Nabarun means “Morning sun”. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Swedes I’ve met say that it sounds very spiritual. They refer to India as a spiritual country. Some people have posters or small statues of our gods at home as they think they look so cool. Does that offend me as an Indian? No, not at all! It’s totally fine to be interested in a culture and its religion without “buying the whole package”. I don’t blame anyone for liking our food either. I was happy to find some Indian restaurants here in Stockholm. Yum!
Young Western people come to seek mystical wisdom in India. I think they expect to see painted cows, women in colourful clothes and old men with long beards sitting cross-legged playing sitars in every corner of the modern cities. Maybe they think the air is vibrating with spirituality and that every word spoken sounds “deep”. Perhaps they think we Indians are totally altruistic. Although my native country has some of these features (in moderate doses) it's much more complex than that. Just like any other country it’s changing and becoming modern. Sorry if I disappoint some Swedes when I say that.
Well, so that is what some Swedes say about my country. In all I believe they have a positive picture of India, even though it's a bit too romantic. When I came to Sweden I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared to meet the warm summers. I thought it would be dead cold all the time. To my shame I came here with the stereotypical picture of Swedish blondes as I had heard they were easy to pick up and not very bright. Yes, I’m ashamed of that now. How ridiculous! I realise that. I’m a modern man and see woman as equal to man. So far I haven’t met one Swedish female who reminds me of that blonde stereotype. They all strike me as intelligent. Often they come across as tougher than Swedish males.
Studying Swedish is tricky. Luckily I know English and that helps the learning process. I think Swedish is an unadorned and beautiful language. It’s an ordeal trying to handle languages that uses another alphabet than I’m used to. Maybe I’ll be able to write a new post in Swedish one day.
Nabarun (guest blogger)
Nabarun is 24 years old and comes from Delhi, India. Now he is in Stockholm, Sweden, studying and working.