Friday, November 07, 2008

ABCD??!!! Really?!!

I wonder who it is actually we are talking about when we say ABCD (American Born Confused Desi’s).

Here are the reasons why I think that the first generation Indian immigrants are more confused than the second generation kids and how we cause the confusion in our offsprings who are born and raised in a foreign country…

  • Most of us do not leave India and move abroad because we felt oppressed, or were ill-treated, or had issues with the government or anything like that. People who actually face that do not have the choice of leaving India at all.

It is us, the middle class or the upper middle class who have everything we want (in moderation) in India that chooses to leave. We have had exactly the same fun and frolic in India as much as we have had here in a foreign country. It is us who have seen Gerber foods to Levis Jeans and seen coffee shops to Toblerone chocolates that decide to leave, because we have the choice.

This very choice also acts against us. For example the minute we land here we start looking around for comparable stuff, like the guy who irons your shirts for just Rs.1 (hardly even 10cents) or for the guy who will deliver your fruits and veggies to your home. From there the longing starts and for every other sentence we keep telling each other “This time, last year, I was eating home made food that mom made for Diwali, and look at me now, sitting here, in a new country, eating the nonsense that I cooked.”

  • It is our generation that always keeps talking about wanting to go back. Not that of our children, who are born Americans or Canadians and remain Americans or Canadians, and yet are called ABCD’s.

  • If the kid is sick, we are the ones who think, should we give them Ayurveda, homeopathy or allopathic treatment. The kids actually would prefer to go to a doctor and listen to them.

  • We are the ones who are confused because we want to celebrate Diwali and then Halloween too.

  • We want our children to learn to speak in English with the local accent but also send them to Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/whatever language classes in an attempt to keep them speaking in Desi when they grow up.

  • We are also the same parents that start talking to the kids in English as they grow up and then complain to the outside world that “My son only talks in English with him. I don’t know why he is not talking in Telugu any more.”

  • We are also the same parents who take our kids to Geetha classes, Vedha classes and also force them to live in a country which is not based on the Geetha or the Vedha.

  • We want to take our kids to Burger King but we want them to eat Veggie burger??!!!

  • We want them to learn Ballet and also learn classical music or the other way around, go to Opera classes and learn Bharatanatyam…

  • We want them to wear Ghagra to dance Dandiya and then change over to a cocktail dress to go to a friend’s wedding?? And you take them to a cocktail party but give them glares when they reach out for the champagne??!!!

And we do all this so that the parents (us) can boast that their kids are all rounders who are Americans or Australians but are very much Indian in their life choices??. Do the kids really ask you to teach them lifestyles from two different worlds? Do the kids really want to know what it is to be an Indian living in America? It is the choices we first generation immigrants make for our children and yet they are ones being called as ABCD… because for them, they are really Americans living in

This video will summarize what I want to say…part of at least.

With that I sign off this week...see y'all next week and hopefully it is more brighter for all of us!

PS: If you have an opinion but cannot express it freely in the fear of getting branded and you go with the herd then what is the point of having an opinion at all?

PS-2- Blogger is very annoying and is messing with my formatting! GRRRRRRR


This blog is not a take on any particular country. The only country that is a constant is India but the rest of it applies to Indians who have moved away from India and have established bases in various foreign countries.


Vinod Patil said...

Questions and answers are yours. In most of the cases parents itself are confused what they are going to teach their kids. I personally have seen many ABCD's in newyork. Life is all about choices and we must choose that thing which keeps in higher self, which uplifts your spirit.

Megha Bansal said...

hmm, interesting view point. but aren't all parents confused? i mean immigrant or not? doesn't each parent want to raise their kids in the culture they themselves were raised?

i think the term was coined by kids in india, coz they saw their american - indian counter parts as being confused.

oh well. i've lost my train of thought. so i'll write more later.