My Bad Indian Habits

by Sharell शारेल on May 8, 2009

in Adjusting to India, Culture Shock in India

I used to be a control freak. I was one of those people who got into a panic if they were going to be more than five minutes late. I meticulously planned my weekends, and had a social calendar that I filled up weeks in advance. If a guest was coming, I had the house spotless and ready to receive them hours early.

Fortunately, I’m happy to say that living in India has mellowed me out considerably. This country has ripped the reigns of control from my hands, and taught me to relax and stop trying to be perfect (koi baat nahi…sab chalta hai). It’s also opened me up to so many possibilities. Everyday, I feel curious about something new.

However, I’ve found myself acquiring some disturbing “Indian” habits.

  • I have little regard for the time. After many frustrating episodes of arriving on time, only to find no one else there or ready, I’ve given up being punctual. These days, ten minutes turns into half and hour, and half an hour stretches into one hour. If I am late for something, I blame it on the traffic of course! It’s quite liberating. However, it’s not good when I’m meeting friends and family from home, who consider 1 o’clock to mean 1 o’clock, and keep them waiting.

  • I stare at people. On a number of occasions recently, I’ve caught myself unabashedly looking at people. Anyone who interests me, I don’t hesitate to openly check them out. I guess I feel like I’ve been stared at so much in India, it’s fine for me to do likewise. Isn’t staring a normal part of human behaviour here anyway?

  • I wobble my head. It would be difficult to find a foreigner who hasn’t been confused by the comical Indian head wobble. I vividly remember the time I encountered my first head wobble. I was in Pushkar and I’d asked a travel agent if I could get a bus to Jaisalmer. He wobbled at me without saying anything. What did that mean? I could get a bus? Or wasn’t he sure? Much to my consternation, I’ve now started to enjoy this gesture. Not only do I happily wobble my head at people, I also sometimes think that there’s nothing that could be more appropriate. Why speak when you can wobble and it means so much more?

  • I avoid disclosing information. When I first met my husband, I used to get annoyed with him for being evasive with people or not giving them complete information. Usually, it was to do with our relationship. I remember many long distance train trips where he told nosy Indian aunties that I was a family friend. Being quite ignorant of Indian ways back then, I was a little offended. However, he assured me that it was much better to answer their questions this way, rather than deal with their responses and follow-up questions if he told them the real story! I’ve fast realised that he’s right. Being open and honest in India is not worth the hassle sometimes. Now I find myself perfecting the art of giving away as little information as possible — but just enough information to make the other person think that they’ve found out something interesting about me.

I’m also ashamed to admit that I’ve thrown rubbish on the ground. Not very often mind you. It usually only happens when I’m in one of my “I’m tired of India, and why should I do the right thing when no one else bothers” moods. I definitely don’t intend making a habit of it!

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© Copyright 2009 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I’m with you.

India taught me to lie a lot. Just like Indians do.

You know — saying “yes” when you have absolutely NO intention of doing it, and other stuff like that.

It took me years to get over these things and then incorporate them into my life, but now whatever India throws at me, I’m like “RIGHT BACK AT YA!”

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Rahul May 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Hi, I just found your website. I am in Indian who came to the US at 18 for undergrad studies and stayed, along the way marrying a gori. It has been 10 years of marriage and we have one child. Sorry to say, its been a very difficult marriage for me and for her. A lot of that is due to culture. I would like my kids to marry Indians here or there because I believe now that intercultural marriages, though they may last, do not provide in whole what intracultural marriages can. Between the language, food, way of thinking, child rearing, religion and politics that are so different, there is not much common ground beteen us and the difference are getting bigger as we get older. As an Indian, I was raised to do my duty so I will continue to stay but I would not recommend it to anyone else especially for Indians who marry Americans/European. Maybe non-Indian Asians have something in common, like family, respect for elders, individual needs less than important than family and community and savings, among others. But, given the choice, I can say with complete certainty that chances of Indians in marrige are much better with other Indians.

