Single mother alone in Kolkata,Delhi,Kerala anywhere in India!

#16 Jun 21st, 2010, 20:34
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#16
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I have doubts that you will find a community of single mothers at all. Maybe in the biggest metros. Interesting to know what our down-to-earth Indian members, particularly the ladies, have to say. I'll be reading with interest too!
There are! I have seen a meeting of single, divorced women(with children) in Hyderabad and Banglore. I'm sure there will be in other Metros too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post In fact, there will be people who hate and despise you. Even in cities. Are you prepared for a level of prejudice that you may not have dreamt possible and would never put up with Europe? Are you ready for people to have that attitude to your child?
Not sure! as she is a foreigner with a kid accompanying her. People may be curious but may not show any prejudice/antagonism.
#17 Jun 21st, 2010, 20:36
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#17
Auroville is not really "Indian".
#18 Jun 21st, 2010, 20:47
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#18
And, I gather, it has a set of prejudices all it's own!

It, or somewhere similar, however, might make a good base for bushweg's initial discovery of India

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Originally Posted by prince09 Not sure! as she is a foreigner with a kid accompanying her. People may be curious but may not show any prejudice/antagonism.
As a travelling visitor, I'd agree: as a resident, I'm not so sure. But not-so-sure means I don't know really!
#19 Jun 21st, 2010, 21:06
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#19
bushweg, sounds like this will be your first visit to India. If finances allow it, I suggest you first make a reconnaissance trip with your son.

Once you're on the ground, you'll get a better sense of whether it's something the two of you want to take on long-term or even for a few months.

I say this because India is quite often nothing like people have romanticized it to be. I'm not trying to put you off or anything, but given you have a little boy, would be good to have your mind at ease before you make the final transition into a longer period of study.

My 2 cents as both a mum and a naturalized American who took her kids to India each year but never lived there with them
#20 Jun 21st, 2010, 22:24
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#20
Yes, that's my feeling too. Come, with son of course, as a visitor for a few weeks. Also that way you are seeing the sights together, and jointly experiencing too, which you will not be if you and your son are doing different stuff all day.

Even then, living in India is so different to visiting
#21 Jun 21st, 2010, 22:34
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#21
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post It is easy to have a warm and cuddly impression of India from a distance.
I don't think that statement can be emphasized enough. Movies, books, documentaries, etc, none of these things can even begin to prepare you for the many paradoxes you'll encounter in India. You could say this about any country of course, but India takes it to an extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post In fact, there will be people who hate and despise you. Even in cities. Are you prepared for a level of prejudice that you may not have dreamt possible and would never put up with Europe? Are you ready for people to have that attitude to your child?
Being a westerner may blunt some of those attitudes (or merely the awareness of them) but just being female in India is quite a challenge for women with any expectation of equality. My wife was born and raised in India, after our last trip I'm pretty confident she's done with the place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bushweg View Post its lifes circumstances and ones own personal ideologies and identities which undoubtedly define our social spaces.
I think you'll find in India that other people's ideologies and identities have an enormous impact on how you're social space is defined.

India is an intensely fascinating place, well worth an extended visit, please proceed with caution.
#22 Jun 21st, 2010, 22:45
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#22
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Originally Posted by Shaktipalooza View Post I don't think that statement can be emphasized enough. Movies, books, documentaries, etc, none of these things can even begin to prepare you for the many paradoxes you'll encounter in India. You could say this about any country of course, but India takes it to an extreme.
Probably most people, especially in youth with school friends, have had the experience of going to a friend's house and thinking what a wonderful family they have, and seeing all the qualities that they feel are lacking in their own family. The, perhaps, one day you find or friend in tears, and you hear a different story of their home life, or perhaps you visit one day and find a different facet, or, simply, by spending more time there, you cannot help but dig deeper, and see stuff below the surface that is not nearly as nice as you imagined.

Well, I talk about "youth" --- but this is pretty much the story of living in India! For me, too, it has been combined with discovering stuff about certain families that is truly shocking

Yep... India is a learning experience!

Still, Mrs N and I have no wish to live anywhere else, though I'd love a 9-month/3-month division if I could afford it. It would get us away from the worst summer weather too.
#23 Jun 21st, 2010, 23:21
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#23
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Some people think Im an insane,careless mother for relocating to India with my son.
Not insane. Can be difficult, though, because of different culture and no easy support.

Some of the other posts make me wonder: If I were a single Indian mother relocating to, say, Europe or the US, would I find it any easier? And many of those places would be equally romanticised, a learning experience with shocking family secrets et al- as much as India.

A stranger- single mother or not- is not likely to be hated, despised or whatever in India (unless some hamlet in the boondocks, where she will probably be ostracised). Those emotions are reserved for people who are known well, as family etc, because there are other factors at play too.


