KARACHI: It has been extremely typical to associate merit to the English language, given our history of survival through the British Raj. Stuck in the early 1900s, we feel inclined to learn English not to pave our way forward in this world, considering English is indeed one of the most common languages, we do it to appear “educated” and distinguished from those who don’t know the language. The way our imperial masters did back in the day. The language has thus been more of a status symbol than a tool to thrust us forward. Today, English dominates our education system and often compensates for our personalities, especially in cases like the following, where a viral video paints the gruesome side of our complex:
The video that has now gone viral comes from Islamabad’s Cannoli, a restaurant run by Uzma Chaudhary and Dia Haider depicting a sense of pride they take in the English language, only to look down upon their employee who is not very well-versed in it.
At the start, Uzma Chaudhry can be seen saying, “We own Cannoli, and we were bored, so we would like to introduce you to our team.” They then call their employee and ask him to say a sentence in English, something which the manager can be seen struggling at. Uzma Chaudhary remarks, “so this is the beautiful English he speaks.” and Dia Haider chimes in saying “this is what we paid for” (in reference to the English language courses they paid for). Towards the end, Chaudhary states, “This is at a very good salary, mind you.”
The video has gone viral, with several people on social media criticizing the women’s obsession with English, and their use of it to not only look down upon but also pick on their employee, simply out of boredom.
Various people pointed out how this will change nothing and society will move on after their apology.
Some even pointed out the grammatical mistakes from their menu card.
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The restaurant owners have come forward with an apology, however, it focuses more on how the owners are “appalled by the reaction of so many people, and how they have misconstrued our banter with a team member.”
While apologizing in case they hurt anyone, they added, “This video depicts the gup shup between us as a team, and is never meant or taken in a hurtful or negative way”. Concluding with, “We are not required to prove or defend ourselves as kind employers. Our team has been with us for a decade, that should speak for itself.”
Pakistan gained its independence from the British Raj on August 14th, 1947. It is time we started acting like it and owned our languages in a country where a larger majority speaks more native languages than English.