Brown Parent Quirks: No privacy

Indian parents do not believe their children need privacy. This means bedroom doors must remain open. If they are closed, it is perfectly okay to come without knocking. I am an adult but my parents still come to my room without knocking first.

Dad (opens door without knocking): Beta, Did you eat?

Me (annoyed): No, I did not. I’ll eat later.

Dad: Why keep the door closed? Don’t you feel suffocated? Keep it open so air can circulate.

Me:

 

BTW, if you are alone in your bedroom and doing something on your laptop, parents will assume the worst. What are you watching? You avoid bad sites, right? Sorry to disappoint you but I am not watching porn. Look, I am on WordPress. Ah, desi parents are a hoot.

 

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Indian Aunties and Wedding Proposals

Yesterday, I went to a close family friend’s home. We were invited for dinner and since their house is only a year old, they were giving us valuable suggestions. The lovely Mistress of that home, the auntiji asked my mom when I will be getting married?  Have they started looking for a suitable rishta ( marriage proposal)? My Mom told her I will get married when they find a handsome billionaire. My mom is awesome. Anyway, my worst nightmare is starting to come true. All of my family friends and relatives are starting to inquire about my single status. Leave me alone, people! I do not want to get married anytime soon.

I applaud my mom trolling auntiji’s

Brown Parent Quirks: Ethnocentrism

Brown parents can be very ethnocentric. My parents are from India and according to them, everything of value came out of India.

I am watching TV. Suddenly, they are talking about yoga.

Dad: Our ancestors created yoga. We also created the number zero. Our shastras (vedic textbooks) talked about earth being round and revolving around the sun. We were far ahead of Medieval Europe.

Me: Yes, I know that

Dad: Look, the whole world does yoga and meditation but we Hindus created it. We also have the best food, clothing. The way we celebrate our festivals, our culture is amazing.

Me: Yes?????(Not seeing his point)

Dad: India is not all just negative. There is good stuff too.  We actually have family values.

Me: Okay.

Dad: You should talk about good things from India in front of others.

I don’t get the let’s praise India in front of others mentality. I like to talk about the negative aspects of society because I want to bring attention to them. India is very dear to me. I was born there and most of my family still lives there. I want India to be a better place for them. I love Canada as well which is why I blogged about Rahtaeh Parsons case. Both countries have many good things that are admirable but they can both improve in other aspects. India just has more harrowing challenges then Canada. Anyway, all cultures have given us something beautiful and I get to enjoy that. YAY for Toronto being a diverse city.

Brown Parent Quirks: Expecting Excellence

Brown parents do not accept mediocre results from you. That B you got on your test might as well be an F. In the eyes of Indian parents, nothing short of an A will satisfy them. I remember when I had to switch High School after my parents moved. The guidance counselor from the new school told me I had good grades but I needed to do more extracurricular activities. My dad was so perplexed when he heard that. He kept muttering to himself that I had a B in math. How could this counselor call me a good student? I am a fairly recent graduate from University. I majored in History and Political Science. My parents were not happy with my decision but nevertheless supported me. My dad recently told me he would like me to go to Law school. I am pondering over it. This fall, I will go back to do a Post-graduate diploma and Co-Op. But now I am thinking after that course, should I study for LSAT?  I did want to be a Judge when I was a little girl. Nah, I just wanted my own gavel.  Anyway, Indian parents are a lot like East Asian parents. They expect excellence and you need to deliver it.

 

P.S: My parents are a lot less strict then some parents. None of my siblings went into some science program. So yeah, they are very easy going.

Brown Parent Quirks: Comparing children

Brown parents have a habit of comparing their children to other relatives/friends/neighbors/colleagues offspring.

Typical conversations in our family.

Mom: You know my friend at work. Her daughter is 12 but cooks all the food at home. Look at you, you are so old but lazy.

Me: Mom, I am busy with school.

Mom: Busy? You just laze around. Go learn to cook some dal.

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Dad: You know our neighbor  I was talking to him and he has a daughter around your age. She is a pharmacist. You know she has a good job and makes lots of money.

Me: But, I love History and Political Science.

Dad: What will you do with a B.A? At least go to Teacher’s college?

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Both Parents (when they vacationed in India): We saw some of your childhood friends from India. They are so smart, mature and pretty. Look at you? Who will marry you?

Me: Who wants to get married? Not me. Nope.

Mom (Horrified): Don’t say that! You will get married. Not now but eventually. If you follow my advice, you will be healthy and pretty.

 

My parents are perpetually annoyed with me

 

Brown Parent Quirks: Overfeeding kids

During Dinner

Mom: You are only eating this much?

Me: I am not that hungry.

Mom(putting more food on my plate): You are too skinny. Look at your bony wrist. Eat more.

15 minutes later

Me: I cannot finish this. Ah, my stomach hurts.

Mom: See, I told you don’t eat much. How can your stomach hurt by only eating this little?

Dad: Finish your dinner. Don’t waste it.

Me: Putting my leftovers in the fridge. I”l eat it later.

 

Next Day…

Me: Mom, where are my leftovers?

Mom: Your Dad ate it.

Dad: You didn’t want it in first place.

Sorry kiddo

I think most South Asian parents overstuff their kids because they did not have enough food  as children. Moreover with so much poverty and malnutrition in South Asia, being well-fed is a sign of prosperity.

 

Brown Parent Quirks: Being cheap

Mom: What did you get from the store?

Me: Oh, there was a shirt on sale.

Mom: How much?

Me: $20. Good price, right?

Mom: Too expensive. Should have waited a little longer. Could have gotten it for $5.Can you return it?

 

 

BTW, I have learned to love my parent’s frugality. Must concede that they are right most of the time.