Friday, February 10, 2012

An American Celebrity in South India?

In the title I put SOUTH INDIA because I realized when I am making statements I am just referring to India rather than specific areas.  I apologize for this and will be more mindful of my statements because I definitely do not want to generalize-not at all. 
Walking around the streets of India, I would think that a “foreigner” with white skin would get much more attention that me. Again, I expected to just wear traditional Indian clothing and blend in, but this does not happen.  Instead, I walk down the streets waiving, smiling, and am asked for photos constantly. 
It is something I did not expect at all and nor do I feel deserving of all this attention.  At touristic sites, it is expected for foreigners to get attention, but it can be quite overwhelming. At temples, parks, markets, and museums people are always approaching asking for photos and when I say "America" the visual expression on their face always surprises me.

Going out in upscale clubs, parties and venues in New  York, LA, Chicago-you like the lights, camera, glitz, and glamour, but in India-not so much.  When in a museum, I like my silence and do not want to be bothered.  When I am meditating, I do not want to be interrupted.  When I am walking for lunch, I do not want to be followed.  People are usually respectful and ask to take a photo, but there are those that are taking photos of me at the beach, when eating lunch, and that is just strange. 
In any guide book or talking with any traveler, they will tell you get used to a lot of staring.  I guess it is really a step above staring.  It is not negatively impacting my trip, but it something to write about and share with others.  I think I am struggling with the fact that I am just a imperfect human being like everyone else. Being from America, I do not feel I deserve such respect. 


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