TED Talk: East vs. West — the myths that mystify

We often compare our Indian culture, values and traditions with the West. We always look at a culture through the values and the lenses of our own culture, our own definition of values and morality. There is no surprise, that we are often biased in our observations. This bias can be conscious or subconscious, our views are seldom neutral.
In this interesting TED talk, Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and the West. The speaker explains how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.

The speaker links the the business aspect to our culture and our myths. How we look at our business and operation is through the eyes of our own culture. The best ways to deal with dynamic and diverse markets is through the culture of our customers.
So, what is the ‘right’ or ‘suitable’ way to approach a situation or a business problem? It depends. It depends on the situation and it depends on the ‘eyes’ of the culture and mythology. Continue reading “TED Talk: East vs. West — the myths that mystify”

NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ – A hilarious culture clash or offensive?

Many call this a strange or bold move form NBC, but it is more of a commonsense if you think about it – controversial shows get the attention from public and media alike. Thursday’s prime-time lineup from NBC includes ‘Outsourced’ – a comic satire on Indian culture through the eyes of American and Western office managers. Nothing original, but different!

The show in itself is hilarious, if you take it with a grain of salt. The Indian way of thinking, the Indian traditions, the office habits of local workers and how we perceive Americans – all on display in half an hour weekly comedy that is lighthearted and fun to watch.

The premise of ‘Outsourced’ is based on an an Indian call center in Mumbai selling American novelties. According to NBC, the Outsourced revolves around “the all-American company Mid America Novelties whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India and a manager, played by Ben Rappaport, is being transferred to India to run the operation…”

The sitcom touches on a variety of social and cultural Indian issues including arranged marriage, a young woman working in the call center to support her parents, how Indians view the American women, the Indian Accent and the fake American accent…. Continue reading “NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ – A hilarious culture clash or offensive?”