In this setting, a new meaning of Global may be emerging. Whether or not the world could become, would become, multi-polar, a new global archetype may be needed. This archetype may possibly be based on the old idea of 'International', a word stained by its association with Soviet hegemony, but in its original form, an identity grounded in one's national identity and culture, and yet, not limited by it. Becoming global, in this sense, may not be about embracing the surreal combination of American English, Finance Capital Values and Culture and icons of big money, but being authentic to what one is and yet have an open mind to the experiences different cultures and countries offer. In this new avatar, becoming Global still means being eclectic, and choices of some sort have to be made about values, cultures and icons, but the priority this time around is towards authenticity rather than assimilation.
My own quest of being global comes from this second view, and hence, I celebrate its possibility. I chose to travel, but never stopped being an Indian. I did not think, however, that commitment to being Indian should stop me from learning and accepting the most lofty and transcendent aspects of other cultures. I learned English later in life, but despite feeling, at some awkward moments, the need for hiding my accent, I went along with what came naturally. As I mentioned elsewhere in this blog, my project is still half finished - I wish to live in a non-English speaking culture and learn a language that is on the receiving end of globalisation, like Persian. A formula of being global - coming out of a business school, Thunderbird - caught my imagination. This is about, using the Business School lingo, having global intellectual, psychological and social capital, the Professors said. I, from the capital-starved South, get the message, but would rather interpret this in my own terms - knowing the world, being open to learning and connecting with people. That would be what I would call an Ordinary Person's recipe for Becoming Global.