A better look around

New Ties

In this globalised world, one can’t stay at the same place for a lifetime. One’s profession may take one to alien places, where it becomes essential to build a new life.

Bonding : It is always good to know the local language and culture of the place one is residing in.

Thanks to English — the global lingua franca — as well as the easy availability of different kinds of food, it isn’t very difficult to do this. Consequently, it is seen that people lack the excitement or ingenuity to understand the nuances of their localities once they relocate.

If a person is compelled to live in a faraway place, it’s better to keep an open mind and learn everything he or she can about the local culture, since this makes the experience more fulfilling. But most people, especially professionals, don’t take the initiative to familiarise themselves with the local culture despite living in a region for years.

 “I lived in Sikkim for nearly four years. But I never tried to mingle with my neighbours or accustom myself to the local life. I just confined myself to my laboratory. I was so busy with my research activities that I just used weekends to get some sleep.

Now, when I see people going to North Eastern states for tours and hear their travel stories, I feel sad about not exploring its rich culture and tourist spots,” says Ranjith Joshi, an English lecturer.

Learning the local language also helps a lot. In day-to-day life, one needs to interact with the people of the place and knowing the local language makes the work easy.

“Though I have been living in Mumbai for the last seven years, I never tried to learn Marathi. It isn’t because I can’t — rather, I wondered why I should. We Indians look down on other languages and think ours is superior. But when I finally learnt Marathi, I understood the benefits of doing so. It earned me a lot of friends and I no more feel an outsider in Mumbai,” says Girish Bhat, a professional.  

A lot of foreigners in the City have taken the initiative to learn the local language to make their life easier.

 “When I first came to Bangalore, I never knew that I would be cheated by auto drivers, vegetable sellers and maids simply because I didn’t know the language. At first, it took me a while to understand that I was being cheated.

When I took up this matter with my friends who had been living in the City for more than two years, they told me that they were still being cheated by the auto drivers. But I was not ready to let the matter continue as it was. So, I started learning the language with the help of my Indian friends and neighbours.

Slowly I started understanding how much I need to pay for different services. Initially, I learnt the language to converse with auto drivers, but later, I developed a real interest in it,” says Tanawoot, an expat from Bangkok.

“Not all people get a chance to live in different countries, so those who get should show an interest in learning about the culture and language of that region,” he adds.

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