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."