quarta-feira, 1 de março de 2017


By Arjun Singh Bahti (Jaisalmer, Índia)

Golden rings in the ears, a thick moustache, and a colorful turban: this was the image of a perfect man in our society some years ago.
I had two golden earrings in my ears when I was studying at Jodhpur University in western Rajasthan. One day I noticed that whenever I entered the class, a group of girls always laughed at me. I asked them why. And there was a very funny reply. They told me that in South India, earrings are always worn by ladies. 
“You look like a girl,” a voice came from the group. Well, that was a big challenge for a boy who was thinking he was a perfect man. The girls came from South India, and they were studying here because their parents were working in Jodhpur. 
After some days I came back home. I told the funny story of the earrings to my grandparents. I told them what the South Indians thought about me. My grandfather became a little angry and said, “The man who does not wear earrings is, of course, a woman.” 
Well, I was a perfect man for my grandparents, having earrings. At the same time, the South Indian girls had a different idea about me. 
I took a decision and removed one of the earrings when I went back to college. I told my classmates that with a ring I am a man of tradition and without an earring, I am a man for a South Indian. But the mistake I made was that I removed the wrong one. 
I had no idea what mistake I had made. After some months when I was in Jaisalmer, a foreigner called me and asked me about the ring I had in one of my ears. I told him the whole story. And then I heard something that made me run away from the place. I rushed back home and removed the ring from my ear. Now, either I wear both of the rings or remove both of them. 
I came to know how different cultures have different meanings for different objects.

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