Why Indian Parents Won’t Accept Your Marriage Proposal and What To Do About It.

*This post is in response to a few questions on the subject of why Indian parents will never accept non-Indian husbands for their daughters with a mighty strong dose of humor woven in. Enjoy. (p.s. sometimes they accept – see video above) For my book on this topic, click here.

Dear Non-Indian lover, suitor, knight in shining armor,

Let us give it to you straight.

You’ve been with our daughter (your Indian princess) since you both met that fateful night in college.

You think she’s Bollywood glam! The love of your life, the woman of your dreams…Aishwarya Rai, Pocahantas and Freida Pinto all rolled into one.

Unfortunately, there’s no way in this lifetime, this yuga or even in your next life, you’re going to be accepted into our family. Of course, if you reincarnate as a wealthy Indian prince or Sharukh Khan, we’ll change our minds and open our hearts to you in an instant.

You may love our daughter and she may love you.. You may want to die for her. You may want to commit suicide if you don’t have our approval.

Well…jump off the building if you must.

Move to a different part of the world, in protest, if you have to. (We’ll pick up the tab and your moving expenses)

No matter what you do, what you say, what you believe in and what you drive (well, we’re open to reconsideration if you show up in an S-Class Mercedez) are we going to accept that Priya, Anita, Maya, Leela, Rita, Sita, Shreya, Nisha is going to be your lawful wedded spouse, so help us God.

6 Reasons We’d Rather Jump Down a Well In Shame Than Give You Our Daughter’s Hand in Marriage.

1)    You’re not Indian.

And by that, we don’t mean you’re not caramel brown-skinned, you don’t have an Indian passport or large family estates in India. (Well, we do mean that) We simply mean that you don’t have Indian VALUES.

You don’t VALUE EDUCATION, you don’t VALUE BLING (diamonds and gold), you don’t VALUE palatial like homes which are way too large for you to ever live in or fancy cars to make our friends envious.

2)    You’re not religious.

This is not a do-or-die reason but you’re not a practicing Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Muslim, Christian.  A lot of Indian functions revolve around spirituality, religion, and our over-the-top century-old customs.

We sure as hell don’t have time for you to learn it and have no interest in letting you in on family traditions that have been carried on for hundreds of years.

3)    We don’t trust your family background.

You can’t trace your roots back for 8 generations. But more importantly, you’re not from a stable family. Your parents are divorced, you have dysfunctional family issues and we don’t know if marriage is a lifetime commitment to you.

Sure, we’re more dysfunctional than the Kardashians  and should be locked up under 24 hour psychiatry care but this conversation isn’t about us. It’s about you, son.

4)    You’re not a professional, earning six figures.

If you’re trying to win over our love and affection, make a move here and you can win over our hearts and minds.

Whoever said money doesn’t talk is probably a pauper or dead. In our culture, money talks.

If you got some (a lot of cash) your Ben Franklins will make us think twice. If you can provide a stable and comfortable (opulently wealthy) life for our daughter, you might have a shot.

But listen yo, we’re not talking here 5 figure jobs or ‘good’ jobs. We’re talking high-paying, high in-demand jobs and one you’ll be able to stay employed in for two lifetimes. All medical professions and dentistry qualify. So does mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.

If you’re a creative-type or a ‘freelancer’, please find yourself a nice Greek girl.

5)    You’re not from a wealthy family.

We’re looking at the long-range strategy here. If you’re not from a wealthy family, you’re not going to inherit a lot of cash. You won’t be able to pass on any family wealth to our grandkids.

You’re also not going to be able to afford luxury cars, medical school tuition for our grandkids or buy that palatial home we hope to crash at.

Are you suggesting that we’re shallow, materialistic and superficial?

How dare you!!

6)    You’re not going to let us move in with you in our old age and live with you until our dying day!

When we’re old – that would be now, we’re going to move in with you.

At least that’s the happy thought we’d like to have when marrying off our daughter to you.

We want to move into your house, have you buy us groceries, have you cook us dinner and inconvenience you often. We want you take us to doctor visits, pharmacies and all special Hindu pujas at the temple or Muslim prayers at the mosque. And we want you to do it 150% out of obligation and with a smile on your face dammit!

