As a people we are lousy when it comes to applause. We hate giving it with generosity. I was watching the Modi speech and the thousands gathered could not muster enough enthusiasm for applause… just a smattering here and there, nothing wholehearted and collective. No roar to make the mighty Yamuna tremble beneath here shores. The PM had to get the kids to yell while self conscious adults thought it infra dig.
Why are we so niggardly when it comes to audio praise. I have seen this in concerts, at shows, major performances, a staggering clap, clap, clap, so muted and disparate that you’d think we’d think it was bad manners to give a thunderous round of applause.
Have you seen, we seldom if ever, give a standing ovation at a ceremonial function or a major show.
The Modi speech had enough stopping points. We just sit there dumb and silent and we do not even pick up the crescendo when it whimpers to begin. It is like we are embarrassed by showing praise.
I think there is something meaner behind it all. We loathe recognising success in others. By applauding it we lose ground to ourselves and we cannot stand that.
You go to a play or a show in America they’ll go on and on. You honour someone there, the crowd will be on their feet and the ovation will wash over you. You have celebrity speak and he’ll get three minutes.
Other countries, too.
We just do not. We are embarrassed. It doesn’t look nice. Come on, that is a fact, just see how stingy we are in giving praise or saying something nice, forget the applause, that seldom gets a look in.