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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone? Dh is from India (now a US citizen). We have been married for almost 10 years.
Been to India 3x so far. Anyone else out there?
 

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No cement ties, here, but I love India.

I worked in the International office at our university and became very close friends with the Indian students that worked there. They taught me their version of EC because they were so disgusted by DD's disposables!

Hannah's even been in one of their Diwali celebrations.

We plan to adopt a child from India in the future and I have standing invitations from my friends when we have enough $$ to visit.

Can I join or is it not a strong enough tie? I understand if it's not.
 

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Yep, ties all around over here. DH was born and raised there and so were my parents. We go every few years, in fact we've got a trip coming up soon. I love the country and the culture. Makes me crazy sometimes, but overall, I love it. Spent a summer there before I was married as part of a womens literacy project. Made some of the best memories of my life while I was there. Ah. To be 22 again. So fun to look back and remember. Right out of college, single, idealistic, in such an amazing country.

I love it that my daughter has another country in addition to this one and I hope she'll learn more than one language.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, if you feel a tie to India, join on in!
I love hearing all your stories. My own dds are a little lacking in culture at the moment. Dh is too busy to teach them much, we are not active in temple life b/c dd2 is at that stage where it's almost not worth it to take her anywhere too complicated.
 

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My link is very small... one of Dh's parents is part Indian (both are Eurasian from Singapore), and I think it is his mom. Last time my ILs went to India, they sent us books about the art and architecture, and it was so wonderful. I was still an undergrad in college, so I decided to take an art history class focused on India- I was amazed and would love to visit some day to see some of the temples and mosques.

In the meantime, whenever we go to Singapore, we eat dosai in "Little India" on Sundays with the Ils. The restaurant serves the food on ceramic plates shaped like banana leaves, but they told me that traditionally they would actually serve them on banana leaves. We also go shopping while we are in the neighborhood because the stuff is so unique compared to Western stuff. We got many lamps that are sew with both sheer and colorful dyed fabric that have mirrors and embroidery on them. Some of the streets in this neighborhood were narrow pedistian only, and they smelled so strong of inscents. We could bargin with the store owners, which was really entertaining.
 

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My DH is British but he grew up in India. His father was working as a headmaster for two different private schools near the Himalayas.

His parents still go back there regularly (about 2x a year).

My DS has an Indian (Sanskrit) name.
 

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I don't have a direction connection to India either. I grew up here but I have extended family in South Asia. We should start a tribe for mommies with ties or close enough ties to India/South Asia. Maybe we can call ourselves the Spicy Mommies


I love Indian food especially mango lassies and puri bread. Yum!! I can't make either although mango lassies seem easier to make than puri. We're lucky that there are several good Indian restaurants within short driving distance of us.

USAmma - love your name btw...do you live near an expatriate Indian community?
 

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Recently, alot of hfs and restaurants I have gone to have a commercial version of mango lassi made with coconut milk instead of dairy. It is good, but so expensive (about $3.00 a bottle). Dh bought some and we ration it out to the kids because they really like it. Mangoes, papaya, and pineapple are about the only fresh tropical fruits we can get here. If we want lychee, rambutan, and so on we have to get them canned or travel for them.

I love curry spices, and add them to many foods that you would not expect them with. I think sometimes they make food easier to digest. My fil tried to teach dh and I how to make chapatis, but I got kicked out of the lesson because I was not making mine round enough. Luckily, I saw enough of what was going on that I can make them as long as ils are not eating them.
 

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Hi Spicy Mammas!
Just wanted to jump in and introduce myself before starting dinner! My dh was born in Karachi but his family is from Goa (South India).Im not sure how familiar people are with Goa but it was settled by the Portuguese a few hundred years ago. Most Goans are Catholic, the archetecture is Portuguese and the language is a Urdu hybrid called Konkanee(SP?)The food is awesome,though not vegetarian.Lots of seafood,chicken and pork.
We have 2 kids with Sanskrit names,Leela and Rishi,though their last name is Portuguese!I have travelled India a few times and have a love/hate relationship with it.Anyway, more about that later. Im really excited about this thread. WoHoo!
 

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Hi! I'm 100% Indian, Indian-American that is, both my parents were born and raised in India. My father has been here for 40 yrs and my mom moved back 10 yrs ago, but passed away there 4 yrs ago, which is the last time I went back.
DH is not Indian, and I must say DD has gotten the best of both of us, and everyone comments on her looks!
We still haven't decided about religion for our kids, it's difficult since I'm not very religious and being raised here with quite liberal parents, I didn't practice Hinduism that religiously. We're lucky that we live in Queens, NYC so there is a huge Indian/South Asian population. There is great food, temples, religious and cultural events.
I try to cook Indian food at home once a week, but it's usually the same stuff! The rest is too time consuming!
Right now we're on a tight budget, but we hope to go visit my family in India in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay, since some of you have experience traveling to India and know about Indian culture, I need to seek some advice. My SIL is newly pg with her first child. I love her dearly. She asked me if I could come for the birth. I was training to be a doula before I had Nitara but I just can't be on call to continue the training. I have attended a few births and am somewhat well-read. I have heard horrific things about giving birth in India. Either they totally medicalize the birth and take away their rights to labor naturally out of bed in a hospital, and most end up with csections, or they give birth in a "nursing center." It's a place where they have a large room with many beds and the laboring woman all stay in that room and are supposed to stay in bed. When they are ready to push they are transferred to a birthing room. I want to be there for whatever kind of birth she chooses. I would be honored, but more than that I hope that being there will empower her to have a better birth experience. I also want to make sure she gets off to a good start with bfing since their family has a history of bfing problems.

If we went we would try to arrive 10 days before the due date and leave a month later.

