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Old 10th April 2013, 22:38   #556
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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second rated citizen
Hi All,

I guess people are hung up on the use of the above phrase and I request you all to replace that with "we will never become Americans but will be either Indian Americans or American Indians".

It was more of generic phrase used rather than the actual meaning of it to demean my/any country men.

My sincere apologies for the same and appreciate your understanding!
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Old 10th April 2013, 22:42   #557
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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Hi All,

I guess people are hung up on the use of the above phrase and I request you all to replace that with "we will never become Americans but will be either Indian Americans or American Indians".

It was more of generic phrase used rather than the actual meaning of it to demean my/any country men.

My sincere apologies for the same and appreciate your understanding!
And how is that different from being called a Panjabi, Madrasi or Chinki in India? No offence to anyone but I find it more demeaning than being called an Indo-Canadian. At least no one uses the term negatively.
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Old 10th April 2013, 22:48   #558
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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I have a 15 mile (24 kms) commute one way. It takes me 25-30 mins to reach to office. The good thing is, mine is a reverse commute during peak hour so its takes less time. If it was a normal commute during peak hour, i can easily say 1 hour or more as traffic on other sides barely move while i am driving on the other side and i observe.

Out of those 15 miles, 7 mile is Freeway - speeds around 65-75 mph and 9 miles of city - speeds around 35-45mph. On a good day, when the traffic signals are all green, it takes 20-25 mins and on a bad day with all red lights, it takes 30 mins.
I have a 18 km commute.
Out of this 10 kms is on the Outer Ring Road with a toll of Rs 10.
Speed limit used to be 120. Now its 80.

Takes me 20-25 minutes by car.
Almost the same by bike although its ridden on the service lane running adjacent to the ORR.
Cycle takes an average of 45 mins depending on the wind conditions.

This commute timing is extremely subjective.
I remember when I was in college, I used to ride my Splendour the 30 kms distance between Adyar and Vandalur in approximately 35 mins. (Chennai)

With a little bit of planning one can keep sensible commuting times. The only issue is if one is having external conditions like spouse is working in a completely different area and/or you live with your parents.

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Old 10th April 2013, 23:24   #559
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hope this adds to clarity.

I rest my case and I respect your opinions. I have my learnings from life where I cannot compromise as a second rated citizen which you ALWAYS shall be any country other than your country of birth. Good luck :thumbs
In case of India you are a second rated or even lower in your city of birth unless you are up there in class hierarchy. Move to a more diverse region and you go third rated. Probably you belong to the 0.01 percent silver spooned royalty, but for us we are second rated. A simple thing like an electricity connection requires begging. If somebody steals our property the police delay fir. For passport verification we have to beg and pay. For a simple thing like cooking has we have to run pillar to post. We have to sometime spend an extra hour in traffic because some first rated citizen has a red light on top.

So yes, as royalty you will be second rated in a foreign land. Nobody will hold up traffic for you. Nobody will arrange for you to get dl at your home. Nobody will put a speed breaker outside your house. ...
But then this is true for all Royals. One you go outside you become one with the commoners.

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Old 11th April 2013, 00:03   #560
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I have traveled to US enough number of times in last 15 years, that I carry three passports for the stamps. Before that I have traveled to Europe for 8 long years and have lived there.

I also never said US has no diversity, US offers monotony as a majority. You have to search and find the 'uniqueness' unlike India was my comparision point.
Sure, you have your opinion, so do we. I guess visiting a country for short period does not give you real perspective. It is actually no different from an American visiting India and declaring that India is filthy and poor country. Obviously there are exceptions to that opinion too as you mentioned about improved "Luxury/Life Quotient".

USA actually by design is probably the most diverse country in terms of geography as well as by demography. In my grad school lab, we had 2 Indians, 1 Turkish, 1 Iranian, 2 Americans(German origin and Israeli origin), 2 Chinese, 1 Taiwanese, 1 Vietnamese and 1 Korean. They are still probably one of my closet friends and colleagues. Same is true for my wife, whose two of the closest friends are a Chinese and an American. They still chat regularly across multiple time zones.