7)    You don’t speak our language or appreciate Bollywood movies.

We want to speak to you in our own language. Yes, we’ve been living in America for 60 years but don’t think we’re switching to that American lingo (and the English language) now.

We want to speak to our grandkids in Hindi, Malyalam, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. They’re sure as Lord Ganesha not going to learn it from you cause you don’t even speak English right, son.

Now, non-Indian beau – you’re in a mango pickle. What do you do – stay and fight for the love of your life or…

Run.

Huh?

Yup, here are 4 directions to run in.

Run forward. Run towards the alter. Elope. Follow the love of your love regardless of the consequences. Do it big and do it bold; run-away like couples in Bollywood blockbusters.

Who cares about the consequences, the emotional trauma you’ll create for generations and the heart-attacks you’ll cause in the bride’s family. Mostly, their families over-exaggerate about heart-attacks and suicides. Rarely do parents kill themselves over the shame of their daughter marrying a non-Indian person.

Run uphill. You can run uphill. And by that I mean, try to accommodate your future wife’s family as much as possible. And what does ‘accommodate’ mean?

Well, they’ll never really accept you, embrace you or approve you. But to try to get into their good graces, you can try to fix items 1-7 above.

Never too late to enroll in medical school!

If medical school is out of the question, there’s always optometry, dentistry, podiatry, physical therapy and a whole slew of other medical-related specialties that will net you a six-figure income and make our family proud.

You can also build or buy a large house, get a fancy car and provide large gifts of gold, silver or diamonds to your in-laws. The latter will be an instant hit and you will immediately be showered with love and acceptance from your future mother-in-law.

You can also become a devout Hindu, Jain, Sikh or Muslim (depending on your fiance’s religion) although following the family’s spiritual path only brings limited favor to you.

Offering to have your family pay for the entire wedding also curry-favors with your future in-laws.

Run away. If I’ve convinced you Indian culture is neurotic, sociopathic, materialistic and most people in it have lost their mind, take your money, dignity and sanity, and run for your life.

This community’s CRRRAAAAAYYYYY! And being Indian, I can attest to that.

Sure, we care about education, stability and no-divorce lifestyles but we also care too much about your bank account, your house and what people think of us. Our lives constantly revolve around what others say and think about us.

We’ll protect our reputations like a lioness protects her newly-born cubs. Try to compromise our standing in the community and we’ll lash out against you with sharpened paws.

If you value your sanity (and your life in some cases), make a run again to the nearest Latina, Greek, Italian, Thai or Chinese girl you can find. Yes, some of those cultures will expect you to be well-settled and educated but they’re usually sane and will be respectful of you.

Run backwards. You can always slow your relationship way down and take a breath. Run to the side, run backwards or just stop running for a minutes.

Although Indian parents deeply desire you both ‘take a break’ in hopes your relationship will come to a screeching halt, it really may be the best case situation for both of you. If you both cool down the relationship, you can both evaluate your relationship and next steps.

You can allow the love of your love to show her parents that she’s not marrying anyone else and will wait for you, even if it’s a month or one year. You can get a lot of juice out of this dramatic sacrifice-ridden exercise.

Taking a break might even show your future in-laws that you’re respecting their wishes and listening to what they have to say, which might win you points in the long-run.

Finally, let me just say this. More likely than not, your future Indian in-laws aren’t going to readily accept you into their traditional and conservative family but sometimes, if the moons align and the Gods are on your side, they just might say ‘yes’ to you. You might just get the green light to marry their daughter.

In that case, run, I mean sprint like a cheetah, to the alter.

What if you’ve fallen in love with someone from an arranged marriage culture? Want to know why Indian families care so much about arranged marriages? For these questions and more, pick up my book on Arranged Marriages here. 

arranged-marriage

47 Comments

  1. I don’t really like the material culture! It’s somewhat true in the Philippines too (bling). And yes I am a creative and ‘freelancer’ does that mean I’ll be a pauper forever? I want to have 6 figures and be rich too, dangit! I just don’t want to marry into it.

