Learning the mother tongue…
The Sunday classes in the temple or Gurudwara…
Attending religious recitals even if you don’t understand what the priest is saying….
Growing up abroad is a challenge in itself, not that we realize it when we are kids. You not only have to worry about the the bigots and the racist idiots on the street, but your parents and elders are paranoid to the point of obsession; the obsession with raising the kids with ‘Indian values’.
Growing up in India – you are amongst your own kind; you are emerged in your own culture. As a a child in India, the social values are spoon-fed over the years; you are surrounded by your own skin color; you are the majority. No confusion, no duplicity.
Living abroad however, our culture at home is often different than the culture on the street. We are dealing with a multicultural society. Our social settings totally different and multidimensional. As a kid growing up, we adapt to the surroundings, to the society we grow up in.
Growing up in American or any other Western society, the Indian American families tend to hold on to the inherited culture and Indian social values much more closely. The parents cling to the carried-over traditions from India, holding on to the Indian roots very dearly. The Indian families make a VERY conscious effort to instill the Indian values into their kids. Continue reading