Unless one spends time learning about different cultures one can feel life to be quite monotonous. This is nothing different from what we have in Bangalore, where there are people from various states with their different cultures and you still only talk to the Tamils or Kannadigas.

Though if you visit mid-west like your signature suggests life can be really boring !! That I completely agree. Just like one of my friend in Bangalore who and I travel quite frequently, he visits Nebraska and Central Florida and I travel to San Diego and Toronto, so if you ask him he will probably be bored to death about traveling to US whereas I look forward to my travel.

That is in crux of the whole emigration thing. When one tries to settle in a new country, one needs to assimilate oneself in that country's culture. Otherwise one will get attached to the Little India and Little China etc.

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Old 11th April 2013, 00:48   #561
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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So yes, as royalty you will be second rated in a foreign land

Sure, you have your opinion, so do we
Dear TSK & acurafan,

Thank you and appreciate your view point, though we might not agree with each other. Great discussion!
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Old 11th April 2013, 00:52   #562
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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Originally Posted by acurafan View Post

That is in crux of the whole emigration thing. When one tries to settle in a new country, one needs to assimilate oneself in that country's culture. Otherwise one will get attached to the Little India and Little China etc.
This whole "assimilation in other culture" is easier said than done. Its easier if you go for studies and make friends in the university but its incredibly difficult if you emigrate at a later stage. People already have their friend circles and its not so easy to penetrate that.

There are other considerations as well. Food is one. People thinking of emigrating should be amenable to changing their life long food habits like vegetarianism (which is still prevelant in India). In western countries (at least the ones I've lived in like US, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden) its very difficult for vegans like me. Often theres only one or two dishes for choice and if you dont happen to like it, its your hard luck. Live on Salad. I'd say think about turning flexible with that so that you can enjoy the other place's gastronomie.

Another major issue is language. Two of my senior collegues recently emigrated (one to S Korea - joined the biggest jaggernaut on earth right now in a very senior capacity and other to Germany - joined the biggest PC chipmaker). Both came back to Bangalore in 2-3 months! Reason - incredible difficulties in adapting there. In Korea their son got ill. They couldnt explain to doctor what was wrong with him! Nobody spoke any English in the hospital (actually this I experienced in Germany also. I was hospitalised for 10 days and nobody there, not even doctors spoke English and this was in Munich where even saleswomen in shops speak english!). Anyway they were too frustrated and came back.

I guess its different strokes for different folks. Cannot be generalized. It is generally a poor reason to emigrate that you have got into a rut here in India and life will magically become better overseas. People can easily get into that in west as well. Only you yourself can come out of it. THere are a million things to do in India as well. Theres joy not just in paragliding or snowboarding or the like. There is joy in so many other things. Spend time with parents, be part of some social service groups, create your own hobby groups, join libraries or one can also cultivate all sorts of hobbies in India. nothing stops you really. Its our own inertia. When I was younger I pined for joining pool or gym or tennis etc. But now I live in a good society where we have all these facilites but I hardly ever avail them as I have gotten lazy! Facilities are there, we just have to use them. That would be same in US or any other place also. If you are not gonna use them, you will have the same lifestyle as here.

I think a particularly good reason to emigrate would be if you get an opportunity that you think can be great for your career and can help you realize any ambitions in life you might have. Else, India is not as bad to live as is being painted out here really.

Last edited by joslicx : 11th April 2013 at 01:04.
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Old 11th April 2013, 01:08   #563
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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I guess its different strokes for different folks. Cannot be generalized. It is generally a poor reason to emigrate that you have got into a rut here in India and life will magically become better overseas.
I agree, emigration is a big decision whether it is inbound or outbound. It does not magically solve all problems. Otherwise, life can be miserable in the promised land too.

