That day, while we were doing our “rodeo”, we could see that, on the tar road, two bullock carts were preparing to turn onto the slope.
Remember that that slope was very different from the street now: it was much narrower and quite steep.
When the drivers of the carts noticed our coming down, they held the bullocks back. But we braked and stopped, and Günther signalled that they could come first, they had the priority.
These two men were so happy, they greeted us in that typical Indian way – folded hands in front of the chest and a slight nod.
When we came to the tar road, there was a whole line of Tamils and they all greeted us in that way, we had no idea what was happening to us. The last one in the line came to us and Günther asked him: “Why are you all giving us so much respect?”
And that man laughed and said: “You are the first white people to give priority to bullock carts here.” But Günther replied: “Well, they had the right to go first.”
And that Tamil man got tears in his eyes and said “It's heart-warming to see that there are also white people who don't feel superior.”
It left us in shock.
It doesn't mean that we had never any issues with the Tamils. Their cows and goats were a pest, and the way they related to women was for us 'not done'.
But who were we to lecture them? On the contrary, they deserved our respect, after all they were hosting us and allowing us to live there.