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The Indianculture places emphasis on collectivism while the American culturefocuses on individualism. Indians pursue goals that serve thegreatest common good among members of the community. Relatives lookafter the interest of one another with love and devotion. This istypified by Purohit, the fulfillment department manager in Bombay.Although he is over 40 years old, he still lives with his mother.Indians thrive on social obligations and family ties. On the otherhand, American culture extols the virtues of personal fulfillment andself-driven ambition. Individuals only concern themselves withmeeting their personal needs. Todd Anderson lives by himself andseldom visits his mother. His primary concern is meeting the demandsof his secular work. Consequently, the Indians are slightly petrifiedby his isolation from his relatives (Outsourced).
The Indianculture has high power distance while the American culture displayslow power distance. Power distance refers to the level of tolerancefor established hierarchies. Indians have a rigid power structure andaccept established systems. In the movie, Indians submit to theinfluence of Kali, a goddess attributed with creation anddestruction. As such, they perceive everything as part of a granderpurpose in their individual lives. Therefore, Indians readily acceptauthority and established procedures since they recognize the will ofthe gods. On the other hand, Americans exemplify the merits ofwillpower and personal endeavor. Consequently, they embrace change byresisting norms. Todd struggles to internalize the concept of Kali.He also feels alienated from the easygoing attitude of the Indians(Outsourced).
The Americanculture is monochromic due to its time-consciousness. On the otherhand, the Indian culture has a warped view concerning the importanceof time. In Bombay, Todd is primarily concerned about reducing theminutes per incident rating. He desires to cut down on time-wastingpractices so prevalent among the Indian workers. The Indian culturehas little concern for setting priorities. Multiple tasks are pursuedsimultaneously. Consequently, little is ever accomplished in duecourse. The center in Gharapuri village consumes 12 minutes per call,a far cry from the American popular standard.
The Indianculture has high context while the American culture has lowcontextual significance. Indians consider contextual cues inunderstanding one another. For example, Indian parents criticizetheir adult children in seemingly minor and personal matters. Whileit may appear harsh and condescending, Indians tolerate suchintrusion on the basis of love and concern. Asha and Purohit relaystories of how controlling their parents seem (Outsourced).Pre-arranged wedding ceremonies also typify the Indian culture. Onthe other hand, Americans focus on what is said with little regardfor contextual cues. Consequently, Todd has difficulty understandingthe dialects and communicating without causing needless offense.
Adapting to a newculture takes one through various stages. Initially, the honeymoonperiod consists of joy and excitement. Todd is extremely saddened bythe thought of leaving America and relocate to India. However, thefirst impressions of the country seem joyous. He is amazed to seemany people living together in such a close-knit community. He isalso excited to learn of the various cultural groups woven togetherinto the societal fabric. The variety of cuisine, song, andperspective typifies the honeymoon. However, Todd soon descends intoa crisis when he contemplates the communication and dietarychallenges presented by the Indian culture. The traffic snarl-ups anddigestive issues only add to his disillusionment. However, Toddeventually learns to embrace the Indian culture. His participation inthe Holi holiday changes his perspective of Indian culture. Toddfalls in love with Asha, a local Indian (Outsourced). At the sametime, his relationship with Purohit improves.
Outsourced. Dir. Joan Jeffcoat. Prod. Tom Gorai. Perf. JoshHamilton, Ayesha Dharker, Larry Pine, Asif Basra, and Matt Smith.Columbia, 2006. Film.