"I've been backpacking through India for the past six months, and one of the most fascinating parts of my travels has been the responses I get when I say I am from America. In villages and smaller towns, people react with either awe or anger. Whether positive or negative, the response is usually so passionate that it is sometimes difficult to answer the barrage of questions about anything from Britney Spears to George W. Bush to Las Vegas. However, when I travel to places like Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore, the response is much different. The jet-setting, speak-five-languages, work-hard, party-hard crowds in these Asian cities are unlike any group of people I've ever met. They're more elegant than the Upper East Side, hipper than Williamsburg and faster than Chelsea. While Americans are disdained for being imperialist consumers in the villages, Americans are simply behind the times in the fancy enclaves of cities. Anti-Americanism is difficult to handle, but apathy toward America might be even more unsettling. As a child of the 1980s, I've never known America to be anything but an unmatched superpower. It's particularly strange to be in the part of the world that is considered the next frontier. Maybe this is why Americans don't travel as much as others around the globe. It's not easy finding out you're not at the center of the universe anymore. That said, it's amazing to be traveling at this moment in history; being out here has given me a humbled perspective to bring home. In the end, that's not such a bad thing."
- Sara Weston at New Delhi, India (Newsweek, Jul 7/ Jul 14, 2008)
Thursday, July 3, 2008
a piece of sharing in Newsweek which talks about how a youngster looks at his American identity in this "post-Americanism" world. It is not as egoistic as we used to think. And his fleshy cultural experience in Asia could not be more intriguing...