
What do you think?
I totally agree Anne. My friend Nivedita, from India, would come to my tiny apartment to spend nights and weekends rather than spend her time off alone in her larger apartment. It almost drove me insane, but she thrived on it. I became her stand in Mom, while she sent all of her money home to her parents to build a new apartment. I also tried to teach her to drive, and she did get her license, but I sure hated riding with her. At 90 mph she would ask me where to turn, while I was screaming “turn right up–back there”, at which point she was upset because I didn’t jerk the wheel and turn it for her. It was definitely a different kind of lifestyle, and I’m sure she shortened my life by 50 years each time I rode with her at the wheel. After she was finally given a citation for reckless driving and exceeding the speed limit by 55 miles per hour did she slow down and start paying attention to American driving laws. She moved away from here for a larger city, and I miss her, but life was never dull when Niv was at the wheel of her car. I’m just happy I persuaded her to buy the black one rather than the red one she wanted.
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You had mentioned your Indian friend before ! This is a great story! So you have great insight into life in India !
Yes I do, especially the driving and living habits. Niv also explained the sari, removing the shoes when entering the house, the food, so much. She apologized for not Americanizing the heat the first time she cooked for me, but I was eating without a problem, while her boyfriend was fussing at her for making something too hot, so I had thought she must have made mine with less heat. She cooked for me frequently, and I loved everything she made. Just wish I could find some of the same ingredients in my home town. She would go to St. Louis to get them, but I don’t travel well now. I miss her.