India and The Ipman factor

I like Burgers. I also like Mc Donalds, some American Soap operas, use Ms office and some Apple ithings and countless inventions of the western ( American) civilization.

Recently the summer heat has been keeping me mostly indoors and sometimes the modern invention of the television occupies the time. Two movies that I recently saw made me consider the factors that are present both in India and in the far eastern cultures such as HongKong and China, Japan.

Ipman2 was the movie about a martial arts grandmaster who is trying to set up his school in Hongkong. This was based in the mid 40’s when HongKong was under British colonial rule. The second movie was a romantic comedy set in Japan, about an American Girl who wanted to be a Ramen Chef.

I found beyond the characters and the story, some very interesting facts which felt so similar to our Indian values and beliefs.

We respect our culture and traditions at work and at home

There was an overwhelming sense of duty and obligation towards work, treating the workplace with reverence, respecting the employer’s decisions. It strongly resonated with how even a roadside cobbler in India cleans and prepares his workspace early morning. As he would worship his tools on vishvakarma day. Our values in Urban India may be hidden below a layer of western artifacts and clothes, but prod deeper and we have the same sensibilities as with the rest of the eastern region.

We are taught to have unflinching trust and respect for our parents and teachers

I don’t need to say more.

We like to live in families and have dinner together

The television, which the modern India mother uses as a supplementary aid to feed children at dinner time, could definitely never have been invented in India. We’ve always had larger families and plenty of social interaction compared to our counterparts in the frigid western world. Eating/living alone is something brought out of compulsion rather than choice.

We are modest and humble

“Conquer the world” is not something our texts teach us. It teaches us that we should conquer ourselves. We don’t brag about our accomplishments, unless of course our startup needs Silicon Valley funding. Our societies value those who are noble and humble inspite of great achievements.

We welcome other people to our homes

Traditionally we welcome people when they visit us. We let them into our territories and land as guests. We let them into our homes no matter how humble it may be or scare our resources be. We teach what others would like to learn without patenting our traditional techniques. And we never invented the gunpowder.

To think of it, do we really respect the Western culture? We do enjoy (consume) the comfort, perks, privileges, goods and services and variety it had brought. Once our current honeymoon with “wanting” things is over, our strategic partnership with those more attune to our value belief system would grow and that should be the right living for us.

Ironic but as it is, I write in this foreign language on this software designed in a western nation. So maybe, it’s not that bad after all.


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