Being Gujarati

We all have an attachment to the place where we are from, we are proud of it and we should be. We miss the place and the people when we are not there. So, I am a Gujarati and I am proud of that. Not because of one or two reasons, but many of them. Also, not just because Narendra Modi is from Gujarat and he was declared as the Prime Minister candidate. Although, it doesn’t hurt to brag about it 😉 But there are many traits being a Gujarati and I’ll let you know some of them.

I have lived most of my life in Gujarat except for the past 8-9 months because I moved to Pune. So, now that I’ve spent some time in Pune and I’ve travelled to a few other places outside Gujarat, I’ve met people from various parts of India and I’ve noticed a couple of things. You don’t notice these things when you are living in your hometown or home state; you realize these things when you don’t live there but your soul belongs there. When you meet people from your state or city, it is a relief. You certainly realize what the quote “you realize the value of something when you don’t have it” means.

Well, the first thing being a Gujarati means we adore food. We adore food so much that sometimes we think “jine ke liye khana zarrori hai, par khane ke liye jina aur zaroori hai” (It is more important eat than it is to eat to live!). Food is so integral part of our life that sometimes we dream about it! (Ya, it means that much to us.) If you don’t love food, well, probably you are not a true Gujarati. Even those who are not from Gujarat love Gujarati food. You are allowed to have a cute tummy (a muffin top). It is not that we just love only Gujarati food. We are food explorers. We like different cuisines. Whether it is North Indian, South Indian, Italian, Chinese or anything else; we like it. Also, it is not just that we enjoy savoring food. We love to cook too. Gujarati men can impress you with their cooking skills and knowledge! I can write a whole article on how much we love food and cooking (wait for it).

Secondly, after food comes money, which is equally important to us. We are savers and we can think up how to make & save money in the most unimaginable situations and sometimes in a creative way too. We like to explore new ways of making & saving money. At any family gathering or social meeting one of the things we commonly ask to other people is “Is there something I can invest in? Let me know.” We take haggling to a new level. Even (millionaires) feel delighted to haggle with subji walas and man we haggle a lot. It is a part of our daily routine. A day without haggling is like a day without laughter for us! I think universities in Gujarat should start offering courses on haggling 😉

Next is cuteness. It is definitely true that Gujaratis are cute and by cuteness I don’t mean just look wise. Sure, we do look cute but it doesn’t end there. Cuteness is a trait of ours and cute looks just add a charm to it. That’s how we carry ourselves and it reflects in our behavior and our language. Gujarati girls can make you diabetic just with their looks!

These are the three most common traits you’ll notice in a Gujarati. There are other things too. Our hospitality is also renowned. You’ll never leave with a hungry tummy after visiting a true Gujarati’s home. We like to make friends and socialize. Whether it is Bollywood, Stock Market, Politics, IT, Cricket or any other field you’ll notice the presence of Gujaratis. Business acumen is something people commonly associate with Gujaratis and it is true because it is in our blood.

There are many icons from Gujarat. They have shaped the nation, subverted the paradigm and revolutionized the industry. Dhirubhai Ambani, Mahatma Gandhi and Narendra Modi are among those people.

You’ll find us (and our delicious food) in almost every country of the world. People from foreign countries say that Indians are everywhere in the world, people from India may say Gujaratis (especially Shahs & Patels) are everywhere!

For those who watch “Tarak mehta ka ooltah chashmah” and think that’s how we people are, I’ve got two words for you. Piss off. We ain’t anything like that. Not even close. I can’t bear to watch that crap for a minute. My soul pukes when I see people watch and enjoy it. But, what can I say. Different folks, different strokes. I am not going to judge those people. I’ll say one thing, though.

The best way to know a Gujarati (or “Gujju” if you prefer it) is by having a Gujarati friend around you.

Proud to be a Gujarati 🙂

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