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Monday, May 14, 2007

Its a thin line...

Despite our claims to remain united and pluming patriotism, there is most definitely a clear divide between North-South India! There....I have said it!!

I am sick and tired of rude comments, ridicule in the name of humour and disgusted with a certain section of people who belong to both regions, that I have come across in life so far....I hate this crap! I am very proud of being a Tamilian, and yes, I am an iyer who speaks tamil with a typical dialect common to Bramhins..that's the way I speak...take it or leave it!!

When I moved to Bangalore and now in Pune, I hear some extremely tactless comments, mostly and sadly only from North Indians....
" My god! Are you a tamilian? You are not dark?"
"You are from madras, but you are so well-dressed(??) and modern??"
" You dont look like a tamilian at all, you look like a punjabi or gujju or nothing remotely south indian??"

What makes you think, all tamilians are dark...and if at all, some of them are dark, its coz we all scorch in the sun and the weather is extremely hot and all our skins are tanned. Just coz, I am not rude and for one, have consideration for other's feelings, unlike you...doesnt mean you can get away with anything ( No, I am not overreacting, I have got this too many times....I am not amused!) Do I ask you how do you look so ugly?? ( what the hell...)

As for being well-dressed, in which world are you? Have you been to chennai recently? There are a huge number of well-dressed people and as modern as it can get! Anyways, every individual dresses according to his/her comfort, personality and convenience. It has nothing to do with where you live!!! Yes, to a large extent, our surroundings and upbringing do determine the way we dress up. And by the way, " Modern" dressing does'nt necessarily mean well-dressed.

Yes, where we come from and the surroundings we grow up in does determine our attitudes, personality and knowledge. In today's day and age, with no boundaries in terms of geography, the advent of internet and numerous sources of information, everybody in every nook and corner of India is well versed with the worldy affairs as well as the latest fashions...Inspite of YOUR ignorance, people down south have a nice blend between modern as well as traditional attire...and we are proud of it. We strike a balance!!

NO! This is not a post about how great south Indians are...This is to vent my anger and frustration against Indians ( Yes, Indians) who think they can get away with whatever they say, in the name of humour!!! The best example is LOLA KUTTY on MTV, or heroines in madisaar ( 9-yard saree worn by bramhins) and the sad jokes on malayali accent and any kind of ridicule on certain sections of the country. Down south, the movies portray gujaratis as fat women cooking and eating all the time or sidey-looking money lenders which is equally unacceptable and in bad taste.

Repeat jokes or comments ridiculing people can be taken easily the first time, after a point, it gets to the point of being hurtful, immature and downright silly. GROW UP!!!!

P.S - I have nothing against north indians...this is a personal account of my experiences and anguish...being a south indian, I know one side of the story....no offence meant!! )

16 comments:

Raaga said...

Oh well... what can I say? There was this thread on Ryze and I commented on it. I have people ask, "You're a southie. You people eat lemon rice for breakfast no?" What a generalization... I'll pull those points I made and post them here.

Raaga said...

"I must admit that I have faced enough and more discrimination at the workplace. Branded a "Madrasi" (which I proudly am, but most people here wouldn't know the difference between my 2 native regions in India - anything south of the Vindhyas is a Madrasi), I've been asked atrocious questions like, "You people eat lemon rice everyday for breakfast, don't you?". Or hear comments like, 'How can you eat so much rice?" That they can consume as much if not more wheat is of no consequence. Living in this region, I have figured that my contempt is more towards the people than the language. I have some very dear friends who belong up north and I have nothing against them. Nothing against those who do not hold my nativity against or for me. I think we should be accepting of people, not of people from somewhere!"

Raaga said...

"Again, the resistance comes from one language being thrust over a bunch of people. Not belonging to any one place, I always considered myself an Indian only to come to a certain place that shall remain unnamed to be termed a Madrasi or maybe in educated circles, a South Indian. How it matters, I fail to understand. But somehow, it does."

Raaga said...

"Like I said, the contempt is more for the ignorance of the people who do not want to know, who will very rarely bother learning the local language, but crib that Hindi is not spoken outside their land. (And when south indians do attempt to learn and speak, most of the native speakers make fun of them. Mimic them and laugh at their accents)

At least in Europe, the Europeans applaud an attempt to learn, however small it may be. Sadly, that's not the case here."

Pretty Woman said...

hey raaga, so true...agree to every word you have said here...atleast we try to learn hindi, I know ppl who have lived in chennai for yrs or any city down south and cant speak a word in the local language...they dont want to learn!!