    1. There’s a lot of humor in this post Janet! And no this has nothing to do with you unless you plan to marry into an Indian family. And as far as I know, that’s not in your near future. lol you’re wealthier beyond belief b/c you’re doing what you want and following your life passions which is going to bring you gobs of money! You don’t have to marry into it. Of course, if you’re making six figures and have the palatial house, you might get Indian suitors. kidding:)

  2. Ha ha ha ha! Very tongue in cheek V – I love it! The letter style is also awesome.

    I actually don’t know anyone non-Asian that has married into an Asian family – perhaps I’ll be the first??! But when I DO think of how my family would react – it’s not about the money, the social status, the education, etc – it’s the fear of my having children with a non-Muslim and then raising them non-Muslim. They fear not recognising their own blood.

    And it’s also the fear of an ‘unknown’ culture – ‘how on earth do we DEAL with a non-Muslim? I mean, what do they EAT, what do they TALK ABOUT? We don’t drink, so we cannot POSSIBLY have anything in common, right?????’

    Rational things like this, is what they fear 😉

    But it’s my duty to catapult them into progress, isn’t it??!!!!!

    But how to deal with it? We’re all human at the end of the day, so play on their emotions, that’s my tactic !

    – Razwana

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. lol You’re truly a pioneer Razwana. I’d share my blog with the rest of your family for the spiritual awakening they’re going to need with your marriage to a non-Asian person. hahahah There is a lot to be said for the fear of the unknown. I think the fear of the unknown and uncertainty are two things that drive our families to act very nervous in these relationships. I know what you mean by the ‘rational’ things we fear about cross-cultural relationships which are completely irrational and borderline nutty. lol

      How to deal with it? Oh wait, you said alcohol’s out of the question right?

  3. Vishnu, you have described the cultural mindset of Indian parents with such wit and humor, even though this could be such a serious situation for the young couple embroiled in this scenario. I really learned a lot from what you wrote here as I was completely unaware of the Indian “prejudice” toward those with different backgrounds.
    Thanks for sharing, my friend!
    Blessings!

    1. I don’t think it’s as cynical and whacky as I talk about it Martha but I’d argue it’s close:) They probably have different intentions than the way I describe it. I’d imagine parents want their kids to be comfortable, know their values and culture and have plenty of certainty in their lives. Oh, and take care of them in their elder age. The way these things play out in real life is rather humorous though, if you take a step back and observe all the social and cultural interactions.

  4. Hi Vishnu,

    This is a good satirical as well as humorous post! I really enjoyed reading it – though I feel some issues might be a bit exaggerated, but you surely did address many issues that need contemplation to bring about a change.

    I presume this post is about the Indians settled abroad and the local citizens there, so I might not be able to reflect on all points mentioned, as I feel I might not have the proper understanding reading of the scenario there. However, I do know that I meet many American and British friends online and I can see that they’ve great values. Well, Indian or not, we need basic humanistic values that help create an environment of love and peace.

    I just wish if we started to consider each other as fellow human beings and set aside the cultural and religious differences. I don’t say they don’t matter, but what matters more is the spirit of love, if it is true. I personally believe that differences make the relationship more interesting and no amount of culture or money can for sure make your relationship successful.

    You talk about Non-Indians, whereas there are even greater issues when marriage within from India and Indian communities are concerned. Sometimes, the conservative and traditional approach turns fundamentalistic, and there I would recall Buddha’s teaching to take the middle path of compromise. By the way, I read somewhere that children from intercultural and interracial marriages benefit most and enjoy a wider genetic pool to bring out the best in them, and excel over others!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Thanks for your feedback and comments Harleena. I think your call for higher, more-enlightened thinking is much needed in our cultures and communities.

      As you also point out and noticed, this is sort of the extreme take on things – the most cynical and humorous. As I mentioned to Martha, what’s wrong in pursuing education, begin well-settled and living comfortably. Sometimes the materialism does get a bit out of hand but that’s not only here – I presume it’s other cultures too and all over the world.

