"I heard that people eat everything and that too half cooked. I wonder how they eat that!"
"They are not family oriented as we are"
"They don't have culture at all...! Their half naked dress shows that!"
Nowadays, I am hearing these kinds of comments more often. These are the comments about Europe people given by my Indian friends/relatives/colleagues.
I don’t understand how people can come to this kind of conclusion without knowing much about them. I always say to my colleagues that you can interpret into many ways with one data point. For example: One manager took a team satisfaction survey and announced the result happily that more than 50% of people are satisfied with the team. I wondered how that manager can be happy for having close to 50% of unsatisfied team members. Like this, with the same data you can interpret it into many ways. That is what happening here too. We know some of Europe people behaviors. Based on that, we are just concluding the things. And other reason is that our pride over our culture. We people have pride about our culture. If we see something that deviates from our culture, we simply don’t accept them.
I always have a feeling that culture is the one you cannot compare at all. It is something like comparing Cricket and football. Both are games. But, both have completely different rules and regulations. Can you say cricket is bad just because it is played for a whole day and football is good just because it requires just 2 hours. Huge fan following is there for both games. So, that is meaningless to say one game is bad. The same applies to culture too. Millions of people are following one culture in Europe. So, we can’t say that all Europe people are not cultured as Indians.
Generally, food, family attachment and dressing fashion are the main comparison topics. I observed some points on these topics during my stay in Europe.
Food – Yes, people are eating raw vegetables. Half cooked meats from chicken, pork, beef to whatever is available. They don’t add any spices. We should understand that this is also one kind of cooking style. The climatic conditions also one of the factor for the food habits. One south Indian family who are living in Delhi said that wheat gives more protection against cold than rice. The family, who believed they can’t live without rice, now eating wheat food everyday. For Europe weather, just wheat is not sufficient. They need more strength against cold weather. Meat gives more heat to the human body. That’s why they are having meat everyday. To give a variety to that, they are exploring pork, beef, turkey, duck… And they eat all sorts of breads prepared using wheat. We know that more vitamins and proteins are there in half cooked/ raw vegetables than fully cooked in Indian style. First of all, I don’t accept the term “half cooked”. How do you decide that it is half cooked? Is it just because you cook more time than that? Why can’t we say Europe people eat fully cooked vegetables and Indians eat over-cooked vegetables? Europe people have this kind of opinion on Indian food. Last year one swiss person saw my colleague’s lunch box and asked “You murdered brinjal! How can you eat this?”
Dress- Even, I had an impression that all Europe people roam around sea shore just wearing inner garment!
Inner wears, Shirt, Jeans pant, pull over, very thick winter jackets or two thin winter jackets, woolen scarf for neck, monkey caps, hand gloves and finally shoes. These are the things they wear before going out in winter. It will take minimum 10 minutes to wear everything. In summer, they wear very minimum clothes. So, it is just the weather which drives the people to choose the dress.
Now, my questions…
How overcoat become business wear in India? According to me it is just a winter cloth. Similarly, how jeans pant become casual wear in India? According to me this is also a winter cloth. And both, never suits Indian weather conditions.
In the middle of one farewell party, my customer stood and said, “Excuse me Gentlemen. I need to pick up my wife from departmental store. So, I have to leave now.”
My other customer said that once in 3 months he takes one week leave and go out with his family.
I know one old person, who is still bachelor. His lady love left him when he was studying in university. So, he didn’t think of marriage. Now he is 50!
You can see how much importance they are giving for their family.
Still, we can argue that Indians stay with their parents till their marriage. This is just because of the difference in economic status. In India, it is impossible to survive if you don’t earn money. So, till you get a job, you have to be with your parents. And, earning money is the first criteria for the marriage too. So, we are with our parents till we get a job. Not till marriage! In Europe, economic status is high. Unemployed people will get social security. So, they don’t need to worry. That’s why people take decisions independently.
These are observations just in one year stay in Europe. If we stay more time, we can understand their culture fully. Then, we will understand that we can’t compare the culture blindly! We will appreciate both culture!