I read a news article the other day. A wife had filed for a divorce from her NRI husband. Reason? He was forcing her to live so called ‘American’ life. The details include forcing her to abandon her ‘desi’ customs and traditions, change the name to some thing English, forcibly eat and cook beef, pork and wear lewd revealing costumes in front of his friends. He also posted her compromising photographs on social networking sites just for fun. When she protested, he told her all others do this here in the US of A. Two days later, we come to know that he is a Maharashtrian Brahmin and a close associate of a distant relative. Such a shame!
Are we not copying enough things already? Look at the reality shows. Look at the stuff we eat these days. Guys, how much more do you want? And what for? We had a traditional day function at our office last Friday. The ones who had come in proper traditional dresses like Dhoti and Nauwari Saree were being looked at as if they were walking semi nude with banana leaves wrapped around them. What the… It is good to change. It is good to adapt. But it is sad and really sick to forget the roots.
One of my customer is an Indian guy who has been staying in US for last 10+ years. He gives me a feeling as if I’m talking to an American. He asked me if Mumbai has a broadband connection. Then he asked me if I have a speaker phone facility. That was strange of him to ask. I know he was being honest since he has spent most of his lifetime in a small town in Maharashtra. It is still strange of an Indian guy to ask such a question. If that is the case, ponder what the average young Americans might be thinking of us. Is it not their (the NRI’s) responsibility to change the perception?
When in Rome, Behave like Romans! I know. But does it mean when in US, forget Indian culture?
Addendum: The High Court granted her the divorce. They shot down the argument from the husband that she was expected to ‘adjust’ to the lifestyle. The HC has also asked to initiate criminal proceedings against the husband for outraging the modesty of his own wife forcibly in public (because he put the photographs on the SNS)