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Opinion and Editorial

You've got it, flaunt it (not), especially if you're a tourist

Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)
Filed on December 10, 2019 | Last updated on December 10, 2019 at 05.32 am
Youve got it, flaunt it (not), especially if youre a tourist


It is indeed a sign of the times we live in that governments now need to issue advisories to their citizens to keep it low-key.

In an advisory issued via a tweet, the UAE's Embassy in London has warned citizens against wearing expensive items that attract attention when venturing beyond their country's borders. This came after an Omani student in his mid-20s was stabbed to death near the Harrods luxury department store - a posh area, obviously - for wearing an expensive watch.

Funny how things have changed. I remember a time, not too long ago, when it would be considered a crime to keep a flashy old thing hidden from the public eye. 'If you've got it, flaunt it' used to be the mantra. When I was growing up, on the few occasions that we travelled as a family outside of India on vacations, we would carry every piece of clothing and accessory worth flaunting along with us. Four-days, three-nights and seventeen outfits would be the ratio per person.

It's no state secret that Indians and others from the Subcontinent have a penchant for gold. I left India in 2003 for the Gulf to take up the Editor's role in a business magazine in Muscat, Oman. When he came to see me off at the airport in Delhi, my father-in-law gave me a piece of advice. He told to always sport a gold chain in a foreign land, to be sold off in case of contingency, in case I ever ran out of cash or lost my wallet. I did wear one for a long time (never had to sell it) and although I feared I might lose the chain itself, never did I fear its theft in Muscat or in Dubai once I moved here a couple of years later.

It is indeed a sign of the times we live in that governments now need to issue advisories to their citizens to keep it low-key, to keep their Rolexes and LVs out of the public eye lest someone may hurt them to grab 'em. In sheer monetary terms, the world is much wealthier than what it was back when I was growing up. But it seems we're also greedier. And more desperate. Better safe than sorry, as the adage goes.

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