Regarding the food, the most pragmatic person I have met is my boss. He is a Tamil Brahmin, never even touched egg in his life. He landed up in grad school in RPI in early 80s. Now RPI, is in upstate New York and was probably a village then. As you said only food he could eat was salad. 2 weeks in this rut he made his life changing decision about eating meat and started with a steakhouse. Life was never the same for him
I am sure it was a major life style adjustment given his father maintains a separate set of utensils when he visits him.
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Old 11th April 2013, 04:00   #564
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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There are other considerations as well. Food is one. People thinking of emigrating should be amenable to changing their life long food habits like vegetarianism (which is still prevelant in India). In western countries (at least the ones I've lived in like US, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden) its very difficult for vegans like me. Often theres only one or two dishes for choice and if you dont happen to like it, its your hard luck. Live on Salad.
I agree with you for all points except Food. I am a vegetarian and i have still maintained it for past 5 years of my stay in USA. Yes, we don't have many options while eating out especially when there is a party. At times we have to be specific about being veggies, but i have found that there are many locals who are vegetarian too so getting healthy veg options are easy to find here. Almost all restaurants carry a separate menu for veggies. At some place, many are most willing to go an extra mile to make sure you get what you want and is tasty too.

I cannot speak for other countries, but i can vouch for USA for sure. A restaurant may not have 50 options for vegetarians but they do have 10 tasty one that works just fine.

Last edited by chevelle : 11th April 2013 at 04:03.
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Old 11th April 2013, 05:18   #565
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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When I was younger I pined for joining pool or gym or tennis etc. But now I live in a good society where we have all these facilites but I hardly ever avail them as I have gotten lazy! Facilities are there, we just have to use them. That would be same in US or any other place also. If you are not gonna use them, you will have the same lifestyle as here.

I think a particularly good reason to emigrate would be if you get an opportunity that you think can be great for your career and can help you realize any ambitions in life you might have. Else, India is not as bad to live as is being painted out here really.
My society in Bangalore had a gym and i used to go there regularly. The one here also has a gym and i go there too. The difference is that the equipment in this one will beat the equipment in any paid membership gym in Bangalore. But that is just a minor point.

A good career opportunity is a nice reason to emigrate but that can not be all. One normally takes a holistic approach to this. For some it pays off, for some it doesn't. But it is not a one dimensional approach.

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I agree with you for all points except Food. I am a vegetarian and i have still maintained it for past 5 years of my stay in USA.
I know of atleast 3 people who are vegetarians (my wife included!) who dont have any trouble finding vegetarian food (with choices) in a restaurant.
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Old 11th April 2013, 09:13   #566
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

Pretty good discussion in past couple of pages. Rather than commenting on India v/s others, I will try to put my points as why (or not) one should think of relocation. These are purely based on my experience and not by any stereotype assumptions on westerners / racism etc.
  • If money is a criteria, it’s good to have definite plans before making the move, and keep the priorities intact.
  • If you want to make a move to experience something new, go with an open mind, try and know culture in your host country, mix in to the lifestyle, and avoid being judgmental.
  • Ideally for Indians, mixing into a new culture/place should be an easy task. We have different cultures and nuances in every state (sometimes within the same state), and adaptability should not be a problem. But this is where I have seen many people struggle. From what I have gathered, this boils down to your own assumptions. Within India, if someone from Kerala moves to Delhi, s/he finds comfort in the fact that they are still in India, and the acceptance is assumed. But if the same person moves to London, s/he think that 'these people' are different and will not understand me, start looking for a comfort zone (which normally will be a couple of other Indian families in similar situation). The fact is, you are not giving a chance for others to know you, and before you know an unhappy shell is formed.
  • As much as I enjoy my stay abroad, I ensure that I’ve it in my sub-conscious mind that I am the foreigner here and not the natives. More than them discriminating us as outsiders, I have seen Indians refer westerners and whites, or Chinese as yellow. From my experience, general public outside India are more aware and mindful about racist comments.
To add on, saw a few comments on racism. It’s actually a strong word to use. Every place have their resistance to foreign elements. And I believe we have a bit of double-standard views about this. If we read about a protest in New York on outsourcing jobs to Asia, or if there is a case of someone raising voice against an Asian/Indian we get angry and take it as racism. But if see a son-of-the-soil protest in an Indian city, its considered normal. I personally have seen/experienced a couple of bad experiences (listed below) in Bangalore during my two year stint in Bangalore (1998-2000).
  • A group of people went around and poured tar on the office establishment name boards which had only English. My organization was saved because they had a new name board installed (with both English and Kannada) just a week before.
  • When Rajkumar was abducted by Veerapan, the whole city was closed out. And in the night when I (along with another friend) walked out of our house to check if there is any telephone booth opened, a few dangerous looking folks surrounded us and ordered to stop talking in Malayalam, use only Kannada and made us chant “Jai Karnataka, Jai Rajkumar”.
It will be wrong on my side to label Bangalore as bad/racist, due to those one-off incidents above. I have been to the city many times after that, got married from there, have some favourite spots/food joints. And yes, I still hate those killer speed-breakers
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Old 11th April 2013, 11:14   #567
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Default Re: Emigrating to a Foreign Land! Worth it?

