[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

Son of the Soil

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

If I am the son, then the soil is town of Coimbatore, India. Technically, I am not an original ‘son of coimbatore soil’ since I was born in Chennai, and moved to Coimbatore when I was about 4 years old. Few people remember exactly what happened before they were 4 and I am certainly not one amongst that few.

I am sure everyone loves their city or town or village where they grew up and I am no exception. Its just that Coimbatore is a city that has more than a few reasons to fall in love; reasons many other cities can only envy of. One thing I am proud of about Coimbatore is respect for others build into the language, as in the Tamil dialect spoken by residents.

If you have never heard of coimbatore and its people, this is probably news to you. The dialect of tamil used in Coimbatore is the (in my humble opinion) most friendliest, considerate and humblest in the entire state of Tamilnadu. This is also the first striking social aspect a visitor would come across. I have heard friends from Chennai feeling overwhelmed when they hear auto drivers and bus conductors addressing them with respect (literally addressing them as brothers or sisters). People in general are also helpful, nice and easy to talk to. Its generally unheard of where visitors were misguided or exploited by general public. Perhaps the inherent attributes of the language builds the right attitude in people. Also, the Tamil spoken in and around Coimbatore city is little polished, when compared to what is spoken in the outskirts and villages around Coimbatore. Tamil movies often showcase the rural dialect as the common “Covai Tamil”. As much as we respect others through the words and actions, people of Coimbatore get offended when outsiders address them with disrespect. With people moving across cities more common, this happens a lot so its not a big deal. Yet, when I visit Chennai, I feel offended when Auto drivers address you the way they normally do. Of course, it is totally unintentional and is a mere localized difference in culture and language, neverthless, it helps to know the values of people from different cities and respect their values. It cannot be denied that disrespectful words (in some dialects) encourage a unfriendly attitude among children and citizens, in general. Of course, there are always exceptions.