Reading MM’s post and associated comments made my thoughts go many different ways. I formulated comment upon comment in my mind but realized there was no cogency to my thoughts. Instead of spewing half baked rubbish on her blog, I figured I might as well use this space to put my thoughts out.
I agree that there is no black and white, right or wrong answer but having lived in a country other than the one I grew up in for a few years now, these questions have been asked, debated and discussed ad nauseam in the different circles in which I move. I remember Poppins had written a post on this topic a long while ago which still resonates with me. Whether it is moving from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka or across to the seas, I think we owe it to ourselves to incorporate something of the new culture of which we are part. Now, the borders are unclear on this one. How much is too much?
Learning Kannada when in Karnataka or learning to celebrate Vasant Hubba to me is as important as retaining my tradition of keeping Golu or keeping kanu pidi for Sankranthi. Imbibing local flavors into cuisine or participating in local festivals helps us grow roots. It causes a sense of belonging. More importantly, it makes it easier for the locals to find a common mooring point. A start to new associations. By setting up a Christmas tree, having a Thanksgiving dinner with family or giving out candy for Halloween, I feel part of my new circle. To me acceptance means much and this is my way of finding acceptance.
However, should the Government mandate it? Even if they did what is defined as integration? Where would the boundaries lie? How would that be any different than ethnic cleansing?
Like I said my thoughts are muddled and the questions remain.