The 18th March Project – Post 6

Why Indians are good people to work with

Sure, you’ve worked with a couple of Indians, and you’ve found that we are loud, eat weird, spicy food, and sound at least 10% like Apu. We’re nosy, don’t understand the difference between personal and public-consumption info, and the clothes we wear are bright.

And that’s precisely why we’re awesome to work with!

We’re awesome because not all of the above apply to all 1.3 billion of us. There are those of us who detest noise and need silence to be able to concentrate. There are those of us whose accents are actually neutral, and whose grammar is better than that of a ‘native English speaker’. There are those of us who don’t want to talk about our personal lives, and so don’t ask people questions about theirs. There are those of us who prefer the bland, nearly tasteless food of the ‘Continent’ (as if there is only one!) but also enjoy a tablespoon of pickle with their meals. And yes, there are those of us whose clothes are not riotously colourful, and who nod or shake their heads and don’t do something in between. Our variety makes us amazing.

We’re awesome because we try to understand the people around us and their motivations. That’s where the ‘Are you married? Do you have children? What religion are you?’ questions  come from. We’re collecting data about you, because we might use it at some point: Oh, this person is fasting – haan, let’s not have the team dinner today. Or, Which person from my team should go on holiday this summer? Maybe X, s/he has children in school, so summer they’ll be off, na?

We’re awesome because we respect – for the most part- that people follow different religions, and it isn’t our place to change that. Do we know a lot about each other’s religions? Probably not. We’re game to learn. Ask us questions about the faith we practice, and our answers are fairly open and honest.

We’re awesome because we believe in Unity in Diversity. It’s quintessentially Indian. Yes, there are those who are more insular than others. They are the exception, not the norm, especially among urban, educated Indians- the kind that you probably work with. Our country’s history is full of proof that we need each other to be able to make it through the seasons and years. We’ve learned that lesson in varying degrees.

We’re awesome because most of us are at least bi- if not tri-lingual. And just so we’re clear- these aren’t always obscure languages, spoken by the last remnants of a tribe. Most of the languages we speak are spoken by populations equal to those of Europe’s smaller countries, like Denmark.

We’re awesome because we’re hardworking. But we can also be lazy. Put those together, and you get people who will go the distance, but still look for the quickest way.

And last, but not the least, we contribute greatly to the economies of the countries we live in, whether they are our own (a given) or someone else’s.

Namaste

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