I Don’t Want An Arranged Marriage – NOT READY TO CATCH THE BOUQUE

I Don’t Want An Arranged Marriage – NOT READY TO CATCH THE BOUQUE

I Don’t Want An Arranged Marriage – NOT READY TO CATCH THE BOUQUE

QUESTION:

Is there such a thing as a ‘marriage season’? If you heard the talk around our dinner table at home, you would certainly think so! As the summer heats up, so does talk of weddings. Of kids of friends, of kids of friends of friends, of kids of family back in India…and in all the talk of what to wear and what to give as gifts, there is the hidden sub text. When is their daughter – guess who! – going to get married. I am not ready to settle down yet, but when I am, I hope to find my own partner. I do not want to one to be found for me, I don’t want an arranged marriage, but it is getting harder to ignore all the subtle and not so subtle hints.

ANSWER:

Everyone loves a wedding! It’s the conversation as old as time, the “marriage talk”. In our culture there are definitely not-so-subtle whispers and sense of urgency of “when, when”. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, your parents will be throwing out the hints that “beti, it is time” as soon as they think you’re old enough to “find the one” for you. They are also probably facing lots of pressure from their family asking them when you will be the one to get married and there is a happy occasion for them to celebrate. If you are hoping to find your own partner and not have your family find one for you – you probably want to have that conversation sooner rather than later. Especially when all the other people your age are taking the plunge. Plus, its not always easy to find a match and it’s best to have all the options on the table so you can make a decision that is right for you. It will also be helpful for your parents to know your thoughts so they can assist you on this journey. And to answer your question, yes there is a marriage season and the multi-billion dollar bridal industry will call it a year-round season although we all seem to have full calendars in the height of summer! I know mine is packed with not one but two family weddings – my nephew first and then my niece. Ironically it was a mere five years ago that it was my wedding though it took many years to get there! It was a difficult conversation for me to have with my parents, patient they were not! I was open to try matrimonial ads, online Shaadi sites, introductions, etc.. I was creative too, I convinced my friends to invite all their single guy friends to their parties in hopes of finding a suitable match – if there was, I would treat my friend to a spa day. But no luck! It took time for me to find my own partner (soulmate) but he was definitely worth the wait!

 

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Children Born to Immigrant Parents Feel They Don’t Fit into Either Culture

Children Born to Immigrant Parents Feel They Don’t Fit into Either Culture

Children Born to Immigrant Parents Feel They Don’t Fit into Either Culture

First published in Desi News on Page 21 in Aug 2014 Issue

QUESTION:

I feel like a misfit, like I don’t belong anywhere. When we visit family in India, or even with “uncles” and “aunties” here, I feel like I am constantly falling below expectation, like I am not ‘desi’ enough. Too Westernized, too modern, too independent, not interested in Indian movies or music or clothes…I just don’t identify with any of those things. But then when I visit my friends’ homes, it’s not like I don’t fit in there, either. Their parents are sure to tell me about ‘their’ food, as though I need a tutorial on lasagna! Or ask me about my exotic background, though I was born here.

I just don’t identify with any of those things. But then when I visit my friends’ homes, it’s not like I don’t fit in there, either. Their parents are sure to tell me about ‘their’ food, as though I need a tutorial on lasagna! Or ask me about my exotic background, though I was born here.

ANSWER:

Misfits make the world go around. Many don’t quite fit into their surroundings and can’t assimilate themselves, that’s okay. It means you’re an individual with thoughts and feelings of your own. You are taking a bit of your desi-ness and adding your Canadian-ism with the results being how you fit in your own unique way. It’s your own expectations that you need to set and achieve for yourself, not others since this is

It’s your own expectations that you need to set and achieve for yourself, not others since this is a work-in-progress for all immigrant families.

You are Gen-I – immigrant children born here with parents from a different birth country.

You’re being raised as a Canadian with every benefit it entails but still expected to honour outdated traditions that might not quite fit for you. It’s always difficult being around so-called experts in culture. They believe their way is the only way and they will put you down if you don’t think the same. But no one corners the market on any one culture, it doesn’t matter if it’s South Asian or Canadian and you have both!

There is no one way to represent a culture and it’s not fair to have that pressure on one person’s shoulders. Sometimes people feel they need to pass judgement on others to make themselves feel like “pure desis”. Then you have some people bunching all South Asians in the same mould making you feel foreign in your own country.

Growing up I was also a misfit. I didn’t sing the latest Indian song or watch the Bollywood blockbusters and I especially didn’t enjoy dancing at parties where the girls liked to dress up in latest fashions. I enjoyed the same things other Canadian teenagers and I wasn’t into what other “desi” girls did. When I was older I became a “desi’ on my terms, eating what I wanted, enjoying my heritage on my own terms with a good sense of identity. It will happen to you too.

Whatever you’re experiencing now with your “desi-ness” will be the foundation on which you identify yourself to others when you’re comfortable in your own skin and no longer a misfit in your eyes. And remember… it is the person in the mirror that is the most important to answer to. Others will come and go in your life, their opinions won’t mean as much as yours in the end.

Be good and kind to yourself because we all need the misfits to show us the way in this world.

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