Cross cultural relationships

#1 Feb 1st, 2014, 09:09
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  • Alzo001 is offline
#1
Hi, I'm Alli from Australia.
I have been in a relationship with a beautiful, wonderful Indian man for two years! We are very happy together but I am having problems understanding the Indian culture. My partner is the eldest son and sends a lot of money to India. I am trying to understand his responsibilities but finding it difficult because I don't have any Indian friends. He sees his male Indian friends a lot but the women tend to keep to themselves. I want to learn about his culture and be sensitive but find it hard because I don't know the language, I have no contact with people of his culture here and he gets frustrated with my questions

I am looking for people on this forum who understand Indian culture to help me to understand more deeply. (Is this the appropriate place to ask these questions?) We have talked about getting married but even that causes conflict because I don't want to spend a lot of money on a wedding and I have no interest in gold and his feelings around this are completely different... help! Open to good advice!
#2 Feb 1st, 2014, 09:15
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I suggest you read the blog "Diary of a White Indian Housewife." The blogger is an Australian woman married to an Indian and writes about many issues. google it.
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#3 Feb 1st, 2014, 09:22
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alzo001 View Post Hi, I'm Alli from Australia.
I have been in a relationship with a beautiful, wonderful Indian man for two years! We are very happy together but I am having problems understanding the Indian culture. My partner is the eldest son and sends a lot of money to India.

I am looking for people on this forum who understand Indian culture to help me to understand more deeply. (Is this the appropriate place to ask these questions?) We have talked about getting married but even that causes conflict because I don't want to spend a lot of money on a wedding and I have no interest in gold and his feelings around this are completely different... help! Open to good advice!
Indian man normally look after expenses, when you have big house he will responsible to pay mortgage and will not have extra money to send home. If you get gold in marriage it will your and gold is always good saving.
Best Regards,
#4 Feb 1st, 2014, 10:40
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#4
Your beautiful Punjabi guy seems like a wonderful guy. He already gave you enough clues to you about his lifestyle. He sounds like a WYSIWYG kinda guy which is nice.
When I say nice, he already gave you a brief preview of the life he likes. Do you like it?
Quote:
He sees his male Indian friends a lot but the women tend to keep to themselves.
Quote:
I have no contact with people of his culture here and he gets frustrated with my questions
Quote:
We have talked about getting married but even that causes conflict because I don't want to spend a lot of money on a wedding and I have no interest in gold and his feelings around this are completely different ...
He already gave you a brief preview of his likes and interests. The ball is in your court and you need to make a decision based on his lifestyle, his wants, his desires and his acceptance.

Gold is his thing and he likes gold. He likes his traditions. Reading other peoples blogs is about how the married person adjusted to the circumstances. Don't expect things to chage a lot because you are deeply in love with him. ...


What do you want out of this relationship?
#5 Feb 1st, 2014, 11:45
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#5
Indian parents spend a lot of money raising their kids, the kids reciprocate by spending money for their parents when they reach a stage where they can. In most normal families, esp in urban India, this is not a necessity any more. Because the parents have enough savings and are very capable of living a comfortable old age.
But its a natural sentiment that a lot of children feel, esp when they are themselves quite well off. (My parents have done so much for me, let me just do something that will make their life a little more comfortable.) So it's a gesture not necessarily out of tradition or a rule but a genuine sentiment.

Spending money on the wedding...it doesn't make sense. And yet, everyone does it, and then everyone complains about spending too much too. There's no logic or rationale to it. Thats just the way it is. Just like the universe is infinite. It's battle you don't want to get into, because there is no winning and it is not worth it. Because at the end of it, you are with the man you love. And the people that you love-your family/parents are happy that they got to host an event just as they wanted it.

Gold: All of the above applies to gold as well. But there is a touch of practicality here. That being, if things go terribly terribly wrong (everyone hopes they never will, but things do happen) and one is in dire need of money, this gold will come in handy. It's the family's way of securing their kids in the face of extreme conditions.
#6 Feb 1st, 2014, 15:17
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#6
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Indian parents spend a lot of money raising their kids...
Not a cheap thing to do in the rest of the world either.
#7 Feb 1st, 2014, 18:49
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepachetan View Post Indian parents spend a lot of money raising their kids.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Not a cheap thing to do in the rest of the world either.
But Indian parents are good at instilling a sense of guilt in their offspring about this.
#8 Feb 1st, 2014, 19:32
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#8
Oh, yes, you are right about that Golghar! Every argument you have with the parents after they have sponsored your education involves a clear understanding of who stands where!

What I meant when I said "Indian parents" was that firstly, the concept of starting to earn early doesnt majorly exist here. Typically children start to earn only after they graduate from college, and at the beginning, the pay is def not self sustaining. So again, the parents are still shelling out.

Also and particularly, if the child pursues studies abroad, paying in dollars, pounds or euros while the source is in rupees, takes a big toll on the parents. Of course student loans are easily available these days and their use is increasing. But still, earning in a weaker currency and spending in the stronger is the more common norm. Parents dont think twice about shelling out a chunk of their savings for their childrens education. Sometimes, children consider this as a loan from parents instead of the bank.

