Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Racism or innocent joke - Comments on Language, Color, etc

I recently read a forwarded mail that makes fun of English usage of a nationality. My question is, do you treat it as racism or innocent joke?

Will Indians be ready to take jokes on them like this? I have seen that people do not, and take offence if they are made fun of like this generalizing the nationality.

I am not saying whether it is racism or is an innocent joke. Hope we all treat others the same way you want you to be treated. When you make fun of someone's color, poverty, language (any language) - please understand that you are not perfect yourself. If you are a person who can take open criticism, you can go on and joke, but may be there are people who cannot take the criticism same way.

From my experience I know Indians are very sensitive about comments on them, but are very generous when they give it on to others.

Special comment for 'protectors of Indian image': My comments are my views from what I have seen in general not on any specific incident or person. As an Indian I criticize my country and does not mean that I have to criticize other countries when I do not care about it. If you are of view that if a person loves his country he should not criticize it, then I think you are very wrong (and might be a fascist view). (When you criticize your kids does not mean that you do not love them.)

I do care if someone make fun of Indian accent or usage of English language. My answer is English is not their mother tongue and you cannot expect them to be perfect, if they are trying to talk English with you, it is a favor because you do not speak his/her mother tongue. Same goes for people who speak Hindi when it is not their mother tongue, especially people from South India. Please understand it is a favor by the person who speaks a language other than his mother tongue (unless it is required in your work). If you think everybody should understand your language or language you speak (at least till the level you know), you are not the one to decide the level and as Obama said World has changed. Learning and speaking a language other than your mother tongue is tough for most human beings.

As one good friend of mine said - Language is to lower boundaries not to create boundaries.

Note: English is my second language. I try to improve my English as it is required in my job, but I do not plan to be perfect in English any time soon.

(This specific mail I referred to had a reference to Hinglish, so it passes 'my' racism test and is considered a joke.)

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