Youth and Indian Culture

It has been a long-standing complaint that Indian youth are highly influenced by American and European cultures. With India fast becoming a truly global environment in terms of economy, food and culture, what does it take to make sure our youth do not forget the richness of being Indian? Sadhguru puts some perspective into this issue.

Sadhguru: It’s not that the youth are particularly going off-track. Always the adults, the older generation thought that the youth are going off-track. Every generation thinks so. Your father thought so about you, your grandfather thought so about your father, his father thought so about him, isn’t it so? Nothing new about it. So don’t create a problem, just understand that youth are still trying to create themselves. If you have something truly valuable to offer to their lives, offer it. They will imbibe it in their own way, not in the same way you did.

Youth means, in some ways, they are yet to be created. They have not yet become anything in particular. Those who are becoming have a much bigger possibility than those who have become something. You got stuck in something, they are still looking. Because they are looking around, it seems like they are a big mess. Even your parents thought you were a mess. Those who have grown up don’t understand that those who are growing up are still looking around.

Above all, the previous generations, especially the last two-three generations have failed to show the younger generations the value of what you have, because you yourself have not touched it. You yourself are not living it. You are talking about aping the West, but everything about you is western right now. Your shirt is western, your pant is western, your haircut is western. You are westernized only to the extent that you dared. They are going a few steps ahead. Always, the next generation should take steps that you did not dare to take. What is Indian about you? Maybe you are still eating Indian food, they have begun to like junk food. They like McDonalds, you are still eating sambar. Otherwise, what’s the big difference?

So, you must dig into your culture and pull out something really valuable. Some of the second generation Indian youth in the US are coming back with me now, because they see enormous value in this. You show them the value. Don’t just try to convert them. It won’t happen if you do not know how to show the value, don’t tell them, “Don’t eat pizza, eat dosa.” They will eat only pizza.

Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s wisdom on parenting in "Inspire Your Child, Inspire the World”. Enter ‘0’ in the price field for a free download.