Indian social hierarchy
Society in India is built in such a way that, we have to respect people who are elder than us.
When we meet some one who is older than us,we automatically give them the position of a brother/sister. Society has already defined the social structure in India. So very often i don’t have to gain the respect of some one who is younger than me. They automatically give us respect and assume that we are wiser than them. When i meet some person who is the age of my father, i refer to them as ‘uncle’. The same goes to Women. When i meet my mother’s friend, i refer to her as ‘aunty’. It might seem funny to someone who is outside of India. How can i call some who is not my blood relative as uncle or aunty right? That would be frowned upon in Poland
Meanwhile in Poland, there are no such rules imposed by the society. People who are older, doesn’t automatically become Your brother or Sister. Respect and privilege are not earned by age, but simply through friendship and by getting to know the other person. Very often people who are young become managers, or bosses in Poland. It is something Normal. There is no shame in calling some one who is younger than Yourselves as ‘boss’.
In the beginning, it was very hard for me, (and it still is)to accept the fact that, someone younger than me was barking orders at me or talking to me like a friend. Suddenly i wasn’t given the respect i was given back home. The biggest problem is talking with youngsters on a daily basis at work and in daily life. When some one who is at least 5 or 6 years older than me, tells me to do something or laughs at me for any silly mistakes that i make, my blood usually boils and it makes me very angry. I know this is not a trait which i have to be proud of. But please understand that in India the social norms were completely different. Polish social norms are still very alien to me.
Just the other day i was talking to a young guy at work. During our conversation he said something which sounded like he was barking an order at me. I got really pissed off and said something back in reflex. I couldn’t control it.
Basically to survive in Poland, I had to totally forget all the rules i had learned back home. This was in fact a bad idea because I was not following the rules which i was raised upon. I stopped becoming respectful towards elders. It took me a long time to realise what i was doing wrong. Nowadays I have much more ease in functioning in Poland. I have learned to accept that people are equal no matter what their age, or sex is. Often at times when i catch myself having that old feeling, i take a moment to calm myself down. I treat people with respect and at the same time demand that they respect me.