After my recent post on Instagram on International Day wherein me and my kids participated in a parade representing India, someone asked me "Why do you live outside India, when you love India so much?"
My answer to that is, I want my children to interact with kids from around the world and continue evolving as "Global Citizens" which does not mean we stop loving India. India will always remain in core of our hearts and by no means they can do away with their responsibilities towards our country, but have additional responsibilities towards the humankind in addition to people of India.
In my view, a global citizen is a person who is well read, well traveled, respects cultural diversity and human rights, advocates global social justice & is responsible towards humanity.
According to Urban Dictionary, Global Citizenship means:
Noun. 1. A person that intentionally chooses to consider all countries as potential places to live, work, and play.
2. A person that can rationalize their life experience without undue consideration of national boundaries or cultural differences.
I see a Global Citizen in me, as I grew up in India, lived in 5 countries, have traveled to 6 continents, 45+ countries and even a higher number of cities, running a company present in 10 countries and my work takes me to far flung places every year. My kids are global citizens too in true sense as they are born in different countries (Singapore & Hong Kong), hold passports of another country (India), have lived in 4 countries, traveled to 10+ countries and have friends from over 50+ countries at this early age.
The more I traveled and interacted with people from different countries, the more I learnt about their culture, beliefs, food, music and languages. My kids learned so much about America, Turkey, France and Sweden without traveling to these countries from their friends. All these interactions have really helped us understand the world around us more than what we did previously. We as a family are Hindus but we respect and celebrate all religions with equal enthusiasm. We believe we are humans first, and last.
This world has shrunk due to internet and telecomm revolution and every political, natural or economic event has global consequences. Hence we live in a global economy and our lives will get more and more intertwined in years to come. As global citizens, we have better chances of survival against issues like global warming, climate change, over consumption, scarcity of water and pandemics than as individual nations and governments.
To conclude, more the kids understand about other countries, learn to interpret it and use that knowledge to navigate in their lives; more equipped they will be to succeed in their careers in future, and more importantly succeed as humans. Hence, the most important skill which we are teaching them is- languages. My kids are currently learning English (native), Hindi, Spanish and Arabic while Mandarin remains in our bucket list.
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