Just as Penny of Big Bang Theory tells Sheldon “it’s not what it looks like” the above topic is not what it actually means. I am not writing for or about any MNC as they are famously know, but it’s working in the company of multi-national personal. Ever since I have started working in San Francisco finally the feeling of working in a foreign country has struck me. I realized that working abroad isn’t just about living far away from home missing home only when you are alone and down.
In the last five professional years and 2 student years I have mostly lived in and around INDIAN’s and have pretty much spoken the national language. Pretty much shared the INDIAN festivals and tasty yummy food. Every food I ate had to taste similar to a paneer or aroma had to have rasam’s tanginess to it and every discussion had to end with politics and corruption and of course cricket.
Nothing has really changed, I still miss all the above mentioned and much more as I write, but being in the company of multi-national professionals is a different experience. I have met and interacted with people of Russian, Thai, Japanese, Israeli, Spanish, Venezuelan, Kenyan, and Brazilian, German, Swedish, British and even Canadian origin. This is along with the usual Chinese, Pakistani, Korean, Vietnamese and Mexican forks that are predominant.
Finally it made sense why and how much we geographical Asian’s are similar in our culture, not only in the aspect of obeying our parents and family values but even in approach to money and what constitutes for worth every penny. Only when you interact with a Buddhist Chinese / Japanese / Thai you realize that their culture there is much more than INDIAN-ness in them considering Buddha was from India.
Part of Buddhism is preached in Bali language which is sibling of Sanskrit and hence their prayers are not just similar but to akin how a Hindu worship and Rudraksha beads aren’t just about restricted to Indians anymore. This also explains why the Bangkok Intl Airport is named Suvarnabhumi. One could only wish one of our airports had a similar sacred name associated with it.
Interacting with a Kenyan revealed his penchant for tropical fruits like Guava and their hatred towards Australian cricket team, and found a friend in a Brazilian who likes juicy pulpy Mangoes as much as he enjoys getting burned under the sun. A political discussion with a Venezuelan about oil and the role of Chavez in controlling it is very interesting to know. The fact that there aren’t many authentic burrito places in the United States reminds him of his favorite restaurant back home. And one can only imagine what he meant when he keeps telling that American’s do not know how to party during festivals.
Lengthy discussions with an Englishman about how British sabotaged Chicken Tikka Masala as theirs yielded successfully when he had a spicy one from Rajjot Punjabi restaurant. Everyone knows Raj Kapoor’s connection with Russian’s through his movies, but little did I know that I would be discussing about a movie where a policeman’s hands are chopped and two robbers are hired to hunt down a dacoit with a fellow Russian 4 decades later. It’s astonishing to know that most Russians of the 70s and 80s have watched Sholey and Amitabh was still the heartthrob among the Russian ladies.
And hopefully as time goes by I could experience and share enjoy the company of multination personals.