Melting Pot

A contentious issue raging in my family as I am sure it does in many other families, is the subject of migration. During my travels in Europe recently, I recognised noticeable number of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin men and women. A significant number of retail shops in Barcelona were run by asian origin families. In many ways its a melting pot of cultures. India too is no different. Having been invaded and visited by mongols, huns, arabs and Europeans, our ethnic origins are hardly indigenous anymore.

The question remains how good or bad is this? All seriousness apart, I am a strong believer in migration. India is a classic example of a melting pot. But history apart, today the sheer variety of wonderful food that one can find between one city and the other is a testament to the utility of the “melting pot”. Between the south indian bisibele bath and the kashmiri wazwan and the luchi and koshohari mangsho in bengal and the khichdi in gujrat, nothing illustrates the importance of national integrity like all the flavours that treat the senses.

Hard to also forget all the good looking people that emerge from a melting pot. Barcelona a city that I absolutely fell in love with, stood out for the sheer concentration of beautiful women. As I was telling a friend recently, it isn’t a city of men and women . Rather, it is a city of gods and goddesses. I am given to understand that because Barcelona has had people from so many different parts of the world living there, the resulting glow and radiance among its people is inevitable. India is no different. Women from every part of India have distinct features and few other places in the world allow for the opportunity to celebrate diverse feminine beauty as India does.

One must however caution oneself against celebrating migration so quickly. Migration also leads to a dangerous infection called exchange of ideas and history shows that nothing good can come out of it. Christopher Colombus introduced sexual violence and ethnic cleansing in the Americas. Christian influx into India successfully convinced us to hate our bodies, body shame women especially and introduced guilt into an act our sages had branded as natural and even divine.

Another manifestation of a melting pot is the internet. Having spent a fair amount of time in this melting pot, I grew up embracing strange ideas like liberal human rights. A lot of stereotypes that had been drilled into my head went away. I made friends with people from religious backgrounds that were supposedly out to eliminate me. To my horror I discovered they would rather spend their time more usefully than being concerned with an idol worshipper in India. As my extended family will now testify, a melting pot does nothing good except to create rifts between family members and alienate older generations from the newer ones.

So speaking as a victim of the melting pot, beware of the probability of sin. But speaking as a sinner, I can say how totally worthwhile it is 😛

You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  MariaPravin and Shackman, Ramana

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4 thoughts on “Melting Pot

  1. Part of the problem with the social media as a melting pot is how nutcases can hijack innocuous posts into major crises. Take the recent Uppuma case. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/meet-the-dish-that-sparked-a-national-outrage/article19125932.ece

    When I was asked about it by a Punjabi friend I quipped that there was no outcry when the national dish of Punjab was made into a sex symbol by Kareena Kapur singing “main tho tanduri murgi hoon yar,” in Dabaang II. May be I should become the nutcase.

    I think that you will like my take on the subject.

  2. I need to visit Barcelona – and your observation about immigrants and jobs fits here as well – restaurants being the number one place for new immigrants to seek their dreams

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