Recently I have started to jog laps around the neighbourhood given that I have been warned by everyone that jogging in the scrub, where it is peaceful, is too dangerous. Crowds of people tend to congregate in the surrounds when I am jogging, in particular children. People will come out from behind their sizeable gates and stand there chuckling amongst themselves whilst starting at me. Each lap I make another person has joined the crowds to stand and stare at me in amusement. Others will be peering down at me from their balconies and rooves pointing at the 'gori'.
However the children will actually join me, panting as they try to overtake their didi - meaning sister. If I stop to do some exercises the children will all stop and join in, usually in hysterics as they compete against one another. Surprisingly they all speak relatively good English. After half an hour all the children are exhausted trying to keep up with me, though they don't want me to leave. So I join them to play some games in the field. By this point every household is standing out the front of their gates watching the gori play with their children. Passersby find it amusing that I am playing with the children and stop to greet me. It's encounters like these that make my days interesting. Whilst there are some people who treat me with fear and disdain you can't beat the curiosity of a child.
Punjabi's are warm and inviting people, and I am always welcomed into their home for a cup of tea. Anytime that I am out walking down the street or jogging, there will be someone that recognises me and welcomes me in for a cup of tea. Even when I am waiting outside for the courier to deliver my order. I am usually approached by someone who makes an attempt to speak to me and invite me over. Children will always wave at me giggling amongst each other. They usually then pluck up enough courage to come and speak to me once I wave back and greet them. Although there have been a few younger children who have screamed in fear at the sight of me.
I also tend to receive numerous invitations to occasions such as birthdays or weddings. I don't always necessarily know the invitees however this is just the generosity of the Punjabi nature. The other night was a friend's sister's birthday and her friends all wanted to meet me so she insisted that I attend. This is just what Punjabi's are like, everyone essentially is extended family. As I am her brother's best friend's wife they see me like a sister and therefore wanted to meet me. Everyone is either your brother or sister in Punjab and are treated just as so. You can read more about why I love my Indian family here.
It is this warm hearted nature of Punjabi people that have made me fall in love with them.
What is your take on the people of Punjab?