10 November, 2010

Problems of traveling and Obama's faux pas

I have missed many days, but it isn't because I don't want  to blog. I am too tired when we arrive back at the hotel and have dinner. All I want to do is sleep.  So I will do what I can in the meantime and finish it when I'm back in Delhi.

While we were in Delhi, Obama came to visit. Well, that is not exactly true. We left the day he arrived. The city was shot down tight, and no one could move anywhere, so we decided that would be a good time to travel.

As Clinton and Bush before him, Obama made some strides and left with the Indian populace happier than before he arrived.  I am sure that Americans will be happy as well, since he managed to create 70000 jobs. Or maybe  not. Who knows?

I have been quite alarmed at the lack of knowledge for other cultures that has been shown by the Obamas. He bowed deeply to the emperor of Japan when he should have just nodded. After all, Obama is the head of state and should show that he is. Here in India he put his arm around Man Mohan Singh. People here do not touch each other at all in public.

Michelle seems to have a problem as well. She was touchy feelie with the Queen of England, and it shocked the Brits. And insisting on shaking hands with a conservative Musljm has made problems for the Indonesian official.  One should be natural, of course. But in so doing, one needs to understand what makes another uncomfortable.

Perhaps he has advisers who have never traveled or been taught by the State Department how to behave in various countries. Sometimes a cultural faux pas  can destroy all the good that was done.

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