|Ms. Universe 1994: Sushmita Sen|
We generally call the people of India as Bombay here in the Philippines and like any foreign nationals we have made a stereotype image of them, and although some of these images may have been mostly untrue; they at least mirrors the clashes and mingling of two distinct culture that basically ignorance of each others character spell the big differences. I'm here to reflect on why Indian are special people to us even though we have a love-hate affair with them.
As Filipino you can not erase to us the image of a Bombay (read as boom-bay) riding his motorcycle and sporting his enigmatic turban -- who daily would knock neighborhood's door to collect lease (we call hulog) and would in-tone underneath his curly mustache and hairy beard a unique Filipino accent, in a strange but cute intonation on syllable that was not suppose to be stressed...and that made them funny by actually sounding mechanical.
Yes, we love them when we need them for loans and we hate them when they came to annoy us daily with collections. The child would often run to his mother "Mother, Go and hide, the Boom-bay is coming!"
Usually these loans are not money but they would sell you there goods like umbrella, mosquito net, electric fan, towel, etc. Name them, they have them. And they would insist you these items even if you don't actually need them. And then in a rather unusual business practice would close the deal by words and promises. The catch to these is what we termed as 5-6 (five-six) or more than double the price of the goods but lower daily payments. Of course these business relationship often would end up in not so good scenario.
So, when you came here and heard a Filipino asked you for five-six or umbrella, don't be confused that's how we greet each other.
Well, we have similarities too even if we don't eat much of Indian cuisine. Philippine cinema like Bollywood religiously include "song and dance" scene on almost all their films. Yes, whether be it horror or drama.
|Shivaker a.k.a. Sam YG|
Lately, we had Shivaker a.k.a. Sam YG who became a popular comedian who presented to us the character of an Indian national play by a real Indian. What made him endearing to the Filipino public is how he was able to make fun of his own culture according to a Filipino perspective but still stand tall with respect and dignity.
Seriously now, I'm writing this because of my new found relationship with Bombay. Aside from Aladdin and the magic-carpet I have very little knowledge of India and only now I'm beginning to be aware of the beauty of these people. No don't get me wrong here, I'm not speaking of skin deep beauty. I've already found beauty in them many decades ago, especially Sushmita Sen the Miss Universe winner aside from Jasmine singing "I can show you the world..."
So who are these people that comprises 15% of the worlds population?
Most of my Indian friends are from the networking sites only; so the reflection on the matter will focus on this aspect. First, I've notice that they are prolific bloggers and in fact I think they now rank number one bloggers in the whole worldwide web. If we Filipinos hold the kingdom of Facebook they are the Ruler of Blog Kingdom. These blogs change a lot of my misconceptions about India.
I think partly I am seeing the heart and soul of the mystifying India. I see their passions and enthusiasm almost similar to our determinations to make a contribution to global wellness. There is of course yoga that we have adapted for our exercise routine. Their poetry that speaks the inner-heart of pure love. Amazing artworks too that are unique in their culture. How they embrace to their faith and practices with utmost respect, and little by little I am seeing many similarities how we both value families and friends. There are a lot of things I am discovering from my Indian friends and I think I'm only seeing a small portion...
Oh! Before I forgot to mention, that we are both expert in riding trains. I don't know who learned from whom but we can get in and out of a jam-packed train fast and swiftly without bumping each other.
Till, next time...continue to mystify me INDIA.