Dh is supportive of us going but there are a lot of things to consider. There are more cons than pros.

Cons:

1. Tickets are $$$. That's $$$$ x4 for our family. Not including visa and passport costs for dh and Nitara (Abi and I have 10 year visas). We are just starting to get a handle on our debt and will be almost out of debt by the new year. We have a tax refund coming, and MIL will probably help us with the tickets some, but I hate to accept. It will still be expensive.

2. It's going to be in July, in South India. I thought Phoenix was bad but it's routinely over 105 and high humidity. There is no central a/c, just window units. People shut themselves into rooms during the day and wait out the heat. We had problems with heat rash last time, in March. I was glad to be getting out of there before the summer.

3. I told myself I would never travel to India again with a non-potty trained child under the age of 3. It was HARD with Abi. I would be sticking to my guns and not even considering traveling there if it were not for SIL wanting me for the birth. It is very hard to provide for the needs of young children there when you are used to better things: they don't use carseats, they have no safe places to take a walk alone, no clean parks, no public libraries. I don't drive there, and don't feel confident enough to take a taxi or rickshaw by myself. Even if dh can come for all four weeks, I will need to be chaparoned by him. I have no freedom. Not to mention the 40 hour commute each way on the airplane.

4. We probably won't have time to visit any scenic places or my favorite temple in a hill station about 4 hours away. I love that place and try to visit it each time. Basically if we go we'll be stuck at home the whole time. I doubt anyone will have the time to take us anywhere with the new baby around unless dh and take off and do it by ourselves.

5. We would have to board the dog and cat for a month. I am sure that's going going to be cheap. Our dog digs,and she's also very protective of our home. I would not want her to mess up anyone's yard or be aggressive if someone came to feed her daily, so she would have to go to a kennel. I would also have to find someone to care for the fish and probably pay them to do it.

6. Nitara may still have her tube in. While she's doing well health-wise, if there were any complications with the tube falling out and us not fitting another one in the stoma in time, it would probably just have to stay out. I won't take her to a hospital there unless I have to. If she's not using the tube anymore, she may have a real setback with eating since her routine is off. Abi lost a lot of weight in India last time we were there (so did I, actually). She just had no appetite. Change of routine, change of weather, change of diet.

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Pros:
1. Tickets are cheaper now than they would be in better weather.

2. SIL said we can have her house to ourselves to stay in during our visit. It's traditional for her to stay with her parents from middle of the pregnancy until the baby is some months old. BIL will also be staying with the IL's, because his office is in the same building. It's a very *nice* house, every room has a/c, they have internet, washing machine. Not to mention marble floors, inner courtyard, and an open roof terrace. A stark contrast to my IL's house that is small and cramped (and not to mention I won't have to see FIL every day, whom I do NOT get along with at all).

3. It will be mango season! My IL's have a huge, huge mango tree and the fruit is supposed to fantastic.

4. Abi will have a good cultural experience, and both girls will get to see their family again.

5. I would see my niece or nephew's birth!! That is a once in a lifetime experience!

So, any input? Any other ideas? Should we go this summer, or should we wait until the baby's older and the weather is cooler?
 

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Yay! Glad to see we have my suggestion for the thread name. *pats self on the back*
By all means we should make it broad to allow as many interested people to participate in this thread. The more the merrier.

Speaking of Sanskrit names, we gave my daughter a Sanskrit middle name. "Suresha" My father picked it out. He studied Sanskrit in school.

USAmma - You have a tough decision to make. I noticed the cons are more detailed than the pros. To me that says something.
My first consideration (and yours I'm sure as well) would be my immediate family. It sounds like there is a possibility of a set-back for Nitara, no safe car seats, possibility of Abi losing weight, a big change in the routines of your young kids. Just based on those alone I would delay the trip until a later date.

I'm mulling the idea of visiting my relatives. My last visit was in 1999. They haven't seen my hubby or my daughter. He really wants to see the country. He hasn't been to that part of the world. I know it will be an eye-opener for him. And as much as I know my elderly grandmother would be thrilled to see my daughter I hesitate to go to SL next summer. Most of my father's relatives live in a cool, mountainous area about 50 miles away from the capital. It's like the 2nd largest town in the country so if we go by car it's a loooong car ride (5 hours at least) on a heavily travelled road that has frequent hair-pin turns. And you know how they drive in that part of the world! Traffic rules, traffic lights, lane markings are all mere suggestions.
People just toot their horn and drive as they please. That scares the heck out of me. Plus, my daughter needs an infant car seat. Will we find transportation that is compatible with her car seat? I don't know. Of course, we could take the train to the area. But due to the ethnic conflict in SL the trains are sometimes blown up. We also haven't vaccinated her. I'm debating whether to or not. Of course, I think some of the risks of getting ill in developing countries are a tad overblown. The more I think about my own trip the less likely it is that I will do it this coming summer. We'll probably wait until the weather is cooler and the baby is bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks so much for your advice about the trip! It's funny-- when I posed this question to people who had not been to that part of the world, they were like, "Oh you have to go! How cool and exotic!" But many of you all know what it's *really* like there, esp. with small children.

I talked to dh about it and he agrees it's probably better to wait.
As much as I would love to be there for the birth I think it's better to go at a more relaxed time. We were thinking about the following January. The baby would be about 6 mos. old and everyone would be able to travel around a bit. We could go back to my beloved Tirupati temple where the baby and Nitara can both have their heads shaved. Nitara will be close to 3, but we couldn't have it done earlier due to her sensory issues and illness. I felt she had been through enough already. Head shaving actually feels great but she would freak thinking she was having a procedure done. By then we will have saved up enough for the tickets/kennnel costs to pay outright and that makes me feel better, too.

So speaking of head-shavings, what rituals (if any) have you done with your kids?
 
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