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Indians In America
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
Indian folks in America have a lot of typical behavior patterns I thought I would chronicle as observations, rather than critique. The article is intended to reflect on a couple of generations of Indian folks I have been with. Obviously there are exceptions to my reflections. I have listed out my own behavior so that I am not excluding myself of my own observations.
Here I reflect on my three types of Indian folks in USA:
1. Indians who came with and after the IT boom – IT Boomers
2. Indians who came before the IT boom – Old Timers
3. Indian Self – Me
They must read Andhra Vilas, Telugu Cinema, Idle brain, That’s Telugu and Telugu People for all information, which is duly passed on to friends, and family. There is absolutely no delay in communicating the important stuff. When Balakrishna really shot those guys, and it took me less then 10 minutes to get this information from three of my friends.
They have expert opinions on movies, politics, money, America, India and the world in general, and are willing to debate the issues without any alcohol in the system.
They know everything to do with life, no confusion what so ever in letting you know of this as a fact.
They watch Indian movies weekly, preferably very late in the night and they rent a Video or a DVD daily.
They plan to build a home and buy a car in India, even though don’t plan to go back soon (may be never), but it is a way to save money, show the quick wealth of the USA.
They must only eat Indian food, and if married will go home for lunch and must have a hot meal. I must highlight this as a great luxury that only our IT boomers enjoy. I have not been able to reference a parallel habit of going home for lunch in the history of USA.
They must buy a Toyota and spend months negotiating to get the last ten bucks off, and have to go to every dealer in one hundred miles of the town they live in. For most of our IT boomers who are getting paid by the hour, they seem not to care about the number of hours spent on negotiations.
They have no long distance at home, only mobile minutes to call friends.
They sleep very late.
They do all the personal work at work, as they are all too busy with all the other stuff outside of work to do them.
They prefer to only speak to Indians and only speak Indian preferably very own native language. An awful lot of them have difficulty with English both spoken and written. I am not sure if this is very good for our community as a whole.
These guys actually have parties where they jointly share expenses and invite tons of people.
Many of them don’t like to follow the rules of USA, but really like the conversion of just Desi to Desi American.
They like bright colors.
These folks have been here forever (may be 30 to 40 years, longer than the 24 I have so I will call them old timers). This is before Regan was president of the USA.
They subscribe to all news magazines include India Tribune, India Today, India Blitz, India XXX, India YYY and anything to do with TANA, ATA, FIA and any other local and national magazines, and actually read them. Many of them are free on the Internet, but the old timers have been paying for subscriptions for so long, they really don’t care if they pay for them year after year. They really read them.
Live in the best neighborhoods and in the biggest homes in USA.
Really grow Jasmine, Mint, Roses and various Indian spices in their homes. Some old timers really are serious gardeners and grow tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.
They are very bad investors in India.
They build lots of Temples, lots of Indian Associations, and donate to just about every charitable cause they can think of. Try asking them for donation and they will give it to you.
They are very rich and aunties have more gold than Fort Knox.
Their preferred automobiles are Mercedes, BMW and Lexus, although lots of them drive Toyotas. This Toyota thing is probably in our genes.
They are real volunteers and help with all causes.
I think they are just now getting into diet, health and exercise. They still love Indian food and still remain fully traditional.
They worry about their children’s weddings and future, just like all Indian parents.
They love India, although they complain of facilities. Lots of them have built beautiful places in India although they never live there.
They are good folks, and they care about everything.
I watch CNN, and read of Yahoo or MSN for my daily dose of intelligence.
I don’t cook too much so go to family, friends and restaurants on a daily basis so I can eat Dosa, Idli and Indian sweets. No matter what I eat everyday I crave for Rice, Dal, Potato, Pickle and sour cream. It somehow is not the same without the basic Indian diet.
I have no expertise on Indian politics, cinema or current changes in the sociopolitical environment.
I speak very good Telugu from the olden days, and still read as much as possible in Telugu. I do watch occasional movie and I like happy movies. I especially don’t like violence in movies. I like songs, heroines in traditional clothes and comedy.
I swear a lot when I speak Telugu, and the foul language sounds good.
I like to go to India often, but fall sick as soon as the plane lands in Bombay and immediately start taking antibiotics, but never stop to eat, party and visit family and friends until I get really sick.
I never owned a Toyota.
I never changed the name from Vasu to Vic or something easier.
I am a very bad, management failure and serially failed investor in India, but I continue to love to do business in India. Nothing beats the old country. Even if I lose money, the country is great, people are great and food is great. Why worry about a little loss here and a little loss there?
I really like India.
These are my personal observations and please direct any comments to me. Andhra Vilas publishes my articles without any editing.
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