Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Common stereotypes of Western women in Indian society

(Img via)

Every ethnic group has certain stereotypes against them - especially women. Stereotypes are most rampant in the media, where you get a one-sided view of a particular character - for example, in Bollywood - there is the "hero" or the "villain"; and women especially are categorized as the "virginal bride" or the "tart".

In my journey within Indian society - as an untypical foreigner - I've discovered that there are many stereotypes of Western women. This is all fueled by the way Western women are portrayed in both Bollywood and Hollywood. However, I don't blame Indian society entirely for the reason why these stereotypes exist - foreigners are also equally responsible. The problem also lies in the fact that whenever foreigners visit India - the majority go from their hotel to the tourist sites, and maybe for some shopping. Rarely do they have deep interactions with locals and local families, so many are only seen from afar, in a shallow way.

That reason is combined with the fact that Indian culture is notoriously non-mixing. As an Indo-intercultural couple, we are one of the rarest mixes. A foreigner would face just as much opposition coming into the family as an Indian who is of a different community (different caste, religion, or region). Times are changing, but it is still a rarity...

As the only foreigner in my Indian family, I've had to squash a lot of stereotypes. It has been one of the main barriers in getting to know my family members - because many (elders especially) have certain ideas of Western woman's character, based solely on lack of exposure. Namely, that Western women are "immoral" in every sense of the word. A bunch of my Indian family members had never even seen/spoken to a foreigner before me. Once people made the effort to get to know me, they realized that most of these stereotypes are untrue, and the ones that are true do not necessarily mean I'm a "bad person".

For the foreigners who wish to marry into an exclusively Indian family, you may have to deal with squashing many of these stereotypes as you form relationships with your new family. I wouldn't take offense to it - and don't let it stand in the way of building your relationships. Just know that it may or may not be there. The only thing you can really do to squash stereotypes is to stand the test of time and continually make an effort.

I have heard all the stereotypes of Western women before, and nothing really surprises me... "You're just a prostitute and he'll never marry you"; "He couldn't find an Indian girl / She couldn't find a white guy"; "She'll just divorce him when she gets bored"; "White women are easy"; "She's trying to be Indian"; "If she has too much freedom, she will run wild"; "She will break up the family"; "She talks to men, she is a loose woman"; "He will never have another home cooked meal again"...blah blah. I honestly laugh at all these things. It's pretty hilarious. Whenever one of these stereotypes come up, it's as if I'm being compared to the Basic Instinct lady or Samantha from Sex & the City (and I'm not even blonde...lol!)

(Samantha character from Sex & the City - img via)

I was curious to hear if any of the other Whindian wives had faced any stereotypes, so I spent months asking them and compiling a list:

Common Stereotypes of Western women in Indian society

divorce; not taking marriage seriously and if we get bored we will up and leave; quick to divorce (everybody gets divorced as seen on Western TV)

- unchaste; easy women that sleep around; has the moral values of a prostitute; porn star in bed; will sleep with any man on the road; don't have to marry women to have sex with them; will have affairs after marriage

-laziness 

- not family focused; no family values; can't take care of kids or inlaws because we are too individualistic ("too much freedom")

- can't cook; all we eat is junk food in the West because all our food is packaged and dumped in the microwave; no family dinners

constantly being asked "have you ever had Indian food?" or "does your husband eat bread all the time now?"; or shocked to know that many wives are vegetarian

- won't adjust to Indian culture and religion (surprised that we enjoy celebrating Indian holidays/attending pooja)

- won't live with inlaws; "stealing the son away from his family"; break the family up (separating the family); forcing the man to put the wife as the first priority above the parents

- the suspicion of cheating (needing alone time / simply speaking to other men that are not your husband = unfaithful)

- stuck up and high maintenance (because all Americans are rich and bored)

- we are all Christian 

- we are all American


So yes, there are many stereotypes of Western women. From the above list, Western wives are apparently lazy, unhealthy, porn star/sex addict, who don't value marriage or family, selfish, rich....which is the stereotype that many of us wives have to deal with. So much SEX, SEX, SEX, and DIVORCE everywhere!!! AND the big one...the concept that Western women have an inability to adjust because we are too individualistic and have too much freedom.

