Thursday, 5 July 2012

confused or not I love being Indian

I do.  I wouldnt have it any other way, being Indian and loving it.  I do wish though that people, and by that I mean some Singaporeans, would take the time to understand how many different types of Indians there are.
I do get asked often if I speak Tamil.  Nothing wrong with that but they usually follow that question with another one asking me why I dont speak Tamil as I am an Indian..........  heres the education part of this post.....
ok so maybe Punjab isnt so close to Nepal
India is divided into 28 states and according to a 1961 census 1,652 languages are spoken.  Mind Boggling?  indeed! 
So dont assume that if a person looks Indian, they will speak the same language as another Indian.
I may be Indian and I may understand some Hindi, but I am Punjabi, my family  comes from the north of India, close to the Pakistan and Nepal borders.  Punjab is a Persian word meaning Land of the 5 rivers, it is also known as the bread basket of India.  The British ruled India from 1858 to 1947 and in 1947 when they gave India its Independence, they divided her into two parts.  The Muslims didnt want to be ruled by the Hindus, and vice versa,  so the British drew a line and gave sections to each of the two major religions.  What is Bangladesh today was East Pakistan, and when they did draw that line down the map, they also broke up Punjab.  Alot of Sikh and Hindu families from the Pakistan side lost land, basically everything when they had to move to the India side.  In turn the Muslims moving to the Pakistan side also were dealt the same blow.
**If you want to read more on this partition,  my two favourite books on the subject are,  one by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, called Freedom at Midnight and the other by Kushwant Singh called Train to Pakistan.**
 In the years to follow, Punjab was further divided to create Haryana and some taken into Himachal Pradesh.

There are Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Punjabis, I was born a Sikh Punjabi but we all know I am not a believer of religion, so I just tell people I am Punjabi.  Then there is also the caste system to deal with and the different regions in Punjab itself!

So dont assume I speak Tamil just because I am Indian.  There is a whole history of where I come from and what my ethnicity reveals about my race.  I am proud of being a Punjabi Indian Cosmopolitan Singaporean (see how easy it is to be a confused Indian) and I embrace all the differences that make me who I am!

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