Saturday, March 22, 2014

As I Rove Through

I have been visiting villages of Andhra Pradesh and a few North East Karnataka villages for the past months (to be mentioned about 50+ villages). The more I visit the more I come to realize our differences. There are certain things which I admire about their habits and way of living, which I think it can strengthen our unity as brothers and sisters. At the same time there are certain things which bother me too. I don't know it’s only us who face the same situation or others too, there are few points I like to share from my experiences and observations.

1) They love and care for each other. They don't eat alone. They offer whatever they are eating to the person next to them or nearby, if even if they are strangers. 
2) They are kind. They always make time for others who need help. If they are asked, they are always ready and willing to help out and sacrifice their time. 
3) They always want to converse. Ranging from kids to old people, they would initiate conversation. The kids, especially love calling out "aka, aka" (which means 'sister'). They would follow and encircle you even if they don't get response. 
4) They stare a lot. Right in the face. They stop and stare. They would tell the person next to them to have a look at us (this happens especially among the mothers/women).
5) When they offer you food, you have to take them. It’s an honor to eat someone else's food. It’s some kind of appreciation for each other.
6) It’s a taboo to take certain items like 'salt', 'turmeric' and 'tamarind' in and out of the house at night. (I have no clue whether it’s religious or cultural taboo).

Wherever we go we are very much foreigners to them. They have no idea we are from the same country. I assume even after telling them that we are from Mizoram, they would still think that Mizoram is a foreign country. In our very own country , "which country are you from?" is the most frequent question we receive and "english, english" is the only passing comment among the villagers. In town, we are 'Chinese' and in metropolitan cities, we are 'Nepalis'. Face matters a lot. However, it’s about time our own country fellow men knew that India is rich in ethnicity, and has people of different looks. 

(Note: It doesn't mean I am generalizing the villagers of Andhra Pradesh, but I am just sharing my experiences)