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My own experience with Western women stereotypes:

My MIL's biggest fear about me (STILL!) is that I will get a divorce from her son, and then she will get blamed for the whole thing from Indian society. She specifically tells husband-ji not to piss me off, and to treat me nicely (which totally works in my favor! lol...thanks MIL!) I don't believe in divorce; I believe that once you're married you have to try everything to make it work 100% of the time; nobody in my family is divorced; BUT I don't believe in living in misery either...and if people are unwilling to fix their marriage then they should get a divorce. Even though I'm not religious, I believe marriage is sacred - mostly because I found my true soul mate and I work on my marriage every single day, and I'm just glad he works on it with me.

Another stereotype I've had to deal with from the extended Indian family is that they are surprised to know that I can cook (at all), I can cook Indian food (to the point where Indians think it is cooked by an Indian), I love spicy food, and we live in a vegetarian household (meaning no meats cooked).

Probably the most annoying stereotype for me, is the "unchaste" label. When one of my favorite Indian family members found out we were living together before marriage, apparently that made me appear as though I have the moral values of a prostitute. And apparently that made me reflect badly on the whole family - "she has spoiled us!!!"...blah blah. (So, maybe because we seem to have the best marriage out of all the family members, people should take some advice from us and try living together before marriage...ya think?) And just because I had boyfriends before my husband (and openly admit that), apparently makes me the type of person "who will just sleep with any man on the road" (even though we have been in a committed, monogamous relationship since the day we met). Actually, my prior relationship experience made me more confident to marry Madhavan because I knew he was my soul mate. So, NO, I'm not about to run off with other men...because I KNOW I've got the best man already. And that is why I married him. And that is why I will STAY faithfully married to him until I die.

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On another spectrum, Western women also get a bad rep for "exoticising India". (Whatever that means...lol) So the minute you dress in saree/salwar kameez, or learn how to cook Indian food, we are apparently "trying soooooo hard to be Indian". What the heck. Um, it's called liking Indian dress or Indian food....nothing less, nothing more. Funny how nobody says that about any Indian girl if they want to wear jeans. (OMG...she is exoticising Western culture!!) OR funny how when I feel like eating sushi, nobody says, "you're trying sooooo hard to be Japanese!!". Ya. Exactly. Ridiculous, I tell you!

The "too much freedom" concept irks me a bit. What exactly is wrong with having freedom, or "too much" of it??? It doesn't mean you're going to run off somewhere or NOT put your family first. The one thing that bothers me about conservative Indian society is the limitations they put on the women (sometimes unsaid limitations - on mobility, freedom of choice, duty/obligation, wife comes last on the totem pole) And this judgement surprisingly extends to Western women. Women are criticized in every society... but in Indian society, the moral policing is on steroids against women with all the "reputation/family honor" crap. It only highlights the gender inequalities - for example nobody ever said that any men "have too much freedom", are bad because they are "unchaste", or "can't cook" - there are NO expectations or judgement on them WHATSOEVER! Nobody simply cares! But oh, for the women! What a list!!

Alas, if this is the kind of judgement that many Western women have to face...you can only imagine what Indian women have to deal with from their communities on a daily basis. Dressing a certain way, dating, speaking to the opposite sex, putting the family first above any of her own needs/desires, having to "adjust" to the inlaws...and what happens when a spouse knows that you'll never divorce him, no matter what he does to you...?


Related articles: 
"White Women in the Indian Imagination", by Alexandra Delaney

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So, dear readers, what stereotypes have you personally faced? For those who are in intercultural relationships, what stereotypes have you had to deal with from your spouse's community? How did you squash these stereotypes?

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*A special thank you to all the Whindian wives who helped contribute to this post. You know who you are!*
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31 comments

  1. I think there is a fundamental difference between how cultures look at women. Indians look at qualities like gentleness, femininity and grace which is often mistaken by westerners as sign of submissiveness and meekness. Indian women are very feminine but very tough. There is an inherent beauty in women which is difficult to put it in words.

    The western society in its over zealousness to project women as equal to men make them more masculine. So, the image which is projected of a women who is tough, aggressive, more like men. They also overdo it if TV and cinema is to be believed. They put masala which is understandable. People meet in bars, share a drink and then jump into bed. This gives the impression that western people sleep around with random people. I know it is erroneous but sex is omnipresent in serials/movies. No intimacy can be shown without kissing and explicit scenes. They use sex like we use spice in food. I really puts off many Indians because they are unable to enjoy these serials with family. This is actually a big barrier in the understanding of the western world but Indians in general. We can handle item numbers but this raw sexuality is very difficult to handle even for the most liberal of Indians.

    The third reason is porn which is exclusively foreign with white women. It is the single biggest reason for Indian's perception about the white women. When women are objectified, that is not oppression on women, which is more less the same thing as oppressing women in the name of tradition. One is subtle and disguised, the other is more apparent and in you face.

