My friends know that there have been roadworks going on outside my house every day for the last few weeks, Sundays included. Today I noticed a woman labourer working on the road outside my house. This is a familiar sight in India, although unheard of in the west. The women's saris add a splash of colour to the otherwise drab atmosphere and they always seem to retain their grace and dignity in spite of working in such a rough job.
Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.
Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …
What Is Culture? I’m opening this blog
post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as
‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are. Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And
also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance,
theatre and cinema. It’s quite a
comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.
The Journey I was born in what is
commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of
my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live
here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still
evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But
in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads
about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long
after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things
to me like ‘in the …
Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.
We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…