      I think valuing things based on what you mentioned – humanistic values, love, middle path and compromise is what we should all be pursuing instead of the superficial qualities we currently pursue. And you make a great point about intercultural and interracial marraiges – I mean, look at our President:) I don’t know if we can change a culture but each family and individual can chose to make choices based on their higher selves and meaningful values. Thanks again for adding to the discussion:)

  5. You wrote about non-Indian husbands ~ is it the same with non-Indian wives?

    I remember my exbf, he did ask me if I was willing to take care of his parents. To which I answered, of course, I am…

    I was already studying Malayalam back then and I watch Bollywood movies (Munna Bhai and Three Idiots).

    Re, the four directions… oh well, you know the rest of the story 😛

    Re your question, our family is very open. Of course, the ‘elders’ do comment on the race (I have a Nigerian cousin), on the culture (I have an Indian cousin), on the language (my sister’s German bf) but in the end, they let my cousins, my sister decide if they want to pursue the relationship.

    Not all the relationships worked out well though because of culture differences but hey, thanks for letting me know about this. Did it make me feel better? Oh well, I don’t know but it did make me laugh.

    1. Thanks M! Wouldn’t that be funny if I came up with a list of characteristics parents look for in non-Indian wives. Actually, I don’t think I could do such a post because the answer is that they’ll never accept under any (ok most) conditions. haha Indian parents are never (usually) going to accept non-Indian brides for their sons. I mean this is their family name and their son, who they raised to marry an Indian girl and reproduce Indian kids:)

      Otherwise, glad to hear about your family, how open they are and the diversity of your family. Is there any particular characteristic or qualification or anything they want or look for in a future son-in-law or daughter-in-law? If they don’t congratulations – I hope you appreciate your family and culture big time:) Glad you had a good laugh – that was the purpose of this post!

  6. I enjoyed reading the post LOL! I did not realize how significant some of the factors that you have mentioned are for marriage considerations with a traditional Indian family. So thanks for the information!

    What I would like to say is that children of inter-racial marriages tend to have more exotic features and are rather cute when they are young. Their Indian grandparents are sure to dote on them!

    1. Haha glad you enjoyed in Evelyn. I was kind of joking big time and kind of NOT 🙂 I think Indian people would never admit this stuff but it does happen. At least at the subconscious level of parents:)

      Yes, as Jammie mentioned below too, looks like immediately having children is one way to help parents overcome their resistance to cross-cultural marriages. But of course, kids come after marriage. And if the kids came before marriage, you can guess what happens – ‘somebody goin to get hurt real bad’ – see here.

  7. Hey Vishnu
    Enjoyed your humorous if slightly exaggerated post. How did we as a culture become so materialistic when, disregarding materialism(the UnREAL) is a cornerstone of hindu philosophy? Well even the Gods said things would go downhill in “Kali yug”!!:)
    Ironically Indian parents are going to be happy with this post, it will surely get non Desi’s to think long and hard before they jump into a relationship with a Desi gal(and the whole family;it’s always a package deal!) and hence keep their Indian Princesses safe!!

    1. Hi Anu, Is it that much of an exaggeration:) ? haha ok, a little:)

      I don’t know about how we ended up where we did but it is what it is. I think we may have wanted security and comfort and lost our minds in the process. lol

      And now I’m so upset with myself for scaring away non-Desi’s and assisting Indian parents all over the world!! I should have toned it down and told people this would be an easy process and parents will accept them with open arms. haha thanks for your comment.

  8. Hilarious. And true – fact is much stranger than your post! There are an equal number of families that do not accept Indians for some stupid reason or other. One stupid reason is color. Imagine! Caramel may taste good, but not to everyone 😀

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Vidya. Yes, not everyone is a fan of caramel:)

      I didn’t even get to color and other social issues, dowry, etc What a culture!

    1. Hey Kaylin – thanks for sharing. I’m going to check it out and see how much similarities we both describe – I have a feeling it will be significant. Thanks again for sharing this podcast and visiting.

  9. Very hilarious (though slightly exaggerated) post Vishnu! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ironic thing is that many of the same families who reject a white guy because he’s not Indian will reject an Indian boy if he’s too dark… or from another caste… or another state.

    The materialistic part was pretty much right on, and I’ve seen it too many times before. And speaking of materialistic, have you ever noticed that #4 and #5 apply to Indian boys as well?!?! 😛

    1. Dark – Glad your liked it. I completely hear you on other reasons why Indians would actually reject other Indian boys. And yes, 4 & 5 are used to size up Indian grooms as well. This is so nutty that all we can do is laugh.

