Road rage is minimal here even though the traffic snarls. Sure, the Uttara Karnataka folks (UK) have fire in their veins and are known for their slang and swear words, all of which come out fluently and have exact correlations with their Hindi counterparts. What do you think soole-maga or baddi-maga means?
But even the firebrands from other regions of Karnataka and other states calm down when they come to Bangalore. Why is that? For a city of some 12 million, Bangaloreans are amongst the most genteel and polite people in India, if not the world. Ours is not the false formal politeness of the Japanese with their constant bowing. Our gentility comes from within. Why, we don’t know ourselves.
It perhaps has to do with the weather. Every day here is like April in Paris complete with blooming flowers and trees, no matter where you go. “The living is easy” and not just in “Summertime.”
The other reason for the Bangalorean’s ability to adapt and adjust is because Karnataka the state is perhaps more varied that most other states. We have practice in getting along with a variety of folks.
There is Coastal Karnataka or Tulu-nadu with its distinctive Tulu language, culture and rituals like Bhoota Kola, made famous by the movie, Kantara. Mangalore and coastal Karnataka is a melting pot of India’s big three faiths. Mangalore Christians have music in their fingers. The Muslim cuisine of the Konkan coast is distinct and delicious. As for the Hindus, they too have their quirks and foibles that you can read about in translated books such as Defiance by Na Mogasale.
Coorg is famous for its language and customs, its beauteous landscape, handsome people, its nature worship that reveres the river Kaveri, and its famous pandi curry made with pork.
Upper Karnataka with its dry drought-laden landscape, plain-speaking freely-swearing earthy people is the stuff of legend in the state. Quixotically, for such a barren land, its people are amongst the most cultured in the land. Dharwad-Hubli is home to Gangubai Hangal, Mallikarjun Mansur, D.R. Bendre, and Leena Chandavarkar. It is home to the Dharwad Pedha, Gokak Karadhantu, Ladagi laddu, Belagavi Kunda, Tuppada Mandige and many other sweets.
There is the Udupi and Kundapur heartland with its own dialect, customs, spice mixes and famous dishes including the Kundapur Koli saaru or chicken gravy, Udupi sambar and other delicacies.
The Mysuru-Mandya region brings its own ecosystem with its sugarcane fields, Mysorepak, Mysore masala dosa, Mysore bonda and Mysore Concerns coffee that is now famous in Mumbai’s Matunga.