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Sharell May 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Hi Rahul, thanks for reading and offering such an interesting comment. I agree with you — the cultural differences are huge! I can understand how difficult it must be for you. I’m trying to picture myself as a gori wife in my home country (Australia), having not had the benefit of living in India and growing to appreciate the culture. I find Indian culture very complex, with much depth, and it takes quite a bit of understanding. The hope I have for our child, should we be blessed with one, is for him or her to grow up appreciating both cultures and get the best of both worlds. I find Indian culture has so much more to offer than in the West, so I’d like him or her to be exposed to it all early on in life, and allow his or her Indian grandparents to enjoy all their rituals etc. I’ll be reading stories from Indian mythology, feeding him or her Indian food, speaking Hindi, and will even do the co-sleeping thing. All these are things that I would never have gotten to experience or understand if I wasn’t living in India though. I really will be trying my best to blend both cultures, and won’t be imposing any unnecessary Western beliefs (although I do want my child to be sufficiently well mannered and disciplined)! Hopefully it will be a success. Anyway, I really admire you for remaining in your marriage and staying in the US, even though it’s been difficult for you. Many lesser people would’ve given up by now.

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Ravi September 19, 2012 at 10:03 am

Rahul,
I was going through this great website & read your comments.
One of the biggest Indian belief or realization is “it was written”or “it was destiny” as per our past karmas.

As far as marriage is concerned I could almost guaranty that this may be true. On the other side I have also observed that gori’s are sometimes better Indian than our new Indians who are looking to become westerners from all angles. Being an Indian starts from an urge to be spiritual. That the true Indian core value, the first things that our parents in India use to teach their children was to meditate & remain silent. (remember the reason why the entire India wears bindi on the forehead). The present India is haunted by the effects of nearly 500 years of slavery of Muslims & then British.
Now what is that part to which you call gori. Is it skn? then in India we have plenty of them in Himachal (my home town), J&K etc where many people are as white as any gora or gori in any European nation. (See the Kapoor family of bollywood.)
Or is it something beyond skin that troubles or is not matching with you. Then it must be the “mind”.
But no mind ever matches as ‘mind = trouble’ weather its mine or anybody elses.
My wife is Indian as I am from the same town in Himachal. And my mind does not matches with hers even a bit. She like all that is western, on the other hand I am an ancient Indian.
Concluding that the great Indian lessons “whatever happens happens for good” (Bhagwat Geeta) & “it was written” are of great relief when such thoughts surface on the mind.
ravi

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Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I have seen many intercultural relationships fail. Rahul is speaking from the Indian male perspective, but from the western female perspective it is also very difficult. My female friends who have “gone native” so to speak ended up miserable. But then they married or hooked up with men from villages and small towns – very closed minds.

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Anon June 29, 2011 at 3:38 am

I was with an Indian man for almost a year, we spoke of getting married, I spent a very interesting few weeks in India with him and the relationship did not work out. I am happy that it did not, as he had many expectations of me that I never wanted to begin with that weren’t revealed until a few weeks before we broke up.

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V. May 12, 2009 at 5:58 am

Oh, I have to agree with Cant beat ‘em. I agree to things even though I have no intention to follow through like they do. I give the “yeah, sure, why not”!

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Sharell May 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm

That has got to be the most annoying trait — saying they’ll do something and not following through. It drives me mad and is so inconveniencing. People say they’re going to come but never do — oh, and the opposite of that, then they just turn up unannounced and expect you to be home and ready to receive them. I’ve started pretending I’m not at home and don’t answer the door! ;-)

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Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 13, 2009 at 5:04 am

oh, and the opposite of that, then they just turn up unannounced and expect you to be home and ready to receive them.
….

Well, that’s considered normal in India.

….

I’ve started pretending I’m not at home and don’t answer the door!

….

That’s considered rude. They would be VERY HURT if they found out you were inside hiding!

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Sharell May 13, 2009 at 10:45 am

Can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em! — I know, I feel bad doing it too… but isn’t avoidance better than confrontation in India?. It’s my version of saying yes when I mean no! But seriously, I work from home, don’t have a maid to look after the apartment, and like to dress comfortably when I’m at home. I just don’t have the time to be entertaining people who turn up unannounced, and often I’m not even properly dressed to receive visitors because I’m wearing shorts or the like. For me, home is where I can be myself. Would it be considered ruder if I opened the door and invited them in, only to tell them 5 minutes later that I really have to get back to work now? The neighbour used to come over every day, just to satisfy her curiosity about me and needlessly hang around and watch me do stuff. I couldn’t tell her to go away and let me get on with my work, so I stopped answering the door…

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PGB May 13, 2009 at 9:19 am

This post was hilarious…..
“Isn’t staring a normal part of human behaviour here anyway? ”
this cracked me up. Keep up the good work :)
Pradeep

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Sharell May 13, 2009 at 10:50 am

PGB — Haha, glad you liked it! By the way, my husband is also called Pradeep. :-D

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Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 13, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I’ve been in similar situations, Sharrell. Now, my attitude is, if YOU’RE gonna come over unannounced, you are gonna see the REAL ME – whatever that means – clothed, half-clothed, clean, dirty, WHATEVA!

