Someone once told me that he did not understand what kept India united as a nation. There was some lack of patriotic identity in a country this size with a multitude of dialects, religions and social classes. So what” glues” India together as a nation?
I think that in order to answer this question would have to spend at least a few good months in India, traveling from the Himalayas to the Andaman Nicobar Islands – This country is huge.
I talked to some friends who live here, or that are working in Europe and want to come back here – because home is where your family lives. I tried to understand the identity of Kolkatá:
“- We love food. Not only to eat but to talk about food, thoroughly describing each flavour and texture.”
– “We love to talk, “Adda” about worldly affairs, or on topics of current political, science, religion, food (it had been said, but I reinforce it).”
– “We love to travel and to experience other cultures as well as to receive and please our friends.”
– “We consider ourselves ´aatel´’intellectual’ people, we know a little bit of everything and even if we do not know, we always have an opinion to give. We can spend hours doing it.”
– “We love revolution! Political demonstrations in Calcutta happen daily, and there is nothing more liberating than to join a crowd and shout: “Jobab Jobab chai dao” “We want answers, give us answers” but if we are asked what the question was, most people there do not know it…”
– “We love music. Not only to listen to music but also to sing. – When we were kids we used to take a playlist to a shop near our school (South Point) to record it on tapes. Our school had (just our class) had 10 sections of 60 students each. We used to compete by section, such was the size of our class. The school was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of students per class. The only reason we met was because we belonged to the same section … I had no idea who were the other children. What I remember best from school days were those rainy days when the streets were flooded and we couldn’t go to school or alternatively “Bandh“ day, Strike! Oh what a joy …”
– We love shopping: clothes, perfumes, jewellery and books. We love reading and visiting libraries.
– We love to discuss and talk about love, yes, we are deep in our thoughts…
– We love to dance to all kinds of music. Oh, you must come here in Durga Puja …”
What is this the Durga Puja? I’ll leave something for the next post 😉