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Celebrating East & West

punjab Updated: Jul 22, 2013 09:14 IST
Mandeep Kaur
Mandeep Kaur
Hindustan Times
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A Fulbright scholarship gave me a golden opportunity to be in the world's most developed nation the US. While being in the US, the most wonderful thing I realised was that there are numerous things that deserve to be celebrated about the East as well as the West. Distance from India helped me rediscover my thoughts about my home country, and physical proximity to the US helped me explore this new nation and culture. I take this opportunity to present what I learnt about Americans and rediscovered about Indians.

The best thing about Americans is their politeness. One can easily fall in love with their communication manners. At my workplace in the US, it feels so good when all wish good morning and thank the service girl when she comes to take trash from the office. Respect in the US is not based on age or professional hierarchy. Americans respect every human being regardless of his/her age and position in the hierarchy. Americans are courageous enough to follow their passions. They enter into a profession by choice, not by force.

The US gave me an opportunity to experience how wonderful life without corruption could be. The US is home to a huge number of internationals. Every person, regardless of his religion, race or gender, is respected and given equal preference in all fronts of life. How wonderful it is that the US is far away from crimes like female foeticide, dowry etc. The government is performing its duty in an impeccable way. Everybody is provided with basic amenities of life. The US is so clean and green. The education system is outstanding. Traffic rules are obeyed by one and all. In this nation, drivers yield to pedestrians.

India is home to people who worship different forms of God, who speak different languages, celebrate different festivals and wear different attires. India exemplifies how to celebrate unity in diversity. India is known for its rich cultural and spiritual values. Indians greet each other by saying 'Namaste' ('I bow to you'). Family ties are cherished like a prized possession. Family members from different generations parents, children, children's spouses and their offspring etc. live together under one roof.

All family members share their earnings and remain with each other through thick and thin. They are always ready to make sacrifice for the good of the family. Marriage is thought to be a life-long commitment and therefore divorce rate is very modest in India. Indians are known for their hard work. Children are taught the importance of exercising self-control in all walks of life. Meditation is considered the best way to get rid of all sufferings and achieve the state of detachment. Yoga is exercised for physical, mental and spiritual betterment.

To conclude, the combination of positive aspects of the East and the West can surely make this world a perfect place. It is true that we cannot change this entire world, but we can change the world around us. Being a Fulbrighter, I pledge that wherever I will be, I will create a perfect world around me - a world representative of both the East and the West.