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”

Common myths and misconceptions about India!

The misconceptions that American/foreigner may have about India and Indians!

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~Gandhi

Along with China, India’s global perception continues to improve. Today’s generation is very open-minded and has global outlook. However, while living abroad, we do get some out-of-the-blue questions about India every now and then. Here are some of the common misconceptions or myths about India:

1. Elephants in our backyards: This is one of the perceptions that elephants are everywhere in India, which is not the case. Actually, there are very few elephants to be seen, unless you venture into the remote area and jungles.

2. Everybody snake-charmer:  Again, snake charmer are not so common. The scene of a cobra dancing to the tune of a charmer is very rare; very few people make their living by putting on the snake shows.

3. The Indian Curry: Not every dish Indians eat is curry based. More and more Americans are trying and enjoying Indian food, but curry is invariably linked with India; nothing wrong with it. An Indian restaurant manager always has interesting anecdotes to share about his experiences with American customers, like this one:
“Can I have some curry samosa please” asked an American customer when the waiter came around to take order.
“How would you like it – spicy or mild” The waiter asked without reacting to the choice of entree.
“Medium”, he replied.
The waiter came back with 2 Samosas and the chutney/sauce to dip in.
I guess Indian sauce is also curry for some. 🙂 Continue reading “Common myths and misconceptions about India!”