Wow! What a topic suggested by Shakman to write on for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 Blog Post! The other blogger Shackman is an American and I, an Indian. Two remarkably diverse nations. On the assumption that Shackman will be writing about the USA’s diversity, let me address ours.
India has 29 states and 7 Union Territories. My Western readers will understand the latter if I use “Federally Administered Territories.”
Its citizens speak 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects.
Every religion with all their sub-sects of the world is present here plus some odd local ones too.
Its geography encompasses mountain ranges, plains, coastal regions, huge lakes, deserts and some peculiar to India features like back waters, inland islands, mangroves and dense forests.
Its wildlife too is highly diverse with different regions home to different species. Its fauna too is highly diverse again based on regional and climatic differences.
Its people vary in colour from very fair to very dark with a great many somewhere in between.
Its history too is a fascinating collage of different types of rulers in different parts and times. Its history goes back to more than five thousand years of civilised existence and there are traces of primitive societies in existence even today.
Our politicians never tire of talking about our “unity in diversity”. While they talk, the ordinary Indian simply practices it.
Having looked at the macro India, let us take a look at the micro level. I think that I represent a fairly representative person of modern urban Indian. While such examples are more now a days with increasing exposure to the outside world, my family started the process of diversifying from my father’s generation. We had an uncle who first married a Caucasian Australian and subsequently an Anglo Indian Roman Catholic. Another uncle married outside our subcaste of Hindus as did an aunt. In my generation, I directly have two caucasian sisters in law, one a Scot and another an American Southern Belle. I married outside my language caste and religion and my son married outside our linguistic background. In the next generation we have just about all possible combinations of nationalities and religions and I have nephews and nieces who are Christians, Muslims and even Jew. That apart from the other linguistic and regional differences. So, my extended family can also be called as a very diversified one as can many other families of my friends.
Taking another area of diversity in my personal life, my blog world consists of friends from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The USA, The UK, Indonesia, and many parts of India. I visit and comment on many blogs from all over the world too. In this process of visiting and commenting, both learn from each other and are richer for that.
With modern communication methods increasingly making the world a very small place, I think that such diversified families and nations will be more the rule than the exception in the next few decades.
Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the topic. Thank you.