Originally Posted by USAmma
I hope you have a great time!! Just keep and open mind have have NO expectations. I'm sure you will be fine.
I’m sorry your family isn’t being supportive, that must be making your first trip a lot more stressful than it has to be. I think all of us with a partner from a developing country get a lot of lack of understanding, paranoia, and racism somewhere down the line. If it isn’t your Ma or your brother, it’s a friend or co-worker. Americans who aren’t travelers have a heck of a time getting their heads around the diversity that exists outside the US.
My personal favorite, from an aunt who has a PhD in education no less (tho she is getting old, bless her heart) was “Oh yes, I read a very good book about the situation in Kabul. Now I really understand all about your DH’s country”
I respectfully refrained from replying that I thought that was a great idea and would run right out and buy books about Guatemala so DH’s family could get a handle on American culture too.
I have to say, I think your DH deserves to feel insulted, and I think that getting a dialog going with your family and educating them about what your husband and son's home country and culture are and are not might be a heck of lot harder than your upcoming trip. That said, you will find that Indians have misconceptions about Americans too. The best we can do I think is to get everyone talking- and keep talking - toward the magical land of understanding, acceptance and respect. (although as your rather nasty mother proves, USAmma, not everyone will get there with us. Sorry about her
I’m sure you’ve gone over all the travel advice about modest clothing, bottled water, mosquitoes and how to negotiate Indian-style toilets. It’s all true of course, and following it will ease your way considerably. I found the only way to avoid using my left hand during meals was to literally sit on.
If you are unaccustomed to food with a lot of hot chilies in it take small portions and have a lot of rice or yogurt with each meal, it eases the burn.
New Delhi is a very, very intense experience the first time you see it. You’ll feel you’ve been dropped into a world so crowded and chaotic that it must be another planet. Just give yourself time to adjust and concentrate on appreciating the true beauty of India rather than get caught up in the things that are intimidating or sad. It will ease your nerves if you remember that you have your DH's whole family to look out for you, and you should let them do it. Ask someone to hold your hand when negotiating crowded areas, etc..
People will stare at you, but I found I got used to it pretty quick and started only noticing if it seemed threatening in some way. Many Indian men are not gentlemen, and “eve teasing”, sexual harassment of women on the streets is not uncommon. Your IL’s & DH will be watching to protect you from it, but If you are subject to it, go right ahead and yell and whack the guy who is trying to touch you or say disrespectful things. Don’t be shy; it’s what Indian women do.
Your IL's will be tickled pink with your son, a boy child is the apple of everyone's eye and they will love you for bringing him to see them. My technique with my Indian IL's is just to be mellow and kind, and they have always reciprocated. I Really think you are going to be just fine and have a wonderful experience.