Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It seems a bit strange to me...

Today I was eating lunch by myself outside. Which gave me plenty of time to people-watch because I didn't have to keep up my side of the conversation.

This is what I saw.

There was 3 people sitting at the table next to me, 2 older ladies and a boy. Well, the boy was addicted to his game boy, and his mother was feeding him. The boy wasn't even looking up from the game, and just opened his mouth while his mother shovelled the food into his mouth.

I was aghast! I mean, this may be a cultural thing...but seriously, it if was my kid, he would have turned off that game and ate himself. geez!

Look Mommy I spoke to a white lady!!

Today I was running around doing errands. I needed to pick up a cd for a friend coming to visit next month, and I had not been able to find it at South City Mall or Highland Park, so the next step was Park Street.

After dropping off the necessary papers and having a fresh lime soda with a friend, I headed off to the metro. While sitting on the bench, minding my own business and  waiting for the train to come this is what transpired :

Young Man: Ma'am what country are you from?
Me : US
YM : Ok, are you working here?
Me : No
YM : How long have you been here?
Me : Almost 2 years
YM : Where do you stay?
Me : My house
YM : What do you do here?
Me : My husband is Bangali.
YM :Oh, ok

*silence*

YM : How do you like Kolkata?
Me : I like it fine
YM : I don't like it. Kolkata is an ugly city.
Me : No its not
YM : Yes, Kolkata is an ugly city. Mumbai is pretty.
Me : Um, ok, sure

um, what the heck? This is the first time I have anyone in the last (almost) 2 years tell me that they hate this city. I happen to love this city. The noises, the smells, the people. Everything!!! :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Multi-race children, confusion or clarity?

Today, DH was reading this link, he had gotten from a friend's facebook page. I saw the title and was instantly interested and made him pass me the link. The article talks about people who are multi-race.

I've been thinking about this for a while. Will my children be completely confused? Will they be dominated by their dad's Bengali culture? How will their Bengali culture affect their actions? How will their upbringing be? Will they be confused?

Well, in this article the subjects go on to say that they know they are Asian and proud of it.

I'm more afraid because here in India, the aunts and uncles are more specifically labelled, as per their age / line on the totem pole. Like, the oldest aunt (or uncle's wife too) is called boro maima or boro mamima. And on (I am not entirely sure of all the names, so I am not giving them all...) and in the US we call our aunts and uncles, as Aunt GivenName and Uncle GivenName...so you can see how it would be a bit confusing for the children. But, then again, given that they will be brought up with both cultures, maybe it won't be so confusing?

While DH and I were discussing this topic just earlier, we had compared our friends situation to ours. Our 2 friends live in the US, and have 3 year old twin boys. While both of them can speak and understand English perfectly, one of them can speak and understand Bengali quite well, while the other one can understand it but not speak it. I believe this is because of how they are brought up, (our children will be brought up to speak both Bengali and English from the time they are born). These kids are essentially US citizens with Indian heritage, but their exposure to English and American culture is much more than the 1 month they spend in India every year or so.

Any thoughts? I will write more about this later, its just 1am, and I'm tired :-)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Today, I love my friends, and my mommy :-)

Days like today make me smile. I woke up early to attend a conference with DH and while I was up, I was messaged by a friend. She had just arrived in Kolkata from the US and had asked me when I could pick up my items. So after a hectic day, I arrived at her house at 5pm.

There I was greeted by my 2 twin nephews :-), who are super cute! I gave mashi-ma (aunty) the sweets I had purchased for them, as per normal tradition (this I was told by DH today...) and went in and spoke to my friend for like 2 hours. My nephew proceeded to tell me how his brother "drowned" while they were in Singapore. Apparently there was a bridge over a small koi pond in the airport. The brother had been leaning over to see inside the pond, and promptly fell in, swallowing some "yucky" water. LOL it was so cute, the brother got such a kick out of the fact that his brother "drowned" ROFL

It was a nice little break, but what made me *SO* happy was that my mom had sent a package to her before they left. My mommy sent me $$$, some real hairbands (I just can't handle the ones here...) and my friend had brought me some of my favorite chips and chocolate. Oh, how it made my day. I have only eaten 2 chips, but now I am in a much better mood! How the small things make you smile :-)

Oh, btw, some funny things. The other day I saw a bakery that sells "pestry" (I'll try to get a photo of it...)