The Stereotype of Intolerance Essay
The Stereotype of Intolerance
I have many international friends in my area, with whom I have shared good times and bad. I have slept in their homes, and even been considered by their parents a genuine part of their families. Yet I disliked the fact that Indian families may often act only the basis of emotions. I blamed their emotionally charged natures on the Indian soap operas they watched day after day. I disliked those Indian shows even though I had watched only two of them in my entire life. Still, I knew that it was best not to feel negative emotions in myself. I had to stop being stereotypically intolerant, after all, and love my friends as I loved my own family.
The Indian dramas that my friends’ families loved to watch daily were just slow motion pictures in my opinion. Each moment of each drama focused on lethargic and unreal adventures in emotions. Nothing went very far. Crying; getting offensive about everything under the bright blue sky; and blaming one another were the themes of the shows. I disliked them with all my heart. And, whenever it was time for my friends’ families to watch those Indian shows, I found myself leaving their homes. I was even uncomfortable leaving in those moments, given that my own negative emotions were obnoxious enough to seem to strangle me because I did not understand them at all.
In order to understand my emotions, in the face of the fact that I loved my Indian “families,” I made an effort to watch “Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee” (2006) with my friends another time. While watching the show this time, I was observant of my own reactions and feelings. At the same time, I observed the others in the TV lounge watching the show with me. Two of Vijay’s aunts sobbed during the show. To my surprise, Vijay, his mom, and his dad also started to laugh during the show soon after I had witnessed the sobbing aunts. I relaxed there and then, and from that point on, the show was a breeze.
Even though “Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee” lasts only thirty minutes each time, five days a week, I disliked it the first two times I watched it. I believed that it was the TV drama that had taught my Indian friends to overreact to certain emotional issues in the past. I also believed that the emotional drama was a bad influence on me.
Obviously, I was being oversensitive at the same time as I blamed the drama for teaching oversensitivity to its viewers. Besides, I was not thinking that it is the individual himself with the prerogative to allow conditioning of any sort. Nobody can force us to be influenced by anything. Thus, being stereotypically intolerant is nobody’s problem except our own. The good news is that it is possible for us to get rid of our stereotypes by analyzing them like I did.
Now I have stopped detesting the Indian shows that I previously could not digest. I can stay in my friends’ homes as long as I please. Apart from this, I have understood that my Indian “families” have a right to feel and believe whatever they do. Choosing emotions over the intellect many a times is their choice and responsibility. And if I love them, I must do so regardless of the different perspectives we have about dealing with ourselves and others.
While I imagine that I am granting my Indian friends this “space to breathe,” in actuality this space is mine to occupy. I give up my stereotypical intolerance today – and for ever – but only after realizing that I had adopted this stereotype subconsciously, or perhaps just by observing it in society. After analyzing this stereotype, I feel like a different, freer person altogether. For sure, it was difficult to breathe in negativity.
“Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee.” Star Plus (30 December 2006). TV Series.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 March 2017
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