Indians are competitive. We are competitive in every possible thing that we can be.
As a child, I remember the competition to get the best grades. Later, it was SAT scores and colleges. After that, it was careers. Then came marriage and children.
It was also happening within the community outside of our Indian one but it was definitely amplified within it.
It didn’t matter if we were in the top 10 of our class in our school, we had to also to better than the people we were growing up with (or at least comparable).
I’m positive that there is always some talk about who is married and who has had kids and who is a stay at home mom and who is a working mom. There’s definitely competition in who has the best wedding and the most original wedding and the most expensive wedding.
This competition exists in whatever we do. I’ve experienced it heavily in different dance companies. The crazy thing to me is that I honestly believe we limit our potential as a culture if we compete.
We want to be able to share how wonderful the Indian culture is with the world. But how can we do that when we try to keep each other down? We want to involve and encourage as many people as possible.
So the question becomes why? Why should we encourage others in our community? What if they are our competition for schools and jobs? What if their business competes directly with ours? Won’t it hurt us?
In my opinion, no. I’ve seen the discouragement and disappointment of a competitive community and I’ve seen the amazing community that people can build if they have each other’s support. In the long run, everyone moves forward if we work together and lift each other up. Maybe, just maybe, India with its billion of people can have more of a presence world-wide. We could enter in the Olympics and have more than 4 people. We could be more than a side-note in the entertainment industry (especially since India makes the most movies in the world). We could build a great, progressive country that is respected.
I honestly believe this all starts at home. Build each other up. Encourage each other. Help each other move forward.