Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Racism!!

I am an Indian expat working in a 5 star hotel in Dubai. After having come to Dubai, I have had so many experiances with people from different cultures that I feel so enriched. But not all of them have been enriching. I would like to particularly narrate one such experiance.

I went to one of the many beaches in the Jumeriah locality yesterday with a German colleague of mine. We went after work in the morning just to relax. Since she had earlier planned for this trip, she was well equipped with her beach gear. I was just out of work, so just decided to roll up my trousers and remove my shirt to relax on the beach. Few minutes of chatting on the empty and tranquill beach later, a particular gentleman comes by and gets chatting with us. He seemed strange so we decided to ignore. Promptly he flashed his Dubai Police ID. Now I know the police here are quite efficient, but this was quite a surprise. I immediatly asked to see our IDs. My friend had hers while i brought mine from the car in the parking lot. On seeing my card which was exactly the same looking as my friend's ( of course we work for the same company), he asked where i am from, I said India. Then he asked for another ID of mine. I said this is what we have. To which he said that never mind her, i want to see urs. I obliged and showed my health card. Suddenly he told me, that i need to dress more appropriatly in this locality, BECAUSE the British, canadian or europeans come here in shorts and they would look at me in a strange way. This left me shocked. Is a representative from the Dubai police suggesting to me that i have to dress in a certain way on a public beach that does not mention any dress code according to what the europeans that frequent the area do. I am aghast. I understand i was not in the most ideal beach gear. But thats my problem and not the people coming to the beach. This sort of comment was least expected from a Policeman.
I am a part of a large group of expatriate asians who come to Dubai for a better lifestlye and and promising career, just like my european brothers and sisters. Why is it that incidents like these never fail to convey to us asians that we are not welcome here in this so called melting pot of cultures? This goes to everywhere, Swanky restaurants, Nightclubs, Health clubs...
Have no words to express my outrage.

2 comments:

Amma said...

Hope it was ok later on. We cannot fight for our rights in alien land.Take care. Before you do any such thing!

Anonymous said...

I had such a situation in Paris too...i wrote an article on it check out here :

http://prashoun.blogspot.com/2006/06/crises-situation-whaaa-why-me.html

btw, you are linked in my blog