Yachts sailing on Charles River Basin, Boston, MA, USA.
Day before yesterday, I returned from a two week trip to Massachusetts. I liked the US. It is a pretty nice country. Almost everyone who returns from the US speaks highly of the technological advancement, excellent highways, law and order, cleanliness, etc. they see in that country. Our country has tried a little to replicate the materialistic and tangible good things they have pretty well. The shopping malls, vending machines, the buildings of software companies, pubs, etc. of our country are very much like what they have. The stronger our country becomes economically, the more we would be able to emulate the US in this aspect. This aspect of the US is indeed very impressive.

I was more impressed by another aspect of the US: their culture. Respect, gratitude and freedom of expression seem to be deeply ingrained into their culture. I wish we could have some of it in our country as well. I'll list down some good things that I found in their culture that I would very much want in our country.

  1. Respect: I was not used to so much respect and friendly behaviour. In fact, in the first few days, I found it annoying when people who did not know me greeted me with 'Hi! How are you doing?'. But gradually, I got used to it. If I walked into a store, the cashier or some helper would greet me. If I walked into the office, the receptionist would greet me. If I stepped into a bus, the operator would greet me. If a pedestrian steps onto a zebra crossing with no signals near it, all vehicles stop and wait for the pedestrian to cross the road. There are proper rules to resolve what happens when two vehicles approach a crossroad at almost the same time. Usually, the traffic lights would stop the traffic on one road while the other road is in use, or it would ask the vehicles on one road to cross only when there is no vehicle on the other road. When there are no traffic signals to help, one who arrives at the crossroads first is the one who should be allowed to cross it first. What if there is some confusion in spite of all these elaborate rules? In my two week stay, I found that in case of confusion, one driver requests the other to cross first by using hand gestures.
  2. Gratitude: They thank you for almost every little thing they can. They just need an excuse to thank you. Here is an example. While walking into the office, I opened the door and entered. Suddenly I heard a voice from behind, "Thank you". I didn't even know there was someone behind me but he cared to thank me perhaps because he felt that I made it easier for him to enter by opening the door.
  3. Passion: I found them to be passionate about their work. It didn't seem like that they become engineers and doctors because their parents ask them to. They seemed like people who love what they do. However, it would be wrong to draw this conclusion from such a short stay in the US. Irrespective of whether this is true or not, I would definitely want the kids of our country to have the freedom to choose what they want to do.
  4. Love: Young couples express their love freely. It is common to see couples hugging or kissing in public. I am not sure why people of our country are shy of expressing love but do not hesitate to express hatred in front of the whole nation. Love is a good thing. Hatred isn't very pleasant.

3 comments

Srujan Das said:

Hey, you been here? Yeah I very much second your opinions. I felt the same in first month of my stay here.

Susam Pal said:

Yes, Srujan. I was there for 2 weeks.

Kevin Rodrigues said:

I haven't been to the US but I have experienced the same things in Norway.

Everywhere I went I was treated with utmost respect and people always have a Hello or Thank you on their lips.

Cleanliness is to such an extent that you could sleep on the streets and not get dirty.

The work culture there is excellent with people at all positions being quite friendly unlike the corporate culture that we Indians follow.

And the fitness level of the people is amazing because of the various outdoor activities like running, swimming, cycling, skiing that they passionately follow.

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