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    1. Very thoughtful and interesting observations.
      Western women are typically more dominant, they like to be equal if not more so. But so many Western women are complete romantics and very lovey-dovey, so I suppose they are gentle in that way.
      There is way too much sex on TV and media here, it is almost grotesque. We are sort of used to it in a way, desensitized to it. However it is easy to see that Indians may get the idea that we are all sex-crazy by just looking at the TV shows here.
      Also there is a lot of public displays of affection here between couples, hugging, etc - is very normal. This can also give the impression that Westerners are sex-crazed.
      I totally agree with you about what you said about oppression.

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    2. I remember there was serial called "Degressi Junior High" which I am told is Canadian serial. It showed a girl in junior high who is pregnant. She cames to school with her inflated belly. The school Councillor gave her and her boyfriend an egg. The idea was if they could look after an egg without it getting damaged for 24 hours, they can take care of a child. I was appalled by the ridiculousness of the idea. They were suggesting that it was OK to get pregnant in Junior High. Do the serial makers have no responsibility towards society.

      I have yet to see any serial or movie which does not celebrate dyfunctional families, serial killers and rude teenagers. Everyone is sure happy living in big houses, driving big cars etc. Schools are cool, no uniform. Teenagers have more complicated love lives than adults. Do they get the time to study.

      What is this obsession with serial killers. I cannot understand it. It seem that the western serials are obsessed with the darker side of human nature and don't get me started about comets hitting earth, those doom day kind of movies. It seems that the western society believes that the greatest threat to their existence would come not from man but some natural disaster or aliens.

      Indian serials on the other hand may be regressive, traditionalist, but they celebrate life, family, love in their own fake ways. I tell you the western media has done great disservice to their own people be distorting the image of the west in the eyes of other cultures.

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    3. Yes, Degrassi High is Canadian and it is very popular, it has been on the air for decades, although I've never watched it. I'm familiar with the news stories' that they used to show controversial subjects such as homophobia, abuse, bullying, teen pregnancy, etc - which is actually realistic about what teenagers face nowadays - like it or not. Part of the reason why Degrassi has done so well is that teens and young adults can relate to the subject matter.
      In terms of serial killers, aliens, etc - those are all just stories, fantasy. They want high ratings. It is just fiction; and even the reality shows on TV are pretty fictitious with their plot lines.
      I think TV shows celebrating dysfunctional families is ok - because after all, a family is a family. All families are dysfunctional in their own way.
      My conservative Telugu MIL is obsessed with Western crime shows...lol ;) But she is different....she said most of the elders would not even be able to watch the things she does.
      My main problem with TV shows nowadays is that I've noticed that swear words are used as early as 8pm. I really have no idea how many shows I'm going to have to limit my daughter from watching when she gets older....or maybe I'll just turn off the TV and read her a book!
      The only Indian serials I have watched were CID, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, and a few of the saas-bahu serials. My favorite Indian TV show is Satyamev Jayate because it talks about serious issues.

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  2. Stereotypes usually come from people who don't know you, or know only a little from your culture.

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  3. I don't believe in Divorce either and everyone in my family is divorced all my aunts my mom and dad (several times) and my grandparents. but I Never want to get divorced It destroys families and children's lives.

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    1. I agree, it is every couple`s worst nightmare... I'd rather invest in years of couples therapy than be divorced! Divorce is very difficult on children, especially when they are old enough to understand.

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  4. I like this post. What you said is all too familiar to me. I am an Italian girl and I married a man from Calcutta. His family was concerned that I also didn't cook or have family values. Italian culture is very family oriented, I have a large family, and we like to cook fresh every day. I don't know where they get this stereotype from, maybe movies and media, I think.

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    1. That is so funny. Italians are the most family-oriented of all! Your inlaws must have been surprised at how much in common your cultures are - cooking, family, etc.

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  5. The topmost Image of Sharon Stone is so hilarious an apt for this post! :D Have to admit that it's a stereotype among general public on western woman, And it used to be mine too, till some 5-6 years ago :)

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    1. Yes, Sharon Stone - the classic "Western woman" LOL! I heard Basic Instinct was a big hit in India.
      Thanks for admitting that you had the stereotype, that's brave of you! Glad you were able to get past it - so many don't.

