6 Aug 2008

We are one big happy family...

This being the International Blog Week against Racism here is my two bit.

The NY Times wedding/celebrations pages are funniest I have ever come across while reading a daily newspaper. Each week you get to read gems like – “The couple met in November 2005 at a party at a New York art gallery.”

Well what has this got to do with racism and discrimination you would say? Well this week I came across this article about an Indian couple who got married earlier this year. Among the Browns and Achermans there was Dr. Lala and Dr. Trindade. If this trend is picked up by newspapers in India, soon there would no distinction between us and them.

Marriages are important to Indians and Americans but in different ways. In India it is an occasion to emphasize that YOUR FAMILY RULES OK. In America it is a moment to connect to your parents – something that you would never do in the future.

What caught my eye was that the couple would date by going to a nearby Barnes and Nobles store “where Dr. Lala, who has a voice as melodious as her name, would read excerpts from her favourite novels”. What the hell was that? Didn’t we use to that in a park or a bus in India?

Next when a relative described the bride as a-family-person-her- parents-are-her-world shit I really thought now we are going to become one happy family. If the gora tourists in India were trying to become more Indian than Indians themselves and Indians in the US are becoming WASPy, racism will become a 20th century phrase.

However we must understand the finer aspects of this merging of cultures. The entire article was devoted to describing their dating-courtship-engagement- marriage in every detail including such gems as – “He suggested that they try becoming boyfriend and girlfriend”. I mean that is how boys and girls start off in India too! See there is no difference again – we are all the same…

We also got to know that the groom was patient guy – “Dr. Trindade waited patiently the way some people wait in traffic jams, unperturbed.” (This is the kind of writing that made NY Times what it is).

The marriage combined Hindu and Christian traditions. Although the reporter provided us with no details, I am assuming that both the groom and bride’s parents spent hours negotiating this stuff. Then we were told about the room where the marriage took place – “Everything in the room…glittered and sparkled like the eyes of people in love”. I was overcome with happiness. The lines sounded like a 1965 LIFE magazine article about a wedding in Portland, Orgeon. We are catching up and soon you will never be able to make out whether it was an Indian marriage or a WASPy one. Except for the names. And the photographs.

In fact I am already believing it. If we all put an effort maybe people from all communities could get such stuff written about their marriages in the NY Times. Then we will all be on the same page. And the same reception hall.

Cartoon: Color Blind

1 comment:

Lopamudra said...

mallu, only one thing...the more things change, the more they remain the same!