Today I wish to talk about what it’s like to be British Indian in today’s society and what it was like growing up with parents who were traditional– It definitely made the prospects of sex, dating, and marriage interesting…
The Family Ties
There were always implications in my family. My parents thought I would marry someone of the same religion. More simply put, the idea was for my siblings and I to marry Indians– that’s just how it was supposed to work in our family.
Family Dating Service
My parents found partners for us through a directory at the local temple.🕍 You could look in this directory and you could share your child’s name, age, background, profession.
Most importantly it was used to get a sense of whether or not this person was a suitable match for your child.
While marriage was a hot topic in my family, some things were never discussed, like dating and sex.
I remember this one time when I was much younger– I was in the living room watching TV 📺 with them and all of the sudden there was a sex scene between two animals on the Discovery Channel.
I felt massively uncomfortable with my parents in the room, to say the least. 😵
These types of moments and the uncomfortableness it caused led to a lot of problems with my later experiences with romance. Really, it all just had to do with our upbringing and our religious background.
Let Us Sing
I used to go to the mandir every day. We, as a family, would go to pray together. We’d sing religious songs equivalent to a gospel church.🎤 Our church going experiences were always filled with song.
A way to speak to the gods.
The songs were the Hindi version of the Lord’s Prayer. 🙏
The mandir, praying, songs– it was simply the way of life for me as a child.
We Grow and We Change
As I grew older, my interest in learning Hindi suffered and my interest in playing football ⚽ gained more attention.
English → Hindi
I spoke Hindi when my grandparents (my mother’s side) would come to my folks’ place. They would come to live with us for 6 months at a time, and it was always amazing hanging out with them.
It gave me the chance to speak Hindi and simply learn from them.
In the Household
These are just some of my experiences of growing up as a British Indian within a traditional Indian household.
As for being a British Indian outside of the household, that’s a whole different experience in itself.
Instances of color were never a factor for me. It was always a factor of respect that meant the most to me and still does. 👤
In some circles, the idea of being with an Indian is not the most sexy idea in someone’s mind.
It’s this idea of a man:
- who talks with a funny accent
- who works all hours
- who is a shopkeeper
- who sends his children to school to become doctors and lawyers and bankers
We’re seen as very religious and quirky.
This is a perception that people sometimes still have about me.
Stereotype = Opportunities
The stereotype is not something I let get me down but I do recognize that it can afford you opportunities because you’re in a majority of a greater group. ✌️
But you must see your individuality and your differences as strengths and it’s an amazing thing.