Thursday, October 23, 2014

Q: Gurudev, Despite all the developments and the abundance of spiritual wealth in our country, why are the youngsters still yearning to go abroad? India does not seem to them as a place worth living.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Well, it is good that our people go abroad. There are many opportunities in other countries.
If you observe today, people everywhere are traveling and spreading their roots in different countries. It is only us Indians who are not traveling and spreading our roots in other countries.
What is important is, once we settle abroad, we should not change and forget our roots and our traditions. We should maintain our cultural identity even after moving to a foreign country.
This is what used to happen earlier. Someone would be known by the surname ‘Chauhan’, but after migrating to another country, he would change his name to Peter.
Someone who called himself as Krishna changes his name to Chris after moving to a foreign country.
So in earlier days, people used to change their names once they moved to a foreign country. It does not happen any more these days. Though I have heard that people who work in call centres in cities like Mumbai often change their names. You should not change your original name. Keep your name and your cultural identity intact.
In China, where there is a predominance of Chinese people, even the signboards are written in Mandarin and not in English. Similarly, if you travel to Vancouver in Canada, in certain areas you will see that signboards are written in Punjabi. This is because the Punjabi people who migrated to Canada to make a living have kept their culture and traditions alive.
Even today, they have constructed and maintained Gurudwaras there. Many Punjabis there have taken up farming as a full time profession and are earning very well, but they do not know to speak in English.
They have not forgotten their language and culture. We need to promote the same kind of sentiment in India also. People in India must feel a sense of pride towards their language and culture. We all need to work towards that.

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