One would expect NRI parents to be cool about the life and lifestyle of their children, under the ‘progressive culture’ they live in. As it turns out, they are often more hardcore than the parents residing in India.
Probably it can be attributed to the constant itch to prove their Indian-ness around foreign communities or their native habits and stereotypes haven’t completely abandoned them even after moving overseas. The NRI parents do every bit to keep their children tethered to traditions back in India.
Although their children perhaps now are walking in step with a whole new league of international citizens to attune themselves to multi-ethnic settings in a lookout for new identities, it’s not a green signal from desi parents as they stick to Indian stereotypes.
Things Desi NRI Parents say to their kids:
Make round rotis, otherwise, a husband will never be found
This is a common problem across borders for Indian kids, who find more convenience in takeout over rolling rotis into geometric shapes in the kitchen. In India or abroad, the threat of not finding a suitable partner if your own kid is not experienced enough in making rotis.
What do you mean “you’re seeing a white boy?”
This query brings us to the question of white partners. NRI parents live abroad, however, their heart belongs to India. And marrying off their kids outside the culture is a strict no. The desi NRIs are often known to be more insistent on following traditional customs. They sniff Indian brahmins out if they have to get their kundlis (horoscopes) matched for marriage.
Get married, what will your bua (Aunt) in Delhi say?
Relatives back in India, whenever possible, get nosier when kids in the family have been brought up overseas. They take a keener interest in their personal lives: what they are up to, who they are dating or how frequently they are going out. Probably they are trying to experience foreign life vicariously as they could never do themselves.
However, it’s mostly about the opportunities of stereotyping and demoralizing. NRI parents also play into that trap with ease, making sure that their kids keep getting a taste of the old ‘log kya kahenge’ mantra.
How can you simply ‘move out and find a place of your own?
So, what if Jackson will find a place of his own post-college or Kiara is renting out a place with friends in the same city as her parents? What does it mean when you say that you want to live with ‘financial independence’? What kind of perverse things you want to do in your own house that you cannot do here? Who will take care of us at old age if you leave us now? Being an NRI kid, you will face such questions when you mention you want to live on your own.
Don’t wear that-our izzat (honour) in the Indian community matters
Perhaps NRI youths have more liberty to colour their cupboards than kids in their native places, but it in no way means they are provided with a free pass to slide by Indian dress customs, especially when there is a community event or a desi relative knocks on your door.
NRI children may often drape salwar-kameez and put a dupatta against their wishes to give an impression that they haven’t forgotten their roots.