Friday, July 29, 2005

Me Street

The fine people over on the Emmaus Theory Blog are very fond of posting little quizzes and questionnaires. I take them for the fun of it, which is the intent, I think. On Fridays Cindy post the Friday Feast, which has little to do with food and is rather a series of questions posted along the lines of a menu, appetizer, salad, main course...etc. One of today's questions asked what we would name the street we live on, if we were able to rename it. I stated playfully that I would name my street "Me Street" So that everyone who lived on it could say, "This street is named after me!" But of course, my mind working the way it does, I couldn't leave it at that and continued thinking about it, and I came to realize, don't we all kind of already live on "Me Street?"

My sons are half Asian Indian and half me -- European American. I was married to their father for nearly 8 years. I learned a lot about Indian and Middle Eastern culture. I can tell you, there is some resentment in our society towards Indians. Every time people found out I was married to an Indian, I had to hear their litany of bad experiences with Indians. As if they had never had a bad experience with someone of their own culture...right!
People tend to wonder, what is it about Indians that enables them to come to the U.S. and do so well academically and financially. I can tell you what it is. Indians do not live on "Me Street", they live on "We Street."
Indians have a completely different idea of family and finances, and family finances. There is no shame in India in going to another family member and asking for financial support. In fact Indian families will pool their resources in order to help one family member go to school, come to the U.S., start a business, etc... so that when that family member succeeds, he/she can then turn around and help pull the rest of the family up in the world. They learned that their chances of success were much greater if everyone worked together, rather than each individual trying to make it own their own. That is very different from the family I grew up in, which to this day has an "I got mine, you get yours!" mentality. So the next time you are wondering why all the doctors you go to are Indian and all the Dunkin Donuts are owned by Indians etc...just remember...its because they learned how to live on "We Street."

5 comments:

Cindy said...

Very interesting! Thanks for the insight! Nice blog you have here.

voixdange said...

Thanks!

olympiada said...

Excellent post! Excellent identification! I too am European-American with a dash of Native-American thrown in and have been in a 9 year relationship with an African-European-Native American man, and a 5 year marriage with him which I chose to end on the Leavetaking of Pascha 2005 and we have a 4 month 9 year old daughter. I do not recommend interracial marriage to anyone . It is very difficult. I am an intellectual. I am gifted. I know now that my husband must be my equal, in order for him to feel good about him self. There is a discrepancy in education between cultures in America and that is sad. Have you read any thing by Jonathan Kozol?

voixdange said...

Hi Olympiada,
Glad you like the post. You know, even though my marrriage wa not successful, I would not make a judgement about interacial marriage because of my personal experience. I know may inter-racial couples who have great marriages. Also I have two really great sons that I wouldn't have otherwise. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

olympiada said...

Hi Ange, I hear you but as an Orthodox Christian we are discouraged from interracial marriage, and I can understand why. I do not think I will remarry a man outside my race. No...I need a man who looks like me now, after everything I have been through, it is time to return to the dreams of my youth.
I am glad you enjoy your sons. My daughter is an infinite challenge to me. I have her because of her father. It was his intention to have a child. It was my intention to join the church and get married so I could have his child. I produced his child and the marriage fell apart.
Oh well.