Tuesday, 8 October 2013

IBCD - Indian Born Confused Desi

ABCD? I think India today, is facing the IBCD syndrome. I don't think Indians born in America are half as confused as this generation of Indians born in India. While all my American born Indian cousins are putting in that extra effort to stay connected to their roots, I feel those of us in India feel a little need to do so and end up doing the exact opposite. Take me for example. While I spent my childhood learning classical Karnatic music I gave it up to learn the Guitar and gave up learning Bhartanatyam for learning French.

My grand parents often mention how Indian girls in the USA always dress up in Sarees and Half Sarees for every occasion and are so talented as classical dancers and musicians and they always see pictures of us on facebook wearing clothes that are "too western". It makes me think about all those parents on TV in India who think their kids are talented because they can dance on Sheela-ki-javaani or the Telugu version of my humps. Ugh!

Indian kids so heavily consume American pop culture, that they use this slang without even realizing it. The English we speak is no longer the British English we were taught at school but the American English we learnt off sitcoms, series or movies. In schools, it is no longer 'cool' to watch Hindi daily soaps but HIMYM or South park or Suits. There are so many terms in a family guy episode which strictly apply only to the american context but we have adapted, learnt their meanings or just LOL along. Does it not make you squint a little, on being compared to Indian portrayal of Appu  in The Simpsons or Raj in The Big Bang Theory every time you meet a foreigner? Yes, we ALL talk like that and nod our heads! Alright, maybe the stereotypes are there for a reason, and probably some of them are even true, but it sure is annoying.

Kids no longer address their friends as "Yaar" or "Bhai" but as "Dwagg" or "Nigga". Nor do they use words as "Jhand" or "Chops" or "Teri ___" but use "Snap!" or "Burn!" or "Yo mama!" instead. The average age at which one learns to swear has come down drastically and its pathetic to see the primary wing kids use some of the words we learnt in high school (and which my parents tell me they learnt in college). While I do agree this is the case in most affluent schools, the APS schools are not far behind.

The over use of words like "like" and "totally" and "super" (well, I like super) some how gives the feeling that one has limited vocabulary, but they actually work just fine.
If you don't have words to describe your weekend/day/party/dress/food/shoe/tie/dog/BF/gift/ceiling fan/light bulb or anything else, just fill in the blanks with any of those words from above, say it with the same enthu and it works every time- Best _____ Ever! For example, Best Party Ever! or Best ceiling fan Ever! See I told you so.
Or if you are falling short of words to reply to a simple question like "How was _____ ?" you can leave it at: It was Epic!
And even though "So" is a concluding word, you can start any statement with it. "So, this one time, I was like eating and...." Booyah!

So, I started to write about this because when I hang around kids these days, they go on with stories like "I was so smashed last night that I puked all over the floor and the next day all I did was veg out in front of the TV. Check out this pic from last night on Facebook, it has to be the Best-Photo-Bomb-Ever! This noob tried this stunt and it turned out to be an epic Fail! And even though I had never tried it before I totally pwned him! Brb, I gotta zit I need to pop. I <3 the new look. That's so sick!(coz being sick is the coolest thing ever!) I totally nailed it but my life is totally miserable because she is a total hater!" It makes we feel like I am at the shooting of Mean Girls.

Even though I might sound totally disapproving right now, I am guilty of using a lot of the above phrases myself and my use of the word "kids" is very generic and includes ages 11-35(and anyone else who is "cool" and does not fall under this category). I don't know where I picked up these terms from or can't even place a finger on when I first heard them but i'm sure there is an entire generation of us(or two) who feel the same way. 

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