Married to Indian Nationals.

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#16 Sep 27th, 2006, 18:45
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#16
I really get most annoyed when we go to weddings. this is when the fun starts. people talk about me in the local language assuming I cannot understand. mostly nothing bad, just wondering if I am wearing thali and toerings on purpose or if I think I am being "fashionable" Because I am of Italian origin, some ppl think I must be an NRI

But I get the most looks at the traditional south indian banana leaf meals served at the weddings. "ooooooo she is washing the leaf" "oh she knows how to eat with her hands!" "oooooh she likes payasam!" "I bet she won't eat the pullao, it's very spicy.. wait, wait, she ate it! she ate it!"

gack.
#17 Sep 27th, 2006, 19:17
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#17
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Originally Posted by Soujanya Mymymy, this is all SO amusing!!! Won't it be wonderful if I find an American or a Britisher or an Australian or whoever too in my future as my husband?!! Lol!! That'll be awesome!! I find it so bad that people[specially in India] still go into this caste/religion system! I have just turned 18 ... ... ...
Guess who's got a full IM Post box now!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#18 Oct 4th, 2006, 22:54
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#18
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Originally Posted by smallsquirrel But I get the most looks at the traditional south indian banana leaf meals served at the weddings. "ooooooo she is washing the leaf" "oh she knows how to eat with her hands!" "oooooh she likes payasam!" "I bet she won't eat the pullao, it's very spicy.. wait, wait, she ate it! she ate it!"
gack.
Luckily the relatives only tell me the nice things the people at a party are saying about me, "the foreigner dances well", "the foreigner is handsome", etc.
#19 Oct 6th, 2006, 12:20
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#19
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Originally Posted by infoblues One man in Delhi insinuated that I was a russian prostitute!
yes I have heard stories earlier about russian prostitutes...it seemed to be quite notorious...there are quite a few of them coming for "modelling"..and for other things too.

white skin...blonde hair and all that...they must be quite succesful in whatever they do
#20 Oct 6th, 2006, 12:49
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#20
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Originally Posted by smallsquirrel I really get most annoyed when we go to weddings. this is when the fun starts. people talk about me in the local language assuming I cannot understand. mostly nothing bad, just wondering if I am wearing thali and toerings on purpose or if I think I am being "fashionable" Because I am of Italian origin, some ppl think I must be an NRI

But I get the most looks at the traditional south indian banana leaf meals served at the weddings. "ooooooo she is washing the leaf" "oh she knows how to eat with her hands!" "oooooh she likes payasam!" "I bet she won't eat the pullao, it's very spicy.. wait, wait, she ate it! she ate it!"

gack.
I HATE going to Indian weddings (especially if my SIL's or MIL can't come.. because then I'm stuck alone with the women folk and my husband is having a good old time with the men and won't leave when I am ready)

I also hate when people are talking about me in Urdu when I am sitting right there. Much of the time I can understand what they're saying and it's harmless, but it's still bothersome.

Oh my God, I can still remember the first wedding I went to alone here. It was very small, maybe 30 women total, plus all the kids. We had to stay on the roof of the house while the men folk were outside and/or downstairs.

I didn't want to go, I'd only been in India a month or so. My husband assured me his friend's wife would be there and that she spoke perfect English. So, I said I'd stay until 11pm (an hour and a half)

Well, within five minutes all the women were sitting around me (bride hadn't arrived yet) and talking in Urdu. NO ONE tried to speak a single word to me in English.

This was a very traditional muslim wedding, and the people were rather poor. I was pretty freaked out and nearly in tears.

After 20 minutes my husband came up to the roof and got mad because I wasn't "trying" to have a good time.

An older lady came up to me and PULLED down my scarf without saying anything and all the other women laughed. I still don't understand what went on there. My husband said his friend's wife said it never happened.. what a liar. But, later he said they probably just wanted to see that color my hair was.

So, I will not go to weddings of people I don't know anymore. Unless my inlaws are coming.
#21 Oct 6th, 2006, 12:53
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#21
Aside from the wedding incident (which I must attribute to the people being rather low-class) most Indians I meet seem happily surprised that I'm married to an Indian.
#22 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:03
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#22
Sounds like no fun at all.
#23 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:08
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#23
I guess what bothers me most is people's expectations: Oh she is a foreigner...she must have loads of money! (and if she does, then it's just because she was born a foreigner, not because she worked hard for it, of course..); She is white..she must be a sex-bomb! She can't possibly be cooking...and certainly not Indian food! not to mention washing or cleaning all by herself.

There's this servant mania in India which I find hard to accept. I might be from the wrong part of the world, but nobody keeps servants back home...and if you do, you must be a very lazy one. On the contrary, here the availability of cheap labour simply spoils people, creating this patronizing "matron culture", which I personally find disgusting. But I might be biased. I ultimately find myself believing that, in spite of all their bragging about the "hard-working and skilled Indian housewife", the average middle class woman is far lass of a "homemaker" than a western one, simply because she doesn't touch much in the house...the maid or the guard will do it for her.

ren - I have never been to an Indian wedding so far, but if I go to some social gathering and my husband joins the other men, I generally tend to sit alone, walk around or munch on something..and absolutely avoid the women..I find it very tiresome to be all smiles and answer silly questions

But I guess you can't always do this. Luckily my husband is not much of a social animal himself, so we rarely attend social events and he doesn't mind much if I sit alone on purpose either. And there's also the fact that there are no other womenfolk in our house to join me at these events, so there's nobody to drag me along or scold me for keeping aside.
#24 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:27
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#24
I do get a bit fed up with the "what does he eat?" stuff...

