Saturday, October 26, 2013

A part of the world..yet a world apart !

Having lived in this part of the world for a few years now I' have a lots of thoughts to share. It takes a lot of time to really understand people, culture and appreciate it but it takes a very few seconds to form the first impression. So let's start with first impressions - this is a place with freedom in the true sense. I started as a student so it's fair to say you're free to choose what you study and how you do it. There is so much structural flexibility which is quite evident if I tell you that they have take-home exams and even open book exams :)

The part I've enjoyed most is the freedom to study wherever and whenever you like ! I've studied at every hour of the day and at every possible place in the campus - be it the bench in the park, the building stairs, the couch at starbucks or on top of the wall outside the lab. All you need is a laptop(if you're a fellow computer science geek) and a good wi-fi connection which existed every possible place on campus. It's not just the liberty that comes with amenities, there's no social one judges you or at least does not bother you with their opinion unless asked for.

Too much freedom can hurt you sometimes but I'll not walk that tangent; lets focus on the brighter side for now. This reminds me of another great quality people around here have and that is the wonderful habit to always greet with a bright smile and exchange pleasantries. It's true that most of it is superficial but you know sometimes a "Hi ! Have a nice day :)" from a stranger can make your day ! They know how to talk - they really do. It's no surprise how they make the best sales and marketing people in the world.

And yes they have an amazing sense of humour.You'll be glad to know I've recently figured out what makes them so funny - they make fun of themselves and once they have won over the audience they crack a few on the listeners as well. For example: I was at an event recently where the speaker was talking about his career and these were his exact words "I change my team every 2 years before people know what a fraud I am !". Even politicians in this country make jokes on themselves...infact they have an official dinner every year where they invite a famous witty guy to make fun of everyone including the President who sits there and laughs along.

Lastly, unlike our perception they also care and spend time with their families. They might not know every distant relative but there is a close bond that exists within their immediate family. The ideologies and customs are sure different but that's a part of the culture. At the end of the day it is yet another way of life !


Sachin said...

Good read..something better to read about them amid snooping charges and gun shootings in schools..Actually its the observer's virtue which makes them seek better things ...definitely the individual freedom and exuberance are qualities to extol and we need to work upon it here.

Dipraj said...

Agreed. And in fact, the good part is, these are consistent observations - for example, your perception of an educational institution will not vary across the country whereas, if you compare it to India, there will be worlds of differences between a premier B-school and a common B-school.
It just makes my belief stronger that India is a land of contradictions and if you were to assess US - a land of consistencies.