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Considering the quality of life here and the various shockers we get everyday in daily life, I would say we end up needing medical treatment more often! I am not sure of the life expectancy in US, but when I moved back from Europe to India, my average life expectancy dropped by 19 years!!
By life expectancy dropped you mean you landed in India and suddenly aged and/or developed a disease?

There is no doubt that living in India one is exposed to more pollution, infections, viral illnesses etc. But then, in the U.S. you are exposed to copious amounts of fat, sugar and salt in your diet, which will lead to lifestyle diseases later. In either country, if you are aware of the pitfalls and consciously try to avoid them, national averages will cease to matter.

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Old 11th April 2013, 11:25   #568
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There are other considerations as well. Food is one. People thinking of emigrating should be amenable to changing their life long food habits like vegetarianism (which is still prevelant in India). In western countries (at least the ones I've lived in like US, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden) its very difficult for vegans like me. Often theres only one or two dishes for choice and if you dont happen to like it, its your hard luck. Live on Salad. I'd say think about turning flexible with that so that you can enjoy the other place's gastronomie.
i beleive that you say this when eating out. I have seen most countries have a good supermarket where you get all sorts of vegetables fresh and hygine. So, if you haveoptions to cook at home, then this will be no longer an issue.

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Another major issue is language. ... Both came back to Bangalore in 2-3 months! Reason - incredible difficulties in adapting there. In Korea their son got ill. They couldnt explain to doctor what was wrong with him! Nobody spoke any English in the hospital
I can understand. I had similar experience a decade ago in Japan. it was a remote places, and those times english in Tokyo station itslelf was a miracle. Finally, they handed over a printout of the prescription with diagrams on how to break the tablets, how much portion to take etc

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I think a particularly good reason to emigrate would be if you get an opportunity that you think can be great for your career and can help you realize any ambitions in life you might have. Else, India is not as bad to live as is being painted out here really.
Perfectly put. Every one (or majority of us) relocates with some compromises. But the intentions are always same - better life, security etc.
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Old 11th April 2013, 12:43   #569
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I agree with you for all points except Food. I am a vegetarian and i have still maintained it for past 5 years of my stay in USA. Yes, we don't have many options while eating out especially when there is a party. At times we have to be specific about being veggies, but i have found that there are many locals who are vegetarian too so getting healthy veg options are easy to find here. Almost all restaurants carry a separate menu for veggies. At some place, many are most willing to go an extra mile to make sure you get what you want and is tasty too.

I cannot speak for other countries, but i can vouch for USA for sure. A restaurant may not have 50 options for vegetarians but they do have 10 tasty one that works just fine.
Well I've lived in US on both east (NJ) and west coast (Santa Barbara) and yes there were no particular problems with vegan food but point was lack of choice. For somebody settling down its better to leave veggie habits as otherwise 90% of the food is not for you which is your loss only.

I'll give another example. A french friend of mine invited me to his wedding in France. I was the lone vegetarian there! He had forgotten that so there was nothing to eat in the lavish meal there for me! They cooked a few potatos and gave that but it was really not good. Had I not been a veggie I could have enjoyed the meal much more. I think this kind of example is valid for US as well. If you get invited somewhere vegan choices might not be there. Its better to start consuming food as per the place.
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Old 11th April 2013, 20:39   #570
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If you get invited somewhere vegan choices might not be there. Its better to start consuming food as per the place.
Slightly off-topic but you do know the difference between vegan and vegetarian, right?
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