And the thing is, if we stop by their houses unannounced…. they are so gracious, feed us, everything. So yeah, kind of makes me feel guilty but we were raised very differently. Privacy is the jewel of the West.

But I got to the point where I don’t mind drop ins, coz I just figure, if they wanna drop in, they should be prepared for whatever state they see me in.

I’m not a ghar walli bahu who sleeps in a sari, yaar. Get over it Auntie!

Of course the Uncles are just hoping and praying you will be wearing shorts and tank top – LOL!

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Sharell May 13, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Haha… yes, exactly, it’s the Uncles that I’m concerned about!! Now I keep a dressing gown handy and quickly put it on before opening the door, to deprive them of the pleasure. I did go through a phase of wearing those maxi nighties in the house during the day, but felt like I was constantly in my sleepwear! It is very tough when we’re used to so much privacy in the West. I’m a private person by nature and really struggle with having people around me all the time, hence the reason I prefer not to have home help. Slowly, I’m adjusting… :-(

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Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 14, 2009 at 11:21 am

And Indians have to adjust to NOT having home help when they leave India………………

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Sharell May 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

That would be much worse I think!

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PGB May 20, 2009 at 9:57 am

hehe although I am a South Indian living in Mississippi :D

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Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! May 21, 2009 at 1:38 am

PGB, that means you can consider yourself real “southerner”!

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manno June 29, 2009 at 5:09 am

Hi Sharell,

I have just discoverd your blog and find it wonderfully interesting, and in a way, close to home. I have been married to a Punjabi man for 25 years; we have two beautiful daughters and live in California. We have toyed with the idea of retiring in Punjab, mostly because our money will go much farther there. I have visited India twice, once in 1986 and then with the whole family in 2005. Amoung the miriad of fears I have about making this leap is the seamingly silly concern about intrusive, unannounced vistors. During both of our visits I found this Indian(?)(Punjabi?) practice to be especially annoying. We would have early morning visitors who would be allowed into our bedroom before we had gotten up and even brushed our teeth. I couldn’t understand why our Indian family members did not think that this was intrusive and turn them away. There are so many delightful and refreshing aspects to Indian culture that lures me though–mostly the slower, less frenetic pace of things, but I would hate to be known as the unhospitable gori in the neighborhood. Well, I would be interested in hearing whether you have had any similar experience and how you handled it.

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Sharell June 29, 2009 at 10:40 am

Hi Manno, your concern isn’t silly at all! It’s the number one issue that bothers me about living in India. The worst thing is there really isn’t much you can do to change it unfortunately. It’s a case of “must adapt!” I did have a similar experience — the landlord’s wife was in town one day and wanted to see what I looked like. She came by unannounced and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. The bedroom door was closed but she barged right in without even knocking! Thank goodness I was properly clothed. It could’ve been really embarrassing!! I just had to grin and bear it. Indians just don’t seem to have any concept or idea of privacy or intrusiveness. I guess it comes from the fact that most of them share homes with so many others, there is such a lack of personal space. It really isn’t possible to turn unannounced visitors away without seeming rude. Family members particularly so. It seems that family members must be welcomed into the home whenever they arrive, at any time of day or night. So many times, I’ve told my husband to ask his family if they could please give some warning before coming (because it’s often really inconvenient for me otherwise) but he says its not possible. It would be extremely offensive to do that. The Indian way is that they can visit whenever they like. So I just have to accept it. However, for other people, I sometimes don’t answer the door! I’m sure I’m looked upon as being reclusive and unfriendly (one of these people that don’t interact with the neighbors) but it’s a small price to pay for my sanity! My adaptability just can’t stretch to welcoming unannounced visitors all the time, especially when I work from home and don’t want to be interrupted. :-(

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Dev June 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

I think this habit largely depends on socioeconomic status, education, location. Among my own relatives, I find the urban, educated, and cosmopolitan types would NEVER, EVER do that. If they are middle class, or from more rural backgrounds they would very well do that. They don’t necessarily mean bad but Indians can be curious – and with the population density the country has, people there can bump into you in a crowd or stuff themself 6 to a Maruti without hesitation. I think the ” buffer of space” is literally zero there..

