A choice between comfort of overseas and home country
“No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there-well or poorly.” ~ Joseph Brodsky
Non Resident Indians (NRIs), the expatriates from India are scattered all over the globe. They are living a prosperous life, at least so it seems. These NRIs are happily settled in these adopted countries, but often frequent their homeland – India, to visit their friends, families and the memories they have left behind. In most of the cases, the NRIs are citizens or permanent residents of these countries; however, they consider India as their true home.
Most of these overseas Indians or NRIs are well settled in the new country. The new culture, the new life and the new comforts have created a strong bond to the new land. Majority of these NRIs help their loved ones to migrate as well; so the whole family unit ends up living abroad.
Even though the ties with the past remain; the family, – especially the younger generation – has a strong attachment to the Western lifestyle. This is the natural influence of local culture and social settings; the natural effect of the long term exposure to the western society.
There is no doubt, the foreign countries have a lot to offer in terms of day-to-day facilities. The health-care system, for example, is much more advanced and offers a piece of mind for any family. The schooling and education system is among many of such benefits. The daily comforts, jobs opportunities and infra-structure of a developed country create a far better living experience, in spite of some key social hurdles for immigrants.
No matter how successful one becomes and how much adjusted we are to the adopted country, the craving for the homeland is always there. The attachment to our own culture and memories from past continue to maintain a bond too strong to ignore or overlook. After all, it is human nature to dream. We dream of better future, but at the same time, we recall the fond memories from past and our childhood. The nostalgia of yester-years, -the social and cultural experiences growing up in India- is always there. Some of us want to go back because there are loved one and friends back home; others want to go back to re-live their past, to trace their memories.
This is a real dilemma for a large number NRI family – to stick to the adopted home abroad or go back to India. The younger Indians Americans for example, who are raised in America, have fully adapted to the American culture. They don’t have the same emotional ties with India. On the other hand, the first generation immigrants have much stronger feelings for their homeland, but end up staying abroad for the economic or family reasons.
It is a tough decision – to choose between the homeland based on personal nostalgia and cultural roots, or the place that provides the present comfort and livelihood. No doubt that there are challenges as a foreigner but trade-off seems to be worth the hassle, as everybody ends up staying.
By end of the day, the adopted country is winning the battle; nobody seems to go back to India, at least not permanently.
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- Brain Drain to Brain Gain – Indians Abroad
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- NRIs’ misplaced nostalgia of good old days
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- NRIs – Scattered relations, separated friends!