The only advice I would give the OP is either make a recce trip, or have an out if it doesn't work out. Much of the rest is universal.
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#24 Jun 21st, 2010, 23:42
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#24
I think that, coming to London, you would find it pretty much as difficult, and, as for social attitudes, it is only half a century since British single mothers ran the risk of being consigned to lunatic asylums. Seriously!

There's all the support structure of the welfare state, which is well and good until one actually tries to find a place in a day-care centre, although at six I guess the child would be in school, leaving single mothers struggling to find some way around the fact that school hours just don't fit with their work hours. Some of these things, of course, are pretty hard for dual parents too.

Probably I overestimate the prejudices: I think I know some weird people!
#25 Jun 22nd, 2010, 00:36
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#25

Bushweg

On a practical note, there is the Visa to consider. If you plan on going to one place to teach, you cannot use a tourist visa. You have to know this before you leave and apply for the right type of Visa. There is an Employment Visa and recently a Volunteer type of Employment Visa. Both require paperwork from the place you will be working. You cannot drop into a village and decide to teach English.

Same with taking courses. You have to have that organized before you go and get a student visa.

If you plan on going to India for a reconnoiter tourist trip with your son, which I highly recommend, as suggested by Namaste_Cat and Nick-H then a tourist Visa will work just fine.

My vote is to go for a couple of months with your son and see how it goes.

Forget this whole "single mother" thing. It's only going to cause you unnecessary aggrevation. I am married with no children and in my first trips to India I admitted this. Wow! What a hassle--why? how? you must be so unhappy & on and on. On later trips I carried a photo of my nephews and said they were mine and they were home with my sister (she said that lie was fine with her) so I could avoid all the grief of not having children. Now that I'm a senior citizen I still have to lie that my kids are grown There are cultural differences (apart from the tiny percentage of affluent, educated & more western-aware people you will meet in big cities) that you have to acknowledge and decide just how much time you are willing to spend explaining and justifying your lifestyle. BTW, if I spent real time with someone, I would not lie to them. It's just that you find yourself explaining personal things all day long in India where personal questions to strangers are very common.

Oh, my very first trip I was traveling with my husband, who was then still my boyfriend, and telling the truth about that turned into a nightmare as I was treated like I was an easy woman--I hate lying but self-preservation dictated that I had to.
#26 Jun 22nd, 2010, 02:15
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#26
India is a land of contrasts and surprises. The late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a single parent with two sons (she actually separated from her husband). I am not holding my breath for the day when the US will elect a single parent (male or female). If you want to visit then no problem. There are plenty of women who have visited India with their children and with no man around. My sister-in-law recently visited her parents with a 4-month baby in tow - her husband had to stay behind in the US. Working in India will be a much bigger challenge.
#27 Jun 22nd, 2010, 02:39
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#27
I don't see a problem for the traveller, either, although that fictional husband might come in useful to defect both curiosity and other unwanted approaches.

There are two places where I have found complete strangers enquiring into the details of my personal life as if it is the normal thing to do: India and Wales. The difference is, that in Wales, when I asked the questions, people became very reserved! Many of the people here ask such details because they really do not see it as confidential: they will not take offence when asked the same questions about themselves.

Off course there are reserved Indians too. My wife is one. Sometimes, after conversations, I ask her why she avoided seemingly innocent questions, and she will ask why should they know about her life? So yet again: no black and white answers to the nature of life in India!
#28 Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:46
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#28
Actually it is most difficult for a Western child to adapt to Indian conditions. My sister is American, and when she visits India with her son he likes it for the first week and then hankers her every day to go back 'home'. Maybe your son is interested in India now, but actually living in India can be a difficult experience for him. The basic everyday living standards along with the heat, dust, crowds can be too much for a child to handle. As most people have said here, it is better you visit India on a recce trip and see how your son copes with this country.
Last edited by funny_in; Jun 22nd, 2010 at 09:30..
#29 Jun 22nd, 2010, 07:50
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#29
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Originally Posted by funny_in View Post ...Maybe you son is interested in India now, but actually living in India can be a difficult experience for him. The basic everyday living standards along with the heat, dust, crowds can be too much for a child to handle...
Seems to be the case with many children coming to live in India. Some of it seems to depend upon family upbringing too.

However, some kids make lots of friends here and have fun playing games with them and material comfort does not seem that important to them. I have seen kids in America with their rooms full of latest toys looking sad because there is nobody to play with.

I feel that a Western kid growing up in India can learn to appreciate lot of things the OP mentioned in her post once he/she gets around the initial shock of living in a poor country.
#30 Jun 22nd, 2010, 17:35
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#30
Whereas many children may be much less bothered by simple aspects of dust and dirt, others may be addicted to their burgers and their McDonalds experience. Possibly, might be easier for a six year old than a twelve-year old, but even that is too big a generalisation to make.

Only experience will tell. Perfectly possible that the child may enjoy stuff that the parent finds they can't live with!

The only thing I can advise is: suck it... and see!

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