It never ceases to amaze me that we Indians are one grim lot in general as compared to the American way of warmly interacting with people, especially strangers.
While we struggle to even smile at people, Americans invariably smile and say “how do you do” or “how are you doing today” – be it the concierge, the receptionist, the housemaid at the hotel, or the waitress at breakfast…….or even anybody on the street or at the lobby. When somebody does that to us, we struggle to respond in an equally warm manner with a nice smile. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the way we are made, atleast the people who still live in India……may be the Indians living in the U.S. are acclimatized to the American way of people interaction.
I am not always sure whether they mean what they say, but the warmth and smile cannot be faked. I did meet a few Indians at the hotel lobby (during my vacation), and they also struggled to smile……they asked some questions and I gave them directions…..but the “thank you” words seemed difficult for them to say.
We do not thank, we do not apologize for our mistakes, and generally we do not smile at others. Hope the new generation would be different and better than us.
Let us atleast laugh at ourselves in private.
22nd May 2011