Thursday, April 6, 2006

Columnist from India finds hospitality in rural Tennessee

Tennessean columnist Saritha Prabhu of Clarksville paints a picture in this column of life as a newcomer in rural Tennessee.

"We learned that what newcomers usually encounter here are warmth and graciousness, that Southern hospitality can sometimes rival Indian hospitality, that when you visit with someone around these parts, you are likely to walk away with some home-grown produce or a jar of home-canned jam, that when you first move into your house, your neighbor down the hill will likely come over with muffins straight from the oven and introduce herself."

"I'd be lying if I gave the impression that everything was just hunky-dory. There were a few veiled attempts to 'save' our souls, some covert racism, but probably no more than if an American family had gone to live in an Indian town."

"In retrospect, the INS probably did us a favor — our Erin years gave us a more rounded understanding and appreciation of our adopted country. Gandhi once said, 'India lives in her villages,' and the same can probably be said of any country."

"And what we mostly saw was goodheartedness sometimes covered with a gruff manner."

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