Glimps said...

I suppose my comment will add a different perspective here...Coz I am a north Indian born and grew up in Kerala and married an Iyer...or "madraasi"...

Believe me when I say that as a regular mallu girl I faced discrimination from my "northie" cousins in my growing up years... Coz of my fondness for rice etc.... My hubby faced it for a few years too...but somehow my northie cousins have managed to grow out of addressing him as "madraasi"....

But discrimination knows no boundaries... I have been mariied 12 years and my dad in law still introduces me as a punjabi...(which I am not). Regardless of how many time I have pointed out that everybody outside of Madras is NOT a punjabi....guess it still has not registered!

At the heart of this debate lies the very impatience we accuse others of... And the only way we can grow out of it, is by having tolerance, patience and most of all, ACCEPTANCE.... Language, culture, identity, looks..et al.

Pretty Woman said...

:) that's indeed a different perspective glimps!!

Damitra said...

Statutory Warning - I am indian and love it. This topic is very much a part of what makes being indian so much fun and very special. I have been asked whether i am a gujrati, marvadi or an anglo indian?!!! WOW???(esp when the answer is none of the above)

I do believe this north south divide - so to speak, is a superficial manifestation of a deeper issue. That of skin colour. Aryans Vs Dravidians.

Pretty Woman said...

hey damitra, thanks for your comment. The post is a rant about how such superficial things seem to matter...people dont see to look beyond those things..

Whizkid said...

One more to the list of questions u hav mentioned:

U r frm chennai and u still speak Hindi...and I think "Gawd, who on earth r u to presume that tams can't speak Hindi...its not 1969..its 2007.."

As for modern dressing, the north indian mindset is that "the lesser u wear, the modern u r"..hehe :)..
But, U got to give it to most northies for the way they dress up...Tams still lack a dressing sense...Mebbe they jus dont attach as much of importance to it though they r capable of dressing well..No generic comment this..ther may be a few tams who do dress well, but most do so in case of northies...

For almost every presumptuous question thrown up on Tams, I had a fitting reply, but for this..."Man..U guys hav been living with 69% reservation all u'r life...tats like too much...it s a casteist society and retrograding by the day..." and I just pass a smirk and only manage to sulk...

Pretty Woman said...

hey whizkid, the intention of this post is not to sabotage north indians or south indians...it is about how presumptuous people can be and refuse to see beyond superficial aspects of people..thanks for stopping by and sharing your views!! :)

Revathi said...

From my experience, it is not courteous to stereotype people. Sometimes however, I do feel proud when ppl assume my traits based on the conservative culture I come from.

Lizzie Borden said...

noo blog look and all! orey super it is being and I completely understand what you are saying here, because when I was studying in delhi I encountered the same problem. "OMG shruthi you are madraasi? but you dont drink coffee yaar", "you dont wear flowers in your hair", "you speak good english","you wear jeans", "you speak hindi decently" etc., etc.,... I am suprised as to how I am not in jail for attempted murder... but you cant help it you know... I would never imagine I live in a country, I might as well belong to Chennai for all my so called Indianness!!!

Pretty Woman said...

hey revathi!
at last....you are commenting on my blog itself and not on orkut...thanks for the effort, keep it coming!! :)

Hey shruthi!
thanks babe...chumma tried new templates et al...me too all excited about it...I know we all have our share of experiences..

Vik said...

Chanced upon ur profile and it is going to look like I am feeding on scabs to you. The fact why the Southies look quite different to the Northies, is in the attitude to life. What I mean by that is the Northies mostly are easy going and fun loving types whereas the Southies are the most hard working back breaking sorta ones to whom work at large is success in school, success at work and several other forms by which they can succeed - coz remember Madras is quite atrocious with the reservation scheme so people end up being concentrating on how to succeed amidst all the pressures that they lose track of the dressing and the interest to learn new languages. I, being a Brahmin, knows what it is like, I competed for 2 seats when I did my masters ! If the same scheme is moved to North, will they be able to survive on that? I don't think so. So fact is you should not take too seriously on what people around you comment. After all it is a free world is'nt it and Indians are bigotry and boisterous in every sense when it comes to comment on the rest.

So take it easy and do visit my blog too when you get a chacne :)

Pretty Woman said...

hey vik!
you are spot on....my post is not about how south indians are great or vice versa....I find that lots of people comment or make fun of someone, with indifference....it is 'fun' as long as you dont hurt someone's feelings.....I find a lot of people who are very tactless....and think that silence equals assent!