5 Reasons I Love Bangalore
I love Bangalore. I’ve traveled around the world but Bangalore seems like paradise to me and I reckon we all love our hometowns. It’s where we grew up, it’s where we had all our firsts. It reminds us of a certain time. Ha, I’m being nostalgic.
What’s not to love about Bangalore – 1. mild weather 2. garden city 3. great opportunities 4. cultural hub 5. freedom
It could be better though. I often find myself comparing Bangalore and India to other cities in the world. I just can’t get over the fact that we have such bad roads, poor toilet manners, utter disregard for traffic rules including drunk driving and love jumping queues. Of course, the congestion, over population, traffic and lack of basic infrastructure will have to be another post.
Don’t even get me started on the filth. I read somewhere that ‘India is dirty because Indians are very clean’. We practice great personal hygiene, keep our homes spotless but that’s pretty much it. The outside of our homes is just one big trash can waiting to be filled.
We love to litter. When I asked one of my friends who is no longer a friend, why she had just tossed an empty packet from her moving car onto the road, she simply said, ‘I’m adding to the economy’. By which she meant, she’s contributing to the livelihood of ragpickers – those guys carrying enormous sacks on their shoulders looking for paper, plastic, metal or glass items to recycle. Well!
My husband, who just got back from a trip to Singapore, joked about how Dubai and Singapore are the cleanest Indian cities considering their large Indian diasporas.
There’s no littering there and drunk driving is just unthinkable. Is that what it takes? Strict policing, hefty penalties and jail time to get us to follow basic rules? I hope not.
Anyway, I’ve ranted enough. Now for the good part – no other country offers this level of personal freedom. We kick up a storm about the film censor board, what someone said, Sunny Leone, Facebook free basics, right to information act and get away saying just about anything to anyone. We tend to take these important liberties for granted.
My experience in China was somewhat different, there’s no Google, Twitter or Facebook, access to all outside media is cut off and what you see on TV/newspapers is government monitored Chinese language content only. Many other sites on the Internet are blocked too. Most people are guarded in sharing their thoughts, creative freedom is heavily curtailed.
Having said that, I enjoyed China otherwise – I love the people, their rich heritage, the food and of course the massive infrastructure. I also have a great admiration for their work style. People are extremely hard-working and dedicated. They simply follow the bosses’ orders, no questions asked. I’ve never seen such a blind respect for authority in India. No wonder then that they’re so productive and accomplished.
This behavior it seems is due to the fact that as children, they are taught to be disciplined, to conform and to ‘keep a low profile’. Now some Chinese people may come across to Indians as suspicious, rude, selfish and without emotion. My Chinese friends tell me that due to the government’s one-child policy most of them were an only child – pampered and fussed on and as a result of which developed a narcissistic personality. Any show of emotion in Chinese culture is seen as a sign of weakness so you hardly ever see people smile. It’s easy to mistake this for rudeness but I assure you it’s not. One of my Chinese friends said he loved the fact that there was so much religion in India. ‘Overall, it makes people more fearful, have guilt, speak the truth and do good deeds.’
Since 1949, China has been governed by the Communist Party of China, which, in theory, is an atheist institution. Hence, any religious activity worries Chinese officials, for whom religion is not only Marx’s “opium of the masses” but also, a dangerous perverter of loyalty away from the party and the state. Many people practice Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity or Islam- but the one true religion that the Chinese freely subscribe to is Materialism.
Money is prized in Chinese culture, mainly for what you can buy with it, so that you can publicly show off your status and gain “face” – called Mianzi. To have “face” or good image, is extremely important.
Chinese like to see tangible shows of wealth. I think this is also why so many Chinese obsess over owning property, but do not often take advantage of other investment options, because the more abstract the option, the less tangible it appears. That is no good, you need to see the wealth in the form of a house, a car, a handbag, clothes, electronics, phones etc,
The Chinese may also seem overly suspicious of others because China is a low trust society. People don’t have faith that the future is stable, due to the last 200 years of its chaotic history. They need you to “show and prove” your worth now. It is not enough to say “we will work toward that in the future” as with many other ethnic groups.
Like any country, China has its good and bad.
I thank my friends in China, HongKong and Taiwan for sharing their insights and opinions. This write-up would be impossible without what in Chinese is called Guanxi – ‘connections’ and ‘relationships’ based on reciprocity, trust and mutual obligation.
Tell me one thing you love and hate about India. Comment below.
Xièxiè (thank you) for reading!