Although i am not a good writer, I thought for once of writing my own experience in life. As I write this first article on mangalorean voices, I remember a short anecdote I read in one of the columns on news site somewhere — Here, the writer of the story who tries to get into a crowded train compartment. As it is already crowded, people inside ask him to go to the next one saying that it is less crowded. Nevertheless, when he decides to come in, a well-built guy makes sure that his entry is not very comfortable by blocking his way. However once he is in and the train departs, he slowly finds himself being accepted and when the next station comes, he and the guy who blocked his entry rally together to block more outsiders coming in.
The reason what makes me write this, is that there are really no divisions based on religion or race. All conflicts and frictions basically arise in two groups – insiders and outsiders. Depending on our own interests, we play both the roles in different situations. Outsiders struggle to be insiders, and once in, more often than not oppose the rest!
So, it is not surprising or even self-contradictory when Shiv Sena advocate banning outsiders coming into Mumbai or Kannadigas advocate banning of Tamilians in Bangalore, are ready to send their children to another country for pursuing higher education and most often wishes that they would settle in those countries. Now take this, he is just an insider in his own city, but outsider to that adopted nation.
….Depending on our own interests, we play both the roles in different situations…..
Few months ago while I was in the Gulf, life in USA was just a thought for me. It sounded like a very good thought, of course, being brought up in a hardworking family and being an independent self made person, for me that was not about all. I remember the day I boarded the plane while bidding bye to mom, dad and sisters, the day was giving hopes of brilliant future which no doubt has come true. If you call the USA is the land of opportunity, the Middle East is the land of milk and honey! This is where your every hard earned tax free Dhiram gets you the returns!
There are so many Indians in the Gulf that, along with the local language Arabic, Hindi or Malayalam also could be called the local language as most of them understand what you’re talking! But as some one said to me when I was in Dubai once, If you can accept the fact that a firangi earns multiple salary for doing half your work, then you’ll be happy here, else don’t even think of working here. It is very difficult moving to a new country amongst strangers and build a life from scratch, atleast for me being a eldest daughter in the family, supporting my parents and siblings.
The last 3 months of my stay here in the USA has taught me much more than what I learnt living among my own people in the Gulf, no doubt has instilled courage and made me more Self-dependent person.
We read on daily basis on the news headlines about protests, banning of outsourcing from the USA, Saudisation drive in the Saudi Arabia, Omanization in Oman or localization of jobs elsewhere in the gulf countries.
We as outsiders, no doubt usually tend to do much better than our local counterpart, as mostly we have nothing to lose and are prepared to work harder and face more risks. So if insiders feel a bit of grudge about us coming from outside and feeling insecure about their own future, then it is definitely not unnatural for them to do so.
Working in a way to preserve one’s own interest is the natural instinct and when it is coupled with the sense of insecurity and injustice, the insiders do take some drastic measures, playing politics and throwing you out of your job. Fight for banning of the Tamil or Bollywood movies in Bangalore is just an example of it. The holocaust could easily be the gravest one in our own land.
The question is where will this lead us? – more hatred and more racism? or makes us more prepared to face the challenge?
Author: Jennifer Lobo- USA