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Ms. Manners June 30, 2009 at 8:51 pm

My theory is – if they are going to barge in unannounced, then they have to be prepared to see me in any condition. I am not going to jump up and change clothes for bargers. If they are prepared to see me half nude or more so, come on in!

And, when they they do see you in that sexy nightie or whatever, usually THEY are the ones who get embarrassed, offer a sheepish “sorry” and retreat.

It works. I’ve had one landlord learn to knock simply because his wife didn’t want him to see me that way (and he was embarrassed too). Works for me!

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Abdullah K. August 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm

@ Sharell – “…they just turn up unannounced and expect you to be home and ready to receive them.”

I had a similar problem with a couple who used to live in floor above mine. They often dropped by unannounced in the evenings, when I was at home. I used to find it very inconveniencing and didn’t know how to tell them to leave me alone without being rude. They also had this irritating habit of trying to hook me up with any and every girl they knew so that I’d get married. Fortunately, they moved houses a month later and left me in one piece.
 

@ Sharell – “I’m a private person by nature and really struggle with having people around me all the time, hence the reason I prefer not to have home help. Slowly, I’m adjusting…”

If you really value privacy, try moving to a locality or city where people value privacy more. There are a lot of such places in India and if you search carefully enough, you might find some localities in Mumbai as well.

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Ajay Somani October 1, 2009 at 8:45 am

Sharell,

Every post from you that I read, impresses me more. You are humble and can beat any Indian housewife hands down.

About privacy and likes, I will not override your thoughts, but would add on it to give my perspective. When in India, my friends would walk in my room. That was my place and their place or we will go on the ‘chat’ (upstairs). Kids grow up like that. But someone unknown coming in never happened. Bombay may be different than other places though.

Now I am in US. I have been here almost 9 years. I find it weird that I know only two of my neighbour, and they happen to come from India. Kids can go to each other’s home and eat without problem, watch TV and come back home. But I wish, we were little more social. It will be so much nice to walk to your neighbour and talk about something other than saying – ‘ah seems like rain.’ You know what I mean! I hardly know anyone’s name here. Well then I am close to NY but it was worse in smaller place that I lived for almost a year.

But anyway, coming back to point. Keep up good writing and do not plan to leave India. I will like to meet you some day there.

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Cathy November 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm

:D Just rereading the past posts while catching up with new…and have to admit, I was staring at people by the time I had been there a week…observing the interesting behaviour of the American in the hotel lobby in complaining about it costing 20rs for internet/proclaiming travel plans/making arrangements (yes, it seemed the Americans were most interesting) no longer was a matter of a quick look while they weren’t looking and while pretending to be otherwise occupied…I was able to stop typing/reading/whatever I was doing and turn and look at them frankly…such a fabulous thing for nosy me as it meant I didn’t miss a single interesting detail. And I must admit, I also found myself looking at any white person I encountered (apart from in Fort where there were so many)…:D

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Cathy November 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Oh, and the head wobble is so damn cute…it is pretty much on my ‘must’ list for a man to have to be attractive…

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Ramit November 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Did you learn to wobble your head Cathy??? :D

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Sharell November 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Uh yes, I can confirm that she has. :-P

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Cathy November 6, 2009 at 7:29 am

Lol I do not (do I?)…I am certainly going to put that down on my to do list for next year’s trip, along with enough Hindi to tell my auto driver ‘I swear that my hotel is on this road, it is just obscure and a long way down…please keep going’. (as opposed to eternally calling my friend Rohtash and asking him to tell them just where it was…)

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Sharell November 6, 2009 at 10:32 am

You gave me one quick wobble (more like a flick of the head, it didn’t have the fluid movement of a well practiced wobble) at Mocha! ;-)

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Cathy November 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Well I will defend it as a twitch then…if I am going to wobble I am going to do it well lol…one of my friends there has the best wobble ever…I must get him to teach me next time I see him…I want one!