      Why is there such a high divorce rate in our communities? Could it be we are not matching people up based on compatibility and love but instead superficial and material qualities?

      I’m looking forward to your take on this subject.

    1. DL – glad you’re dropping by. And great to read your life updates on your last post and all the positive developments.

      I couldn’t write a reverse version of this cause there is no discussion most of the time – like ‘oh yeah, you’re marrying a non-Indian girl!!!’ unless you want us to commit suicide or kill you.

      And you’re probably wondering how you get in on this wonderful culture. yup – marriage:)

  10. Hi Vishnu,

    I loved this post and was cracking up all the way down as I was reading it! 🙂

    There was a lot of truth in what you wrote about. I have family members who married out of race to English people and overall they seem to be happy. Having said this, Indian people being Indian people, I still hear remarks from some of the elders in the family using critical remarks about some of our English family members even after they’ve been in the family for years!

    Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comments Hiten. The truth is funny and tragic:) I can just imagine the remarks you must be hearing – although they’re not funny whatsoever, all we can do is laugh after crying!

  11. I seriously did LOL while reading this post. Culture, race, finances and education were HUGE concerns to my parents about my three older sibling’s relationships. Being single at the time, I was the chosen recipient of long harangues/written instructions (no, seriously) about what I should look for (read: what they wanted) in my future spouse. With one brother married to a Mexican woman, the other brother married to a white girl from Virginia and my sister with (and eventually married) to a Midwestern white boy, my parents turned hopeful, longing eyes on me to marry a Filipino.

    Then I met Bjorn (who is Swedish) and the rest is history. (However, as Bjorn grew up in the Philippines and has missionary parents, I still say he is the favored in-law. :D)

    But then everyone started having babies and wouldn’t you know — my parents are as pleased as punch and in love with everyone now. My parents have come so far that they have told us outright to start having kids because they think they would be cute. (!)

    Long story short: Grandbabies — the real solution to intercultural marriages.

    P.S. On a more serious note, I have an Asian-American friend who ran into fierce resistance from her parents because she wanted to marry an African-American. However, she stuck to her guns and her parents did attend the wedding. Persistence does pay off.

    As does grandbabies. 🙂

  12. Hey J – I knew I could count on you to share some wisdom here and jokes. I’m laughing about written instructions you received, Bjorn being the favored son-in-law and your parents new approach of digesting cross-cultural relations – cute babies! Hey, you should also point out that many influential and highly intelligent people out there are mixed-race, even our President!

    The cool thing in your case is your siblings paved the way for you to marry anyone really:) After those 3 marriages, your parents were probably like – we’ll take a guy with a Filipino sounding name even . And look, we got Bjorn – he even sings karaoke which practically makes him Filipino!

    If you used that persistence strategy in Indian culture, you’d have to wait til the parents got terribly sick or died for them to accept this cross-cultural ‘business’. And you’d get blamed, of course, for causing their sickness and/or death for putting them through such pain and shame.

    As I said above, what a culture!! LOL

  13. Hi Vishnu,

    I had the experience of being warmly welcomed into a Peruvian family. They treated me just like I was their daughter, and loved me like one of the family. Unfortunately in the end the relationship didn’t work out, and cultural differences did play a role to some extent, but I was fortunate to be so warmly welcomed into the family.

    Lisa

    1. Thanks for sharing Lisa. Indians are in no ways like Peruvians lol but glad you had a such a pleasant, accepting and loving family in that relationship.

  14. Hi Vishnu,

    Interesting post. I love the Indian traditions, but I suppose this one could be problematic for the future groom. In this day and age, it does seem unusual to hold tight to these traditions, but I know many religious and cultural beliefs continue to be practiced.

    Having grown up in the US and from wild and crazy California, we are of the mindset that anything goes, so we have many mixed cultural marriages here. Love your humor and wonderful to learn more about your culture.

    1. Hey Cathy – as unusual as these traditions are, it’s very real even today:) I’ve also grown up in CA most of my life but living in 2 cultures is definitely a unique experience.

