The recent incident of stealing hotel accessories in Bali, Indonesia by some Indian tourists have not only brought a bad reputation for themselves, but the image of our nation has been affected to a great degree by their irresponsible acts. These tourists had been caught and the goods stolen were recovered by the hotel authority while they were departing Indonesia. The investigators videographed the episode. The video clip has gone viral across the globe through social media. The social media users aggravated the situation by publicising it repeatedly. It’s so shameful to bear and digest what happened.
We as a nation has to bear the burnt just because some of our fellowmen committed an undesired act. Our collective etiquettes and behaviours need to undergo a transformation. Some of the glaringly prominent behaviours by many Indians could be seen quite often during any travel. These issues need urgent attention and corrective measures. I am a traveller and keep crisscrossing the globe quite frequently. I have learnt some good things from experiences and at times through my mistakes.
When you travel by air, you will always notice people reaching out for their cabin bags while aircraft is still taxing, some push other’s cabin bags to accommodate their own, some get restless to disembark and rush to the aisle while taxing. You will see people taking pride in breaking the queues while checking-in or embarking an aircraft. There’s another group who shouts at the queue-breakers. It’s a common scenario everywhere and undoubtedly chaotic. Blocking ways on travellators, crowding in front of an elevator, peeking at someone’s phone screen, speaking loudly in public places, not switching off the mobile phones in spite of repeated announcements by a plane crew, arguing with crew and staring at people are common scenes we come across in the airports. Some are very smart, they avail wheelchair assistance to board a plane on a priority basis while the same person is perfectly fit at the destination. No wonder, quite often direct India-bound planes are taxied at a remote location or gate in a foreign airport because we need special handling.
On top of that, some outdated planes are scheduled for India. It’s a clear discrimination.
Visa is another hassle for Indians passport holders. While visa requirements have been liberalised and made easy by several countries of the world, however, the requirements and processes for India is still stringent! Why? We have a doubtful global image and maybe that’s why many other nations still have some apprehensions to treat us at par with others.
We see the same manners and behaviours in hotels and resorts. Many eat with their eyes. They surrender to the lust of their eyes. They take more food on their plates than what they can consume in a buffet meal. Some fill-in their personal water bottles from the hotel water cans. Littering public places seems to be one of our genetic characters. If we can keep our homes and premises clean why we cannot care for the public places? Overall, our collective unruly manners and behaviours are notably unacceptable, yet we endure.
The recent Bali incident reinforces ‘what we are’ in the minds of the world. No matter how silly or grave is that incident, we should not justify it at all. I will be in Bali in a couple of weeks from now; what bothers me is the thought of what will they think when they see a person from India. I can imagine their line of thinking and that’s natural. The Balinese are one of the finest law-abiding people in the world. The culture, religion and thoughts of the Balinese are a heritage of India, yet they are uniquely different when it comes to etiquette and behaviour.
We need a redemption from such impression not only in Bali, but anywhere. We, as a nation need to undergo an etiquette and behavioural revolution. We are economically and technologically advancing well, but still the gap of civilised etiquettes and behaviours create a negative impression in the eyes of the world. An educational plan and strategy on teaching ‘etiquettes and manners’ can transform India to a great nation!