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Ramit November 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Hahahahahahahahahaha! Thank you Sharell. That’s very useful information indeed! :D

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Cathy November 7, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Lol…I think you are both just plotting against me in an evil way…but will seek my revenge on next visit for sure so be afraid…be very afraid…(and lol must admit that I now have a desire to go andsee if I can do the head wobble thing…hmm there must be a youtube how to video I am sure :D)

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Ramit November 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm

You aren’t evil at all. I’d say you’re rather cute!

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Sharell November 7, 2009 at 11:39 pm

And others would say you’re cute, Ramit! ;-) I think there’s some mutual admiration going on here. You didn’t wobble at Cathy by any chance did you? :-P

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Cathy November 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

I am evil…it is proven by my gmail name…you just saw me being unusually nice because Ramit’s parents were there…really…and of course still being all in reeling gratitude and hero worship towards you after your very compelling Knight in Shining Armour performance :D

Sharell, I detected no head wobble at all…am expecting a lot to make it up for it next time…and of course a youtube instructional video (um, I checked, there isn’t one :O)

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Ramit November 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Gee I don’t remember if I wobbled my head or not. Haha! There wasn’t any kinght in shining armour performance at all. Actually, I should have been there at the airport before you guys! As for the you tube video, we’ll teach you live telecast next year!

Cathy you can’t be evil at all. You are awesome in being sweet and totally suck at being evil :-)

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Evil Cathy November 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

No, you definitely didn’t wobble your head…I am a connoisseur of the head wobble and would certainly have noticed (or maybe I am was too impressed with the accent…I realllllly love your accent…and still swear it is half American…). Very much looking forward to the live version of both a male and female head wobble…but don’t count on it being next year…I just entered lotto so may be back in just weeks…

And ok, there was no knight is shining armour performance…because you are the real thing…the checking out and booking hostel was impressive enough (especially for a dodgy Australian/American combination like us)…and then the rescue from the streets (sounds like we were ‘fallen women’ lol).

I am evil…I have amended my name as proof :D

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Evil Cathy November 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm

And Sharell, he is definitely cute…indisputably!

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Sharell November 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Thank goodness he speaks properly too! :-P

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Evil Cathy November 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Nah, not yet he doesn’t…needs more time around us clearly to change from the US sound to the ‘Ostriyn’ sound

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Evil Cathy November 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

because we have such a refined accent of course :P

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Ramit November 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm

What does ostriyn mean? There’s nothing dodgy about an American Australian combination. I’d say they happen to be one of the best! :-) I don’t have an American accent! It’s just normal speech! Haha! :P

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Sharell November 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm

What does ostriyn mean?

It’s how we pronounce Australian, in Australian. os-tray-yin. I’m from os-tray-ya mate! ;-)

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Ramit November 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Cathy you remind me of Drew Barrymore in Charlie’s Angels with your red Facebook picture!

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Evil Cathy November 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Of course, ostraya is the refined version (as of course we say, being all accountanty and all)…ostriya is the real working man version…

And you have a American Indian combo at the moment, but I am definitely planning to add Australian to that…and you doooo have an American accent…even the American claimed so :D

Lol at Drew Barrymore…Harsh who took those photos for some reason managed to get lots of decent ones of me…was seriously shocked!

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Ramit November 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

os-tray-ya? Wow. That’s new.

I wonder what would American-Indian-Ostrayan sound like! :P

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NS December 4, 2009 at 3:46 am

Ok this will sound totally strange to most of the people here. I am a desi living in US (NY, Chicago, South et al, been there done that) and lived in New Delhi for 23 frikkin yrs where I was born and brought up, but somehow I think the abundance of technology called telephone made big in roads and people have started giving a little more notice before dropping in. For eg. I’d never go to my friends place or my friends or relatives would drop at my place without giving me some sort of heads up. Now that heads up might be as less than 15 mins (for friends) or 1-2 hrs ( for relatives mostly), espl with the proliferation of mobile phones this trend seems to be catching up in India

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Sharell December 4, 2009 at 3:59 am

