The #StarbucksKolkataHype and what years of colonisation did to us!

CHENGDU, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA - 2015/09/13: Coffee cup on table in a Starbucks cafe. Starbucks is streamlining the ordering process so customers are able to get that cup of coffee faster than usual. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS NOT WRITTEN WITH THE INTENT TO OFFEND ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMPANY, BRAND, COUNTRY, COMMUNITY OR ETHNIC GROUPS. PLEASE READ RESPONSIBLY AND AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Starbucks launched in Kolkata, the former capital of India. It is needless to say that the city went gaga over the blah American coffeehouse chain, pretty much like when KFC, McDonald’s, H&M and all other western stores cropped up here. Here’s why:

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From a very young age, our families and the society as a whole, have somehow managed to teach us that western culture is bad and yet at the same time ingrained social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems and educational standards, subliminally, into our brains that make us feel lowly, submissive and downtrodden by the west, by default.

I have nothing against the brands opening stores here, they are here to do business and they should, but what’s with all the gluttonous hype?

Also, I have a lot of white friends, and I am in no way supporting reverse racism. More often then not these friends of mine have been interested to know about my culture and heritage than propagating their values and ideas. I am against the people who ruled this country for hundreds of years, called us native peasants and still got away with cutting up the country into pieces and influencing us enough to follow them for eternity.

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The fact that I feel comfortable writing in English rather than any other Indian language, the fact that my daily go-to outfit is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt (except rare family functions, religious ceremonies and the third days of various MUNs where I am to adorn “ethnic clothes”), the fact that 19 out of 20 brands that I use every single day is not from my own country or even Asia for that matter is proof that when 70 years ago millions and millions of brown people sacrificed their lives to drive out the colonial leaders, they couldn’t really make their ideologies leave the country.

I am not a patriot, but when people of this country choose to bleach their skin white to increase their “confidence” but do not feel the need to enforce marriage equality, it makes me think. Rather, it makes me sure that we are not influenced by the western values but the wannabe-ness of it all. It makes me sad that we take pride in endorsing coffee sourced right from Seattle while a farmer in Karnataka wonders what he did wrong with his coffee harvest.

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