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FB etiquettes for Punjabis

chandigarh Updated: Sep 27, 2012 21:45 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times
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Period! If it weren’t for the Punjabis, Facebook (FB) wouldn’t have been half as much fun. In other words, the Punjabis have added a measure of punch in the virtual world, similar to the one in their real lives. For where else will you find a status update liked @ hundred likes per minute, even if it were an obituary for a pet or a status informing about a few broken bones.

But in their zeal to live life king-size, Punjabis, at times, have gained notoriety to be very loud, stretching the ‘chak de’ attitude on social network websites a bit too far. Not that it bothers the Punjabis much, but yet for the benefit of others, I tried to get a consensus on what etiquettes Punjabis should follow on Facebook.

I updated my FB status as — FB etiquettes for Punjabis — and the response was overwhelming. I must thank my friends, especially Vandana from America, for coming out with a comprehensive wish list of etiquettes.

Vandana’s demand number one is that Punjabis should stop inviting people for weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties via Facebook. Perhaps miffed with missing on her share of the ‘mithai’ that comes along with the card, she is seen asking Punjabis not to try what they are not and return to their usual way of inviting people through the proper channel.

Her etiquette number two is for the Punjabi aunties of the diaspora. She wants them to stop showing off their fake Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags in front of Louis Vuitton and Gucci showrooms. The ones with the genuine bags feel cheated as one of the lifelong dreams of many women is to acquire one Louis Vuitton at least.

Thirdly, she wants Punjabis to refrain from updating their kitchen tales. “You must be the best cook in the world. But please I’m not interested in your menu 365 days a year,” writes Vandana. And yes, please don’t update your status every minute. We can jolly well do without knowing from which salon you got your legs waxed.

Highly aware, of the ways of the Punjabis, Vandana’s next prescribed etiquette is that folks should stop bragging about their achievements and those of their children. For heaven sake, the status update asks, ‘What’s on your mind’, and not the report card of your child. And yes, when I update my pictures, stop remarking sweet on them. Since when did Punjabis become picture tasters? Her next suggestion is actually embarrassing for Punjabis, given their reputation as the nation’s top food providers.

Punjab’s young blood, rather than sweating it out on the fields, is spending more time on the virtual farm, FarmVille. “You can”t feed the world through Framville. Go out and work on your farm,” she yells.

Another lady, in an obvious reference to me, messaged in my inbox that if a woman was being nice, please don’t mistake her as available. But she was polite enough to point it out that the problem was not with me alone, but with majority of the Punjabi men. First they will update their brand of scotch, then rave about their proverbial burrah, and god forbid if some woman remarks on it, she’s had it.

The same lady also claimed to be put off by Punjabi men who showed off their swanky cars and biceps on Facebook. “The competition between the size of the biceps and the SUVs’ Punjabis own is inverse to the shrinking land they have!” Wow, that’s one kickass of a message to Punjabi men.

And as more and more feedback poured in, all rules somehow seem directed towards me. But what the heck, we are all Punjabi by nature and this column is to celebrate exactly that. Press the Like button now!

The columnist is a Punjab-based author and journalist.