Category Archives: Travel

Perceiving things our own way

“Are you married?” asked a German girl from the school we’d gone on the exchange trip to. “No, of course not!” I said. This isn’t a question that any fifteen year old, normal Indian teenager would expect to be asked. “Well, it’s just that we thought Indians marry when they’re fifteen”. Question: When did that happen?

I did not find it as offending as I did when I thought about it later. We’d known Germany only from the Nazi history that we learned at school, and have never dreamed it to be much different. However, what awaited us were not racism or hard looks, but welcoming arms and open, sincere smiles. And most of the pre-departure presentations seemed a little exaggerating- we found our new friends as good-natured and merry as our friends back home, even more enthusiastic maybe. We were ready to respect, admire and know about cultures rather than believing in pre-defined admonitions about them.

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