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  6. and please remove that captcha code verification! It's so annoying at times. :D

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  7. probably you can blame the western media and movie makers for portraying women as such, the American pies and desperate housewives are western creation not Indian stereotypes

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    1. I blame both- but clearly people should be wise enough to know the difference. I'd leave that up to the individual's responsibility.
      The same can be said about the Indian media - everyone breaking in to choreographed dancing at any given moment, or everyone only works in call centers like Slumdog Millionaire, or "all Indian men are rapists".

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    2. @Alexandra

      The word used to describe beauty in western vocabulary is "hot". It is like your are talking about a piece of meat, which is to be consumed rather than a living, breathing human being. I find the term extremely derogatory for any man/women. The western society actually looks at beauty from the point of view of sexuality when sexuality is one of among many aspects of beauty.

      Another thing I don't understand is western formal wear. The men are all covered up in black suits and bow ties while the women move around in gowns which barely cover their bodies. The gowns are strategically cut to show ample cleavage, back and sometime entire leg. The women are also mighty pleased to wear them. Nobody is bothered, it is actually celebrated. The celebrities on the red carpet are the worse. They leave nothing to imagination. I am not a expert on western culture and neither claim to be, but I find the whole thing very exploitative for women. It is like there are trying to fit into an image. I seems very obscene to me. Does western culture confuse sexuality with beauty?? At least the thrust is always in projecting women as sexual objects. Is this a subtle form of exploitation of women??

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    3. @anonymous - one main cultural difference regarding the above would be the fact that in Western cultures, nudity is not seen as taboo. It is normal to walk around barely clothed, and nobody will even bother. It is normal for parents to get changed in front of their kids, and not feel bad. It is strange for me to see my inlaws' family or even my husband going into another room to change whilst shutting the door. We don't notice these things that much. And in Europe, any beach there will have women's breasts exposed - it is normal. In our viewpoint, it is more about not being embarrassed of one's body - being comfortable in one's own skin. And the men don't seem to be bothered by it, nobody letches or leers at you, because it is more normal.
      I myself do not see a person's body unclothed as a sex object. I just see it as someone's body, it's not really a big deal.
      It's a big cultural difference.....
      Sometimes I think the only time Indians get unclothed for a certain period of time is when they have sex. Maybe that is why nudity is seen as very sexual.

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    4. @Alexandra

      This is the crucial difference that you have so well articulated and is often overlooked. You have hit the nail on the head. Yes, Indians do strongly associate nudity with sexuality. However, we do get offended first by blatant nudity. Our sensitivities are often not given much importance.

      Few years ago, there was this disgusting fashion of "low waist jean" among the younger generation. As the name suggests, the jeans barely clung to the waist of the wearer. Basically, you could see the the under garments of someone sitting opposite you in a metro/bus etc. Forget sexual arousal, it was so vulgar. Then there were tops which barely reached the waist. These people were seen trying to pull their jeans and tops in vain, to cover up their bodies. Two thoughts crossed my mind, did they not see themselves in the mirror before going out? did their parents not tell them to dress decently? Sometimes I had to get up to look the other way. According to my value system this was vulgar. I tried to stretch my imagination but could not come up with some justifiable reason for this nudity. I believe that what is decent/indecent, this understanding comes from inside before someone points it out to you. The reason I giving this example is that many a times we see nudity on tv, cinema or public life which is blatant. But if it is pointed, then an argument is giving that it is about controlling women, huh???. women are harassed in traditional dress also. It is true, women are harassed, no doubt. These two arguments are related. But is not similar to criticizing India for sending mission to Mars when Indians do not have access to toilets. Related arguments but contexts are different. It is not about women. It is not even about Indian culture. It is a case of plain decency. Why we do not factor cultural sensitives into our debates on morality/decency etc, I cannot quiet understand. A case of decency then snowballs into a man vs women issue. It takes the discussion somewhere else. I think we have to keep this cultural difference which you have pointed out so that we find our way through this confusion. Otherwise, we would be left beating around the bush always. I would like to ask you that is our Indian sensibilities/value system or way of thinking always doubtful because there are always bad things happening in India. This way a day may come when we have nothing to believe in.

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  8. I don't know where East Indians in the USA get their pious airs that the sun rises and sets on their family. Marriage is a two way street...I married them and they married me. Glad I am living separately from my Indian husband, lol. The marriage is working out beautifully living away from his mother, lol.

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    1. LOL....it is pious, indeed....
      I think foreign women tend to "tolerate" less bullshit - which is actually a good thing ;) but in a patriarchal sense - it is a frightening concept!

