We as humans assimilate to what’s around us. We pick up on habits, accents, nuances, and so much more that we are surrounded by. Why is it that we fail to recognize and appreciate the difference instead of mock them? In my opinion, it’s our lack of awareness and superiority complex that we have developed over other humans. However, I do think that all takes is a perspective shift, to appreciate it(see mine below.) Now I totally get it, I’ve been one of those second generation kids to laugh when our parents say words with a different accent because we think our accent is superior. But as we increase awareness, we realize how immature (in my opinion) that thought process is. Why do we think that our accent or the way we say things is superior?
I think the same goes for anyone in India, as well as America. There have been so many times when I have used verbiage that is common in America, that isn’t in India and vice versa. Some even said I sound a certain way, and that comment was made based on what they thought, without understanding that we all speak even English differently; and there is no right or wrong way of saying anything. It’s something I am sure all of us see everyday everywhere in both countries. The bottom line is, we all have different slangs, accents, and ways of speaking.
Everyone was raised differently, in different households and countries. If we all sounded the same how much fun is that? Where is the beauty in diversity if we want everyone to be the same? How can we point a finger at another person and say you sound stupid? It’s just different! When you learn to understand differences you appreciate them. We can’t expect someone who grew up all their lives in India to suddenly speak English like an American born, or vice versa. When we learn to look past colors and accents, and start looking at people for who they are, we’ll find more similarities than differences. (In my opinion) It’s not about a person’s ability to speak a language, but about the content and who they are.
But I get it, as Indians in America,we all have our times when we talk “Indian” because it’s fun. Heck I’ve seen Indians in India make fun or look down upon each other as well. In my opinion, the issue isn’t the accent. It’s the superiority complex over another human being. Once we understand that we are all unique in our own ways, and it’s important to love and respect each other for who we are, our perspectives tend to change about differences. I’m not saying don’t have fun, all I’m saying is; next time before we decide to make fun of someone else’s accent or way of speaking, lets try to look at it in a different perspective.
Here are a few thoughts I started becoming more aware of, as I meet new people from different backgrounds to help myself appreciate and respect other people more:
1)I can learn something new from them
2) They probably know another language they can teach me
3) English or my language probably isn’t their first, second or maybe even third language
4) I wonder how many similarities we really have aside from culture
5) I wonder how many similarities our cultures have aside from the obvious
6) I wonder what their core beliefs are
7) Maybe we can help each other learn a new language
8) I wonder what their story is
9)They probably grew up in a different world than I did
10) Wow being compassionate, empathetic, and respectful makes me feel great!
“The Indian Girl”
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