The last couple of weeks have been great fun with all the guests. Anush had a ball, we went out a lot, ate a lot and of course yapped a lot. Gave and got lot of gifts as well.
Apart from the bonhomie, a lot of questions got raised, some amusing and some unpleasant. Pertaining to Indians who move abroad,i.e. USA, including 2-3rd Gen Indians. We found that there are no simple or at least straight answers. Also it does not apply universally.
"Don't your children need to fit in there?" Learning Indian things, imbibing the culture - all acquire prime importance, more in the US than over here in India. How about learning some drums along with the mridamgam and some ballet with the Bharatanatyam ? (note the use of "along with" not "instead of") If the kids are Americanised , do not force them to go through the appearance of being Indian just through symbolic changes. I think this confuses the child.
"Should you not adapt to the country which feeds you?" Using Crest and acquiring a drawl does not make you American. You need to be thankful and loyal to the choice you made.
Germ Phobia- Mineral water, toilet rolls, hand sanitizers, anti malaria pills. All fine. But what about drinking coffee before brushing...eeewww. Unwashed plates/ coffeecups because you forgot amma taught us to rinse and then leave them in the sink. Hair that flies about once you brush it for the umpteenth time. Probably does not show on carpeted floors?
Enforced love- Kids from there are very polite. But to expect them to relate deeply to their relatives here, over a period of just a week, whom they have not and will not meet for the next couple of years? Having said that kids do and did relate. That is even worse because you tear them away for so long from their kin- till your next visit.
Solution- More visits ! Longer visits!