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  9. Hi again,

    I am learning so much from your experience. I really enjoy not being the only girl with an Indian :)

    One stereotype that goes together with what you said is : white girls obviously take drugs regularly, and drink. When I was in India, it happenened several times people tried to sell me drugs on the street. I would blame TV and the few young style Westeners who come to India, and consider that everything is allowed there.

    The other one was almost fun : we were walking in the streets somewhere in Rajasthan. Two elder guys were walking behind us. My boyfriend tanslated later their conversation "Check that out : a foreigner" "I really don't know why they come here... THERE IS NOTHING TO VISIT" "Nahhh, it's because THE ONES THAT DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO TRAVEL IN THE WEST, THEY COME HERE" "yeah, must be that". Funny, ..... and so sad to see that some Indians absolutely don't realise the cultural heritage of their country. (Actually, that extends to much more countries, and you will always find grafittis on monuments that are more than hundreds of years)...

    After reading you, I also realise having had a previous boyfriend also makes me realise more how great is the man I am now, and how worth trying is.

    Thanks

    AJ

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    1. That is so interesting, those are some to add to the list!
      One time I got food poisining in Kerala and had to go to the hospital, the nurses kept asking over and over if I had taken drugs, and I was like....what the hell!
      The one about the poor foreigners is hilarioussssss OMG. I laughed so hard!!!!! As if the flight ticket to India is so cheap, apparently....!!
      And nothing to see - WHAT?!?!

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  10. I love how your blog has a very positive tone even in discussions like these which can be rather controversial and often end up bashing up cultures.
    But this reminded me of a experience i had as a Indian female. I went to the doctor in Kerela and had to fill up some forms with basic information. The problem was the male staff repeatedly asked for all details from my male accomplice even though he did not know my age, previous medical conditions, allergies. I was thinking - I am clearly an adult who speaks english and the local language. You can ask me. A male staff talking to a female patient is not wrong.
    That aside, another white women concept - they love alcohol. Indian women, atleast south indian women do not favour alcohol that much. I think they also adds a little to the negative image of white women.
    And adding on the lose moral values point - their dressing sense. Very often you see white women dressing up with their legs, bra straps, cleavages showing. This is seen as disrespectful in conservative societies. In temples across south east asia, authorities always have to keep sarongs in stock so they can provide it inappropriately clothed females, usually white females.
    So while i can't judge the typical indian for these notions because they are not really imagined and arise from realities they see in their towns and cities, i am well aware that not every white women is like this.

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    1. Thanks, I really try to be positive!
      I cannot stand alcohol, I literally hate the taste. I don't know why anybody finds pleasure in drinking it! One time I was hospitalized in Kerala, in Allapey, for a stomach bug, and the doctors kept asking me did I drink or take a drug. Like ten times. I was like WTF NO I DID NOT!!! LOL
      The dressing thing I understand. When we visit India, I see all these Western girls wearing shorts etc to a temple. They do it because it is hot, but they need to be aware. I have found that more modest clothing has protected me more. Unfortunately.

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  11. I recently saw a movie called 'wolf of wall street' starring Leonardo dicaprio. I don't watch such ..... movies but I just stumbled upon. just see what kind of society it depicts. if things are not like that in the west the picture of society it reflects is simply horrible to the indian mind. it may be ok no problem thing for the west. that's why every indian family thinks 10 times before nodding for a foreign dil or son in law( 0.0001 % yes). I don't say they are good or bad. it's too judgmental. the values are just opposite. that's why this always a NO NO NO to a non-indian. it's no racism. we know it is terrible for a foreigner to fit in to indian culture and society. why should they? after the initial romance of marriage is over all these indian things will be very suffocating for them. I am not wrong when I find the discomfort expressed by so many foreign wives in india. but that is normal for us. I like west in so many ways but I 'll not marry a foreigner not becoz I hate them but I know they will find it immensely difficult to live with our values and we with them. why eat raw chili and howl for water?:)it may not be pleasant or comfortable to either them or us. eg. we call mil and fil as mum and dad and it is highly disrespectful to call them by any other thing. it's normal and is done in evry household. but I read somewhere it's irritating to the foreign dil. such small day to day things when normal to us and not normal and an imposition to them, why irritate anybody. let everybody live in peace.marriage is a life time affair and matter for the individual and for the lineage. and it's a big big risk.