  15. Hi Vishnu,

    An interesting post. Well, Indian parents do have sort of an allergy towards foreign grooms. The fact that parents elsewhere do not live with their sons till their last breath is indeed a very real fear! Apart from that, some parents also feel that they would not be able to fit in with their foreign relatives and to save themselves the embarrassment, the say no!

    Aditya

    1. Good points Aditya on more reasons why Indian parents will never accept:) Not only do they not want to be embarrassed but I think they genuinely feel out of touch with other cultures and traditions. Ultimately, we all seek familiarity as a source of comfort and peace of mind.

  16. Hey Vishnu,

    A really really funny post (I kept laughing throughout) with an important message as well. I second every point you mention here because I’ve witnessed one in my own family.

    No matter how highly educated people are, they become selfishly conservative when it comes to traditional or religious things. In my family after a long and hard battle to convince the bride’s parents (my first cousin), education finally prevailed over conservatism and the marriage went through successfully.

    5 years down the line, I can honestly tell you they are one of the happiest couples I’ve ever seen. I rest my case!

    Fantastic post, loved reading it! Glad I found some time to read a few blogs and this is what I get… thank you so much for sharing this!

    Aditya

  17. Very interesting posting because I am one of those people, fell in love with Indian then broke-up because the parents didn’t approve. I had more than one relationship with Indian, everytime it ended, I told myself, I should learn my mistake. But again I fell in love with another Indian 🙁

    1. Hi Mulan, I’m sorry to hear that they didn’t approve but here’s the question – would your life have been better if they had? A lot of these points I mention I bring up jokingly but there’s always a little bit of truth to them. Even if they had approved, they might have held some of these beliefs and made your married life a little bit frustrating.

      And with your next relationship or future ones, stay away from INdians:) Just kidding. Maybe you can find out earlier if this relationship will last by exploring earlier if this is something that will be parent-approved. For example, have all the person’s family members and sibblings only married Indian people? That might be a give-away right there.

  18. So, I am a traditional Gujarati girl, always lived with family. Lived in India for 26 years , came to the US to go to school last year. I always thought I will end up with a gujju guy my family would love. Had always been the simple , obedient , respectful daughter every parent wanted. But , but , but , came here and fell in love with an American Chinese. And the bond is so strong , I dont want to be with anyone else. I cannot think of myslef anything other than an Indian and a Hindu and he is has been so supportive and accomidating , I cant imagine any Indian guy would ever do so much as he has . Gives me immense support and confidence..I have never been so happy before. I think I am the first Gujju girl wanting to be with an American Taiwanese. Most people who dont know us tend to judge in the first time itself and it is soo damn annoying !

    1. Preeti – only you know best what is right for you. You weren’t looking to run into someone I’m fairly certain but did. No, he’s not Indian but he’s a good compliment for you. If the feelings are mutual, your intuition strong and you have a high degree of compatibility, you know what to do. But you also know what all of us Indian kids know which is how difficult this may be for others in our family.

      Only you can decide if it’s worth doing what your heart dictates. If this guy is the right guy, you know the answer. Most of your concerns and my post in general talks about how other people will influence our decisions. You’ll have to confront that and decide if you want to live for others (which some people might want to do to make others happy) or live for yourself (and find your own happiness).

  19. Vishnu,

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this. It really cheered up my boyfriend and I, because what you wrote was basically our situation to a tee. Really, I don’t even think it was exaggeration. My boyfriend is from a traditional Marathi family, and they absolutely abhor me. They met me once, for approximately 2 hours. They determined that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, ugly, manly, from a bad family, a gold digger, & that I have a garbage career. In reality though….I’m a smart middle-upper class modelesque white girl going to graduate school to be a well-payed healthcare professional in high-demand field (but ONLY getting a masters. They think he should be dating an Indian doctor). Also, I come from a really nice family. My dad owns 4 properties. He’s an attorney. You’d think they would approve of me, but perhaps when I met the parents I downplayed our wealth, which is something I’m used to doing in American culture. When they first learned that we were moving in together, they threatened to disown him from the family, but we moved in anyway. His sister hates me too, and she thinks that I am the source of all of the family’s problems.
    All I’ve ever done was be nice to them. I have sat by silently for two years hoping that they would one day change their minds & accept me. Do you think that there is any chance that if I talk to them, tell them about who I REALLY am, that there is any chance of them accepting me? I hate seeing my boyfriend constantly going through the ringer with them, always being made to feel guilty. His mom claims to have panic attacks because of me. ALL I’ve ever done is love their son. He is my best friend. I care about him A LOT. What can we do????

