I’ve never thought about it in those terms until I came across this blog post today: Stuff Desis/BrownPeople Like: #54 Placing People
“But to get yourself placed in a totally uber category, you should be dating/married to a white person or at the minimum having lunch/coffee with a non desi.”I know this blog is tongue-in-cheek, but I guess there’s a truth behind it. For my husband, being married to me (a white girl) isn’t much of a status symbol – he didn’t go out looking specifically for an American or a white girl. He didn’t “need me” in order to get somewhere in life. We just happened to be at the right place at the right time and things worked out.
So the guy at the pharmacy the other day was a really nice older man. He started chatting with me while filling my prescription. When I when I handed him my credit card to pay – he commented on my last name. I have to give him props because he actually said it right. Some people don’t even try – but it’s really not that hard – it’s phonetic people!
Anyway, to my surprise, he looked at it and said, oh your last name must be Indian… I smiled and said yes, it sure is! I was thinking how well-informed this pharmacist must be – he probably meets all kinds of people… and who knows, maybe he’s even come across our last name before!
I guess I got excited too soon… because the next thing he did was scratch his head and say… “Now is that Cherokee or Apache…?”
Carrie’s mother Peggy became concerned about her daughter’s social and romantic needs as Carrie entered adulthood. “When the loneliness began to loom around 21 and she saw her sister and brother having relationships and getting married, she longed for it,” says Peggy. Group discussions at a nearby resource center for people with disabilities brought “some comfort,” she says, but Carrie continued to talk about meeting her “Mr. Right.” Says Peggy: “We never dreamed it would happen.”
Sujeet’s mother Sindoor, however, says she “had marriage in sight straightaway” once Sujeet expressed interest in Carrie. “We come from a different culture,” she explains. As India-born Hindus, Sindoor and Sharad Desai, both dentists, “don’t expect dating and breaking [up].” Nor did Sindoor wish to expose her vulnerable son to the emotional upheavals of serial entanglements.
Here are the rules:
- Link to the person who tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
- Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
- Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
- Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
- Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
- I had an Indian flag hanging in my dorm room in college – for no obvious reason – but ended up living in India and marrying an Indian.
My birthday is on India’s Independence Day… Go figure.
I love spicy food. (I was raised on Mexican – so Indian food wasn’t a huge jump)
My husband and I both come from Christian families, (our intercultural marriage is not an interfaith marriage).
My favorite TV show is I Love Lucy – hmm…they have an intercultural marriage too…
I LOVE hot weather, and my husband would LOVE to live in Alaska. Really. Alaska. I’m serious.
If you are in an Indian intercultural relationship, or if you have plans to visit India anytime soon, you might expect that you can communicate effectively by just knowing English. That might be true – but only up to a point. There are a few differences, especially if you speak American English. Because of it’s history as a British colony, India has retained the British use of many English words. In addition to British words, there are some Indian expressions that are unique to India.
In the beginning of our marriage, I found myself having to “translate” for my husband at times. Now, he has learned most of the American words for things, but on occasion I still have to poke him in the ribs when our friends look a little perplexed at something he’s just said! Of course, when we’re in India, he gets his turn to make fun of me too!
I thought it would be fun to make a list of a few of these words. The Indian use of the word is on the left, and the American meaning is on the right. If you have any words to add, please leave a comment!
- Auto – Auto Rickshaw
- Biscuits – Cookies
- Bunk – Strike, Absent without Permission
- Cool Drink – Soda
- Crore – 100 Lakhs – 10 Million (1,00,00,000)
- Dickie or Boot – Trunk of A Car
- Dustbin – Trash Can
- English-Medium –Schools Taught in English
- Flat – Apartment
- Flyover – Overpass (Highway)
- Football – Soccer
- French Beard – Goatee
- Fringe – Bangs (Hair)
- Full Stop – Period (Punctuation)
- Geezer – Hot Water Heater/Tank
- Hash Mark – Pound Sign (#)
- Holiday – Vacation
- Homely – Someone who is Domesticated
- Indicator – Blinker/Turn Signal (Car)
- Lakh – 1,00,000
- Lift – Elevator
- Met with an Accident – Had An Accident
- Nappy/Nappy Pad – Baby’s Diaper
- Petrol Bunk – Gas Station
- Queue – Line
- Ring-Up – To Call Someone
- Rubber – Eraser
- To Let/To Hire – To Rent
- Torch – Flashlight
- Windscreen – Windshield
- Zip – Zipper