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After spending a few days in Delhi, I think it’s easier to come to India without any expectations, rather than a lifetime of what was built up in our minds of “what India is like.”

The cultural and social norms of India 30 years ago have been frozen into my parents’ minds, and that is the way we were raised.  Here, I see women who are social activists, young people enjoy a good drink, adults dating “not for the purpose of marriage,” ammachi’s riding scooters, backless sari blouses… it’s refreshing but also a huge cultural shock.  They shatter the moral and social code that I grew up with, and would probably shake up my dear mother who lived in Delhi 30 years ago, and Kerala before that. 

Conclusion:  immigrant kids raised abroad, are held to the standards of  the social codes at the time of their parents’ immigration, without accounting for natural progression of the culture; this might be balanced by the influence of the community they arrive in (true for American , but doesn’t eliminate the mental struggle of parents who feel like they’ve failed.

PS.  The hot weather is awesome.  It’s allegedly over 100 degrees, but the ceiling fans in every room and the open breeze of the auto rickshaws don’t make it feel even a bit over 99.  Whatever it may be, it makes me happy.  I might see Libi tonight (yes, Libi/Ammu– excited about that).  Also, trying to get a flight into Kerala tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2009-05-13 8:01 PM

    First of all, good luck! Secondly, you do have a point – changing culture, etc. and your conclusion!… That said, I have not been out of India for longer periods – max was nine months, and even within that short span of time, I did notice what you are talking about. So, now when I am going back home, after another nine months of being outside of India, I am sure there would be changes! More so because of cultural globalization!

    Enjoy the Indian summer!!!

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