In a lot of the traditional Indian families one of the biggest ‘worries’ is how the family is perceived by other Indians. You sort of put on this front and fit into the typical Indian ways so that others can’t talk bad about you *rolls eyes*. For example, if every girl is wearing red, you should fit in and wear red too because what if someone has something to say about the fact that you decided you wanted to wear green and be different to the rest!?
Well I married into the perfect typical Indian family where reputation was everything to them… and I guess I’m the piece in the puzzle that just didn’t fit… Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain things about culture that I hold on to… it would be a shame to let go of what our ancestors taught us and raised each generation by…. But to worry about what others think of you because you drive a certain car or like to cut your hair short? WOWZA!
This was their norm, and I just didn’t fit into that… I made a lot of changes, just to keep the peace. I also thought to myself that I chose to marry this man and be part of his family so I need to change my ways a little…
I guess the rebel in me would end up fighting it too much though. I remember once, there was a family wedding and I had chosen a saree to wear on the day of the wedding… however 5 days before the wedding day some of the girls in the family had decided they wanted to wear these Indian dresses instead of sarees… well that meant that my MIL had decided I should wear a dress too!
WTF?! I tried to explain to her, my outfit is already chosen, I have a million sarees which were given to me at the wedding and haven’t been worn, why do I need to buy something new? Her reply… ‘Because all the girls are wearing dresses, you don’t want to look like the odd one out’ … I mean , great fucking reason why I should spend another £200 on an outfit because I have been told to…
I know this seems like a minor example – but this would be the response for pretty much anything… I was encouraged to buy an Audi because the rest of the family drove BMW’s and Audis – why would I want to drive a Honda? I didn’t wear enough make up, I should wear more jewellery, I should wear dresses rather than jeans, I shouldn’t cut my hair short, girls shouldn’t go out to bars as much as the boys… why the fuck not?!
‘Normal’ to a typical Indian family is for the wife/daughter in law to do as she is told… to follow suit of every other typical Indian woman in the family… just be a good Indian girl. I finally came to my senses and refused, I guess this is where these things which irritated me, helped me to realise that I am my own person, I can stand up for myself and that its ok to be different
Being a little different to the rest is what makes us interesting people. Why would we want to follow suit of what others tell us to be … the world would be a very boring place to live if we were all the same, don’t you think?
I guess what I want to say is… don’t change yourself just to fit into someone else’s ‘normal’ because there is no such thing.
Yes, sometimes in a relationship compromises have to be made etc… but never at the expense of changing the person you are. There is only one of you – and your partner has chosen you for that reason, don’t change to fit in because in the end you become miserable, you don’t recognise yourself and you end up just being something/someone just to fit in with others. I got to a point where I felt like I didn’t know how to be anymore. My natural self is to be loud, outgoing and the life and soul of the party – but I got to a point where I wasn’t even sure what I could say or how to act in case it wasn’t ‘right’ in everyone else’s eyes… Man, trust me, that is no way to live! Its fucking boring and well… fake!
Let me tell you – the weirder you are, the better! Be crazy, wild and different, because there isn’t enough of that and it’s what will make the world a more interesting and fun place to be in!