It’s funny, sometimes I think it’s better not to have any heads up rather than just 15 minutes or an hour. At least if they drop in unannounced I feel justified if I’m not ready to receive visitors (say, I’m disorganized, busy, or not properly dressed). 15 minutes notice throws me in to a huge spin and totally stresses me out, while I try to make myself respectable and clean up. 1-2 hours notice and I feel like I have to drop all my plans for the day and re-organise everything, because after all relatives take priority over everything else. You can’t tell them not to come, apparently! :-P

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Gauri December 19, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Hahaha some nice points sharell!
1) Regards for time: Punctuality – exists in australia…I too begin fretting when I’m running a few minutes late when meeting a ‘local’ but when it come to indian organised parties, it a-ok for our family to rock up 30mins late…Whenever my indian but aussie raised friends organise something we always specify whether the agreed 6pm means 6pm or whether it means 6pm Indian time…which as you know, can mean 6.30pm…7pm….haha
2) Staring at people: This annoys me to the core – As you would know, there has been a massive influx of indian students in australia (particularly your city melbourne!). I wish these students would understand that it is not OK to stare at other indian girls…its like ‘have you not seen an indian girl outside of india??” And its not a quick stare either….they watch you, actually moving their heads until you are out of sight!! eeeeek!! No wonder ppl think that many indian men are perverts!!
3) Hahaha the head wobbling thing is funny….even i do it!! Making it hard for the locals to know whether i mean yes or no :D

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Sharell December 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Yeah, notorious Indian stretchable time. I was disgusted with myself the other night when I visited some friends (westerners) in Melbourne. I was a whole hour late!!! What has India done to me?! :-o

That is appalling that Indian students are coming to Australia and staring at Indian girls! I know that stare all too well. :-( It’s probably that they’ve never seen Indian girls showing so much flesh before, because Indian girls dress much more liberally here than in India. One of my Indian friends recently moved to Melbourne from Kolkata and she quickly adopted Aussie dress standards — she’s always in mini-skirts now. Perfect staring material for the freshly arrived Indian student! :-P

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Rohan January 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

time is a big problem , strangely lol IST( indian stretchable time) was told to me by my audit professor recently , i always come 15-20 minutes early for any occasion and hate late comers unless its a genuine excuse or emergency , i read about a german expat in forbes magazine and he said that ‘whenever theres a meeting i was the only one in before hand , the 2nd guy would walk in 20 mins late , if the same situation applies in germany the meeting would be over in 20 mins’ lmao
plus the privacy thing , i do need alot of it as much as that of 2-3 people and mumbai doesnt give you any which is why i want to get out of here lol ,
not answering a door bell when it rings , i can understand that when a westerner says it as they have a formal culture in their backyard which i quite like cause nobody can barge in anytime they please and start gossiping.Fortunately i got a switch for the doorbell which i switch off when somebody comes early in the morning(milkman,newspaper guy) or when im angry and tired
one day when i came home late and tired i switched off my cell removed the telephone cables and swtiched off the bell lol bet u must have felt like doing that too

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Amit Desai January 28, 2010 at 5:11 am

Sharell, “…I was a whole hour late!!! What has India done to me?!…”

No, you were still on time. After all you were following Afghani standard time while living in India. What’s time, eyee? Nothing more than an illusion…

“…That is appalling that Indian students are coming to Australia and staring at Indian girls!…”

Does that hurt white girls? :lol:

“…Perfect staring material for the freshly arrived Indian student!…”

Personally, I always liked lighter-brighter flesh, and didn’t bother much about the “darker flesh”, even while in India… ;)

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Murali October 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

“Personally, I always liked lighter-brighter flesh, and didn’t bother much about the “darker flesh”, even while in India… ;)”

yet here you say that white skin doesn’t attract you so much

http://www.whiteindianhousewife.com/2010/02/do-indian-men-generally-like-white-women/#comment-18014

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Abdullah K. January 28, 2010 at 11:08 pm

@ Amit Desai – “Personally, I always liked lighter-brighter flesh, and didn’t bother much about the “darker flesh”, even while in India.”

So is it true that human flesh tastes like bacon?

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Amit Desai January 29, 2010 at 2:48 am

Abdullah K: “So is it true that human flesh tastes like bacon?”