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  12. Hey Alexandra, great blog! I don't even read blogs, but I've been addicted to yours for the last couple of days after seeing some things you posted on Pinterest! :P I'm also a white girl from Vancouver who is with (dating) an Indian guy - though he has been in Vancouver since age 2 haha.
    I have many stories, like you, but I'll share my experience with being stereotyped. When I was in India last year (without my boyfriend, and most of the time with his parents), people assumed many things about me.
    I was at one point at a yoga therapy university in Bangalore getting some treatments (I have some injuries from car accidents, etc. and currently live with pain). I was alone for this part of my trip. One instructor of the my group, "back pain", asked me to stay behind after the class one day. This seemed a bit odd, but as there were many other people around outside, and we were in a holy area, I felt pretty safe. My instructor had very little in the way of English speaking skills (comprehension better), and I had no Hindi or any other Indian language skills! (He knew many languages but not very much English). We just stood there as he looked me up and down with a puzzled look on his face. "Where you from" he stated. "Canada"... an even more puzzled look.
    --So, I don't know if you have found this, but "Canada" pretty much isn't a thing in India. I had to state that I was American. Before I learned this, I had some hilarious times with people when they thought I meant that I speak Kannada.--
    ~continued below...~

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  13. ~continued~
    Back to the story! ... So, my instructor has found out I'm "American". He says, "How you are here"... much more a statement than a question. I explained that I was staying with my boyfriend's parents, and they had dropped me off here in Bangalore (I was staying in Pondicherry with them beforehand).
    "You get married?" was the next question, this time with wider eyes. "Hopefully!" I said, with a smile. "What you are" was the statement question that came next. I honestly had no idea what he meant, and I am usually pretty good at understanding not-perfect English. He repeated his query to me, to my puzzled look. He then said, "You are... Christian". I started laughing. "Oh! You want to know what religion I am". "YES!" his face brightened, eyes wide and mouth in a big smile. I knew my reply probably wouldn't suit so I laughed. "I am not religious" I said, half laughing. "Hmm? NOT Christian?" He then looked at me slyly and changed his approach, apparently feeling I didn't understand the question. "I... Hindu. Hindu!" he said with enthusiasm and a smile. "Yes I know" I said.
    "You are..."
    "Spiritual?" I hazared this, figuring he wouldn't have a concept of that in English/outside of Hinduism.
    Again a bewildered, though entertained, look.
    That's when it really occurred to me that being non-religious is a very strange and practically unheard of thing in India.
    "Your boyfriend... Indian. He Hindu." This was stated with a total confidence, and a nod.
    "Well, yes, I guess... sure" (my boyfriend is not religious either). Then I went out on a limb. "We are... Buddhist?" I said with a smirk (not entirely untrue).
    "HMMMMM. Hindu... Christian". My instructor turned on his heel and left. "See ya... tomorrow!"
    He had apparently made up his mind about my boyfriend and I's religions. And I really couldn't care less what conclusions he came to. I found the whole exchange very entertaining and lighthearted. I love cultural differences. I don't identify with any religion specifically, but with all fundamentally as all are (at their deepest core anyway) based on spirituality and love.
    The next day, my instructor took me to a nearby temple (still within the university compound) and showed me a picture of his mentor, who has passed away. He told me he takes his wife and kids to this temple sometimes, and they all give thanks to their matriarch. Then he lit some incense and we sat in silence for a while, praying. He also showed me a Swami Vivekananda statue and left me there to meditate on my own. The whole experience was really interesting and wonderful, and I was glad he felt he could show me some of his Hindu practices/traditions. I was myself wondering if other people would judge me-a white female-spending time with this instructor clearly outside of class time, but, if they did, I was unaware of it. It probably helped that we only spent time together in a religious manner and during daylight hours.
    Anyways, I guess this is us... breaking the stereotype, one person at a time lol.
    (PS very sorry to anyone if the way I am word-for-word quoting my instructor seems in some way rude; I am simply quoting what I heard and what I inferenced to the best of my ability. No offense intended!)
    Yours in light,
    Megan

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    1. Sweet story, Megan ! (Pad)

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  14. Also these stereotypes are because of high divorce rates in western countries

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  15. Points mentioned above are quiet true unfortunately. India is still in transition phase where people mindset is changing slowly. I use to live in India once till 20s that's where i decided i don't want to be part of this system/country packed my bags and left for good. I married western Women from Eastern Europe and i am glad i did that. In India portray all Western Women as American. Biggest issue with Indian society well wont call it as issue let me rephrase it biggest different between Indian and Western society is India is a collectivist society not individualistic so what society says that maters. But hey as i said its in transition phase so as more Indians are getting educated things will change

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