We have all heard the definitions of First World & Second World nations – at least politically. While referring to the Third World, we often ignore the Politically-Non-aligned-nation theory & broadly categorize those countries which are developing, undeveloped or hopeless as 3rd world nations.
What if I see a nation – coming from the first world but fails to live up to the hype despite being a big economy? But its way better off than a 3rd world nation. Yes, I would like to classify it as 2nd world nation, not looking at it from communist axis perspective but purely on my travel observations from across the globe.
- First Glimpses – breaking picturesque myths
Italy – it gave me an astonishing pleasure of seeing a country from altogether a new perspective. It is a large economy, a former ruler of the world, seed of the democratic practices & a developed nation. The infrastructure, the cleanliness factor, the warmth towards tourists, respect for public property, care about its image and its intertwined relation with history – all speak of its similarities with a third world nation, popular by its English name these days – India. In fact, I found that if you take out, say 50% of India’s population, this is how its going to look (euphemistically, I am saying that Italy might look like India if we add population along with other factors in proportion).
A pictures says a thousand words, so here are a few of my clicks:
- Car models, the way they are parked, the walls & roadside shops, all have striking similarities.
There are huge similarities between these two countries & anyone who has been to India, esp. the North and/or East of it, would be able to see them very easily. Aging infrastructure, lack of respect for public property, visible rich-poor divide, living with history, (in)famous underworld/mafia influence & numerous historical structures still standing tall among their relatively ‘new born’ counterparts (cherry on the cake – the careless attitude towards the visitors, ahhmm…. well… ignoring those who prey on them).
- Abusing public property, cloth-lines on buildings just behind public stations & an overall outlook of the tracks
The biggest contrast, however, is in the approach by the locals – Indians at least try to converse in English, even if they don’t know a single word beyond Sorry & Thank you, while Italians do not. Anyway, there is no doubt that both share an enviable pride in their cuisine which has now been adopted as local food by many other places.
I wish that some day, even if it comes generations later, we see a world without international borders & where people are world citizens. No divide of First, second or third word; and a feeling of ‘us’ rather than ‘you & I’.
- Not, its not Mumbai, its Rome