Of course it does, after all, bacon and human flesh have the same origin. Since they (bacon) started singing in the choir (chorus), we (human) stopped wallowing in the mire (mud). ;)

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David March 28, 2010 at 4:12 am

I don’t know if my comments are relevant. I am from the US and run a small retail business. I have been running my business for 11th year in Southern California, where people say it’s a melting pot. For Indians, I observed that they are so indecisive. They buy one thing after having spent more time than any other ethnic goups or nationalities and then come back the next day or weeks later to exchange it or return it. This shopping pattern is significantly higher among Indians than any other groups that I have observed….

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Sharell March 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Hi David, that’s a very accurate observation!. ;-) Indians have a rather “unique” way of shopping! They tend to ask the opinions of all their friends and relatives, to collect as much feedback and advice first before buying. There’s so much deliberation involved. Then, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else comes along and says to get a different item, so they go and exchange or return it! :-P Plus, most Indians like to make sure they get the very best value for money.

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GS December 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I totally agree with you regarding Head wobble. I guess its in our gene.
I can’t stop smiling reading about that

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Sharell December 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Hehe, just as long as you’re not wobbling your head a little in acknowledgment as you read too! :-P

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sherry November 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

hi i saw your infor here and i must say i very touch and to learn about the culture more, i am an indian female from guyana the caribbean and i must here we live normal daily life free from all the stuff u went truth, but as the sayi learn from you and i enjoy reading, i must point out that today and on word i going to live myslf one day at a time and be thankful too, thank u for sahring and do feel free to contact me i love hearing from u dear all the best to u and your hubby any kids ?

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Shiela Dikshit November 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

Yeah ! Being foreigner.. Crack up at my last name first :-)
Amazing part is you can witness every opposite behaviour in india – Depends what you witness first, so don’t generalize everything around it
Yes, you will meet some puntual ppl, etc any behaviour you expect in US.
I was in Australia and local co-workers in autralia had met indians from south and i am from North india, All indians know our food,language, even cinema is different from south to north to wetst to east, Australians were expecting me to deliver some south india movie dialoges ..(can i ? ), In US my office Indians one from south, one from gujhrat (west), North (Kashmir), Punjab and then UP (Central) and a bengali (west bengal) – Any indian can point out – how each of us are different but yet we were indians and cannot be treated for same for habits… You cannot expect Punjabi culture in south indian family – each is unique and beautiful and that makes india different
In US as well south is different then north or west (not in food,culture,language (but accent) overall they are not much different as indians are…
I Suggest plan vacation in india – travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and you will be surprised,amazed and will come out with deep respect ..and lot of learning each place.
Habits of southern americans does not match with others …I had lived in rural parts of almost all states of US… Many of indians don’t like habits fellow indians becuase we are indeed different. But India teach you acceptance,tolerance of others – that’s the only lesson nad many indians are successful abroad just becuase of that ..

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Sharell शारेल November 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Surely, you can’t be THE Sheila Dikshit?! :-)

Never mind the surname (although it is amusing). What’s also amusing to me is that she has a first name that’s Australian slang for “woman”.

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Kelli February 21, 2013 at 6:08 am

I recently married an Indian man and I am very happy. Setting up our new apartment and learning the little intricacies that make him who he is. Your 4th bullet point has really opened my eyes. He too does the same thing. I’m a good friend…that’s it. It has upset me greatly and all he ever said was it’s none of their business. I got the feeling he was hiding me however, it is isn’t the case. Without a “proper” Indian wedding, even though we are married in the states, we “eloped” according to Indian friends and family. Even though we have his parents approval and blessing, we have to keep the culture and that is something I will not waiver on.

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sunil April 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

I had a great laugh going through this. Its so interesting that I am trying to change the very same habits you mention (going from indian way to I would say better way): being on time, not staring at people…. I think its harder to bring the change in this direction compared to taking it easy. I think the good part with Indian culture is taking things easily. May be its a question of finding right balance? Do your best to be on time but if you are late take it easy, don’t get scared if people stare at you but dont stare at them… Anyways I found it really funny and relaxing to read the reversal you went through :)
Thanks for great post,
Sunil

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Sharell शारेल April 3, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it Sunil.

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Lekha September 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hi SHarell,

Your post was very entertaining and as expected well written, but littering is a plague for India. Please don’t start doing such things. You have had the luxury to live and grow up in clean surroundings. It’s such a difficult Education to build in people, please don’t grow out of it. It’s one of the BAD habits in India that’s not even noticed unless the garbage is outside one’s front door.

Kindly, Lekha

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