Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where are you from..?

For those of you who know me well, you are very aware of the following conversation thread:

Hi My name is ABC
Hi My name is Vivek
No Viv-ache - V as in <peace sign>
OH Vi-vek
Sure, Vi-vek works
How do you say it?
Awesome. Hey Viv-ek!
<le sigh>

So where are you from?
I was born in India, but I grew up in Thailand. Been in the States for the past several years
Wow, you have no accent whatsoever
<smile, not knowing how to reply>
You have absolutely no accent
Um... well I went to an International School so I actually have a weird mix of accents depending on where I am
Yeah, but you have no accent at all!
Actually, you should hear me talk to my parents or my family in India - then you'll hear the accent
Really? Wow - you should call them right now!

... Anyways, the conversation continues along the same vein. And while some might get annoyed, I've always worked on auto-pilot. It has not bothered me :)

However, here at INSEAD, there is absolutely no way for me to hit <auto-pilot> because, first off, often times I'm asking "Where are you from?" and the follow-up questions and secondly - my experience, while unique, is just one of 400+ unique experiences of each of my classmates. From birthplace to parents or family history

What a fresh perspective to the question, "Where are you from?"

It is day 3 now, and I feel like I know, maybe, 10% of my class population - maybe...

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