    1. I take it back. They met me 2 other times when I called them to come meet me in the hospital when he was very sick. Even seeing how much I care about his well-being didn’t change their minds. When his mom came into the hospital room I was in the bed with him & the look on her face felt like she thought I was having sex with him in the hospital bed or something. Nope, it’s not that I’m being slutty, it’s that I care about your son very much & wanted him to feel better, while he was vomiting his guts out.

      1. These stories you’re relating are over-the top Lynn – scarier that they are in fact true. Not sure if we should cry hysterically, laugh until it hurts or get these people professional therapy.

    2. Lynn, Glad you liked the post and it cheered you both up. The fact that your situation is not an exaggeration is no joke! I know what you must be going through because any non-Indian person who tries dating an Indian person has gone through many of the factors you describe; stereotyping by the Indian person’s family, being called unworthy, not believing they are smart enough or rich enough or “Indian” enough.

      It’s hard to explain the culture and the mindset of why there’s so much reluctance for inter-cultural dating and marriage. Forget race and ethnicity, Indians get caught up even with differences in social economic standing, religion and education when it comes to approval of a relationship.

      I’ll give you three options here on what you can do. I’m not sure if I’m kidding or not but you decide. 1) Start wearing more traditional Indian clothes, learning Marathi, dropping your paystubs or evidence of future earnings around your boy-friend’s parents home, attending the temple, and learning more about Indian culture and the Hindu faith. Try to butter up his family with your commitment to our culture.

      2) Stand up to his parents and confront them about this and tell them you’ve both made up your mind and are planning to get married regardless. If you think that option will make you both of you (or at least you) disappear in the middle of the night, then elope. Have a couple mixed-race babies and teach them Marathi. Give your mother-in-law gold and diamonds as gifts on birthdays and holidays.

      3) Break up and have your boy-friend remain single for a few years, refusing to marry anyone else and voicing his love for you every time his parents ask. Taken out of a Bollywood movie, show your sacrifice for each other by being committed to each other but by living apart. Allow your days away from each other, but respect for his parents and family to win the hearts and minds of his parents.

      And I guess I should add a 4. Why put up with all this craziness? Pack up and run for the hills – never talk to an Indian person again. Why would you ever consider putting up with this kind of whackiness which might just get worse after marriage?

      Again, take this advice for what it is. I say it partly in jest but partly in truth; try to butter them up, confront them, elope, break-up or try reverse emotional drama on them. Or simply save yourself and run far away from all Indian people. Only you’ll know what’s right for you Lynn – you both basically have to decide what you’re comfortable doing.

      Is your relationship more important than his family? Or do his family’s happiness and priorities matter more? Are you both willing to deal with the consequences of being disowned? Answer these questions and you should have your answer on what to do.

  20. Hi. I’m an indian girl. My name is Gagandip. I live here in Philippines with my family. I was born here and pursue my studies here. I am now a Second Year College student. I am having a problem with my relationship. My boyfriend is Filipino and we are 2 years already. We are planning to say it to my both Indian parents but I am afraid because they’re strict and i know that they won’t agree. So what would I do? Would I say it or not? Help me. 🙁

    1. Hi Gagandip, Why not wait to tell them until you’re ready to get married? And why not give it a little more time to make sure this is the right person for you? In the meantime, you can be making subtle suggestions or trying to get their opinion by talking about other cross-cultural marriages and see how they respond.

      If you’re sure and you think now is the time to get married, you have 3 options. Tell them and be ready to deal with their opposition, don’t tell them and run away together, or tell them and be patient (until they become more accepting).

      You know your parents best so you know best if you should say it or not. More than worrying about them and if they’ll accept or not, I would say become more sure of the relationship and certain if this is the person for you. If you’re pretty certain of this person, you can read the comments I left for Preeti above as well.

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