I don't have any problem with servants, but then I am very, very lazy! I agree that it is something we are not used to and sometimes it is hard to know how to relate. You are right that many women from a family with money will not have any idea how to cook!
#25 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:46
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#25
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Originally Posted by Nick-H I do get a bit fed up with the "what does he eat?" stuff...
Ooh, I get that too. Everyone always asks my MIL "what does she like to eat?" and her reply is bread and soup. Of course I eat more than that, but it's impossible to explain to my MIL what I eat at home.. she doesn't know what Lasagna is.. or burritos. and I am NOT allowed to cook at their house. Actually, it isn't true.. I am now allowed to cook beef stew and I'm allowed to make tea and coffee.

Everyone is shocked that I'm not a big fan of biriyani (living in Hyderabad and all) but I LOVE OOPMA!
#26 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:51
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#26
I don't have a maid/servant in America and we don't have one here either, although I'm not against having one...

I have two sister-in-laws who do most of the house work in our house (Husband and I live in a flat on the first floor of the house) and cooking. Once they're married (please let it be soon) We'll probably end up getting a servant because Husband's grandparents live here and they are sooo demanding. There is no way I can take care of them, cook and clean this big house, etc alone.
#27 Oct 6th, 2006, 13:56
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#27
About the 'rich' White person thing.. I get that a lot. When my bank statements come in the mail, Nana (husbands grandpa) always wants to see how much money I have, but I refuse. So everyone thinks I must be LOADED but the truth is, I have like 7$ in my bank account and I'm too embarrassed to show anyone.
#28 Oct 6th, 2006, 14:20
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#28
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Originally Posted by ren and I am NOT allowed to cook at their house.
Why is that, Ren?

Actually cooking for an Indian family certainly was the biggest challenge I faced here, and food is, still, after more than a year, the biggest issue (not with my husband, but with my father-in-law). It's a bit of an impossible situation:
-should I try to cook separately for me and Indian food for them? (it doesn't work: it doesnt look good eating differently and it takes waay too much time cooking 2 kinds of dishes..)
-knowing that my kind of food will not be appreciated and will probably be left on the table, should I still try and cook it for everybody...thinking they'll ultimately get used to it? (it doesn't work...hardcore elderly Indians will never give in much to any alterations in the food)
-should I give up on my own preferences and try and swallow whatever Indian food I cook for them? (apart from my stomach...I don't feel too good about myself if I do that..)

I took the middle path...by now I have developed a system...I have a repertoire of a moderately-spicy mix of Indo-western dishes, apart from classic Indian dishes which I like (unfortunately Sambar, Rasam and the like are not among them ). Often I take western recipes and just add all the spices and change some ingredients to whatever is available here.

Still, this is a compromise solution and not everyone is happy with it. I ultimately chose to focus on what my husband can eat and care much less about others, because it's simply impossible to find any good solution to this, when you are living with in-laws.
#29 Oct 6th, 2006, 14:20
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#29
I just typed out a whole response and my computer ate it.

anyway

ren... omg that sounds horrible. I think it just goes to show how vastly different this country is and how different peoples' experiences can be. I have made it clear to my husband that he cannot do that to me, so even at weddings or functions I stay with him even if he is with "the guys".... unless my friends are in attendance. as far as the "low class" thing... if you mean in terms of economics, there are idiots in every class... if you mean in terms of how they behave, I could not agree more. these people do not seem to accept or treat you very well at all.

nick... LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I am still trying to convince my MIL that: 1) I can eat with my hands (she has seen it herself a million times but chooses to hand me a spoon at the oddest of times!) 2) I will eat spicy food 3) I do not sit at home eating crisps and pizza and 4) I can COOK south indian food (they have not come to our house for various reasons) and 5) I am not secretly feeding their son meat.

As for the servant issue... well... we did not have anyone for a long while. I never had one in the US (unheard of!) and so I tried to avoid it here. I finally had to relent for a few reasons. One is that I now work like 1.5 hours from home. By the time I go to work, put in my 9 hours and get home it is 9 PM. I will be damned if I am starting to cook a traditional 4 dish south indian meal at that hour. Also, we have a large place, and I cannot handle working and cleaning both with my schedule unless i want to devote all weekend to it. I have a driver so I can work in the car and also not have a nervous breakdown in bangalore traffic. the cook comes 3 times a week, the maid once a week and the driver only on weekdays. I couldn't survive without them. in the US I did everything myself. now if I were not working, that would be an ENTIRELY different story!
#30 Oct 6th, 2006, 14:28
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#30
Smallsquirrel - yes, I guess that's the big difference - the fact that here there's so much emphasis on eating freshly cooked food, and that too with many items. It is impossible, I agree, to handle all that AND a full-time job. Cooking back home is an entirely different story than it is here.

So by the way, I thoroughly admire any Indian woman who has a job, even part-time, and cleans and cooks 3 meals a day too, even with the help of a maid.
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