Thursday, October 11, 2007

Desi Acknowledgement

The United States is a very warm country when it comes to extending courtesy. People here always let others in first, hold the door open for you, maintain a good two-feet distance while talking, and excuse themselves for crossing your path. Honking is a rare event and only seen during a road rage. Drivers stop their car to let you cross the street first and smile at you! The fact that pedestrians have the right of way is a law but is an enjoyable example of courteous behavior.

Now, the adaptive bunch of people that we are, the average desi has absorbed the American way of life and apes it well. Gults yank their desi English accents producing a unique tongue, or more often just
stick to their usual Indian English. The concept of neutral English is yet to catch up. But the United States being a melting pot and the adopted home to a bizarre number of cultures has its own rainbow of verbal accents ranging from West-European to Mexican all the way to the very shy East Asian Chinky. Even the 'American' accent is as varied as Southern Yanky, Bad Nigga, and the dumb Blonde. Considering this heterogeneity, the desi Gult accent is not bad a fit and is accepted just like any other. Its only back home that we pride our neutral accent and stalk the inarticulate of their parlance!

Another ramification of this acquired courteous behavior syndrome, which I’d like to call ACBS, is that one desi always acknowledges another with a nod or a smile - even strangers! A few over-friendly types even strike up a conversation with the clichéd "Hindi bolte ho?" icebreaker. Hmmm... Only if the desi could extend the same courtesy to brethren back home!

Glossary of Terms

Desi – Hindi word for fellow countrymen used when abroad
Gult(s) – Telugu speaking people hailing from Andhra Pradesh
West-European Languages – French, Italian, German
East-Asian Chinky – People from the Far East countries such as China, Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
Southern Yanky – White Americans from the southern states such as Texas.
Nigga – Colloquial for Nigger, African-American.
Hindi – The national language of India
(Translation) Hindi bolte ho? – Do you speak Hindi?