By Anjali Grover
An unparalleled assortment of cultures, a unique blend of values and an unmatched fusion of people from countries across the globe – I have been in an expat in this foreign land for a few years now and I treasure my association with this country for its diversity.
My circle of friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances here come from different walks of life, from territories near and far. They symbolize customs and traditions, they epitomize beliefs and values, but more than anything they exemplify life at the most fundamental level- as one of its kind individuals- distinctively unique and inimitably special.
It is beautiful to connect with them at this elementary level – as personalities beyond nationality and religion, gender and age, accent and color.
But what happens when amidst all variety and diversity, you suddenly meet someone who has belittling views on people based on the passports they hold and the nationalities they represent? Well, it hurts….
Recently I met someone with narrow and utterly suffocating views about people based on their nationalities. He spoke with an air around him, constantly forgetting the thin-line that separates stereotyping and racism. What a disaster, I thought, a loss to the organization he works for and an embarrassment for the profession he represents.
Felt sorry for him, wished him wisdom and luck, and walked out of the meeting and back into the world I have known- it is bright, global and multi-cultural. It has respect for where people come from, it values for what they bring to the table in terms of experiences and skills and it has the maturity to see everyone with equality.
And I am sure I am not the only one has witnessed this cohesion and inclusion, most of us have. I am not the only one who has had the opportunity to work with some genuine and authentic people who value every person for being unique and special in his own ways, most of us have had it. And I am not the only feels honored and gratified for this exposure with diversity, most of us do.
Yes, there are issues and challenges, host of them! but not so grave that we start boxing and labeling people – and that too in a place like this, where respect for diversity and appreciation of differences is what defines the country.
It’s a beautiful world and if you believe in it too, then come on in…