Posts Tagged ‘community’

Observing Indian culture abroad

February 4, 2013

We move out of our own country, searching for a better life. We get jobs that pay us more, we get a lifestyle that is something we could never have dreamed of back in India. But India remains in our hearts and minds. Its the country that has made us who we are and taught us our values and traditions. And that’s exactly what becomes a daunting task when bringing up children in a culture, so different from the one we grew up in.
We were brought up in an environment where family took priority. Our parent’s word was always the final word. We ran back home from school to mother’s cooking. Played under the watchful eye of the neighborhood aunties as they caught up on the day’s gossip. In fact, everyone was our uncle, aunt, brother or sister!
But here everyone is independent and not interdependent as we used to be. The children look at their friends from school and their lifestyles and want to be treated exactly the same. Its not that being brought up as an American child is a bad thing, but we want our kids to go through the same life experiences that we did. We try and create a little India at home. But its not always that the kids respond well to that. In fact, they shun it because they feel they’ll be shunned if they are not a part of the crowd. If they don’t act like their counterparts in school, they feel left out. Its a huge dilemma