The stress here is not on Indian and non-Indian. The OPs situation involves an Indian family, hence the explanation.
#9 Feb 1st, 2014, 19:33
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  • EnglishWife is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alzo001 View Post I am looking for people on this forum who understand Indian culture to help me to understand more deeply. (Is this the appropriate place to ask these questions?) We have talked about getting married but even that causes conflict because I don't want to spend a lot of money on a wedding and I have no interest in gold and his feelings around this are completely different... help! Open to good advice!
Hi Alli,

I married an Indian and I am now living in India with his parents. We had a simple love marriage in a temple and in 2 months we are having our 'big fat Indian wedding'

I know what you mean about this gold situation, my MIL is talking about it a lot, she has already bought me gold bangles... I wouldn't worry about it too much (I spent ages worrying about these expenses but the closer we get to the event, the less I am worrying for some reason) try and explain that is it not done in your culture and just get something small for the wedding. Gold is a good investment though.

We are going wedding jewelry shopping in a couple of weeks... I will let you know how it goes.

I have written a couple of posts about Indian culture on my blog, they might be of some help... any other questions you think I may be able to help you with, let me know!! http://englishwifeindianlife.com/

Take care

Lauren
my blog: http://englishwifeindianlife.com
I hope documenting my journey can provide inspiration and information to those who are also in cross cultural/long distance relationships, anyone considering visiting/living in India and readers who are simply curious to see how a foreign wife adapts to an Indian life.
#10 Feb 1st, 2014, 21:41
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepachetan View Post Oh, yes, you are right about that Golghar! Every argument you have with the parents after they have sponsored your education involves a clear understanding of who stands where!

What I meant when I said "Indian parents" was that firstly, the concept of starting to earn early doesnt majorly exist here. Typically children start to earn only after they graduate from college, and at the beginning, the pay is def not self sustaining. So again, the parents are still shelling out.

Also and particularly, if the child pursues studies abroad, paying in dollars, pounds or euros while the source is in rupees, takes a big toll on the parents. Of course student loans are easily available these days and their use is increasing. But still, earning in a weaker currency and spending in the stronger is the more common norm. Parents dont think twice about shelling out a chunk of their savings for their childrens education. Sometimes, children consider this as a loan from parents instead of the bank.

The stress here is not on Indian and non-Indian. The OPs situation involves an Indian family, hence the explanation.
You have a wrong, or out-of-date, idea about non-India.
#11 Feb 1st, 2014, 22:33
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#11
I dont think I have made any mention at all about any non-Indian situation! The OP's question involved Indian family, which is the only scenario I have written about.

I don't know where my idea on anything "non-India" is reflected in my posts.

Anyway, I don't think this is adding anything to the OP's original question, so I am going to excuse myself.
#12 Feb 1st, 2014, 23:38
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#12
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post But Indian parents are good at instilling a sense of guilt in their offspring about this.
Not True.

If the son turns out to be a SOB, probably in such rare cases his other relatives will 'instill' guilt in his head. On the contrary parent per se rationalizes ' he is just not able to extend any help, there got to be some good reason for his apathy'.

@Alzo001, if a son or daughter ignores and doesnt help the needy parent/s, she/he will be born a mosquito in next janma (birth).If your love is very strong you have a very high chance of becoming his partner next time as well. Go figure!! The spousal relationship lasts at least seven janmas (pun).

Gifting Gold to the incoming bahu is a tradition, not a big deal.
#13 Feb 2nd, 2014, 00:58
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alzo001 View Post Hi, I'm Alli from Australia.
I have been in a relationship with a beautiful, wonderful Indian man for two years! We are very happy together but I am having problems understanding the Indian culture. My partner is the eldest son and sends a lot of money to India. I am trying to understand his responsibilities but finding it difficult because I don't have any Indian friends. He sees his male Indian friends a lot but the women tend to keep to themselves. I want to learn about his culture and be sensitive but find it hard because I don't know the language, I have no contact with people of his culture here and he gets frustrated with my questions

I am looking for people on this forum who understand Indian culture to help me to understand more deeply. (Is this the appropriate place to ask these questions?) We have talked about getting married but even that causes conflict because I don't want to spend a lot of money on a wedding and I have no interest in gold and his feelings around this are completely different... help! Open to good advice!
Another thread...I would suggest you to go through all the similar threads specially these two :-

http://www.indiamike.com/india/you-a...opean-t210505/

Ahaaaaa.... I hate living in a Joint Family..... Help please

btw where do you plan to stay after marriage ie. India or Aus? He would be getting citizenship if in Aus I guess.
#14 Feb 2nd, 2014, 06:37
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#14
do yourself a favor and read the writings of women who are in your shoes, western women with Indian men. like the first one I mentioned or Madh-Mama writing about decoding the Indian mother-in-law......
#15 Feb 2nd, 2014, 06:55
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#15
Thanks so much for that I will look it up!
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