Why counsel hosts only, why not guests also?
AJAZ UL HAQUE
We have been shouting our lungs out teaching our own people to behave well with tourists. Reasons are both material and moral. One, if we annoy them they won't visit us in future and if they won't visit us we won't earn. Second, we have always been warm hosts and it doesn't behove us to be rude to our guests. Both the messages are not just relevant but meaningful. Both carry sense. All our means of communication from traditional to modern, from manual to electronic are already into the full-time job of teaching Kashmiris the ways to win the hearts and minds of visitors. `Cheating tourists is a sin'. `We depend on them, so don't deceive them'. The lessons are not confined to a season, but meant for all times. The only worry is that we miss something in between. We miss the target. Shall we be teaching hosts only the lessons of cleanliness, good behaviour, honesty and all. Or our targets are to be both?
Of many seasons we have had in the recent past, this one has been the best. Good news. That must bring cheer on the faces of those associated with the profession of tourism. But why is it always that we spend a lot of money and energy on a campaign which must have been directed towards both. If a host is to be taught not to deceive his guest, the same applies to the guest also. If our dirt pollutes the surroundings, so does theirs. We sometimes painfully observe that tourists themselves become the main source of stink. Though it can't be true about all, but the scenes of littering and dirtying the place are not hard to find. A crowd of non-Kashmiris swarming our gardens and waterfalls and meadows leave a lot of muck behind. Our doing it wakes up the whole system, but their doing the worse normally doesn't invite many voices. Our tradition of hospitality, as a subject, has been flogged to death. Sermons on expressing generosity towards guests are being doled out endlessly. Well, one can't quite deny Kashmiris' quality of being genial with their guests, but what we badly need is the same guidance for tourists. Otherwise a single-tracked approach towards the problem projects us only as dirt-lovers and swindlers. The situation thus portrayed throws a different message around. As if we alone need be counseled on cleanliness. Ours being a tourist-dependent economy (in certain respects) never means we present ourselves as the epitome of ugliness. Sure we as hosts are to be guided well, so are they as guests. Let this tourism business be a relationship of reciprocity and not that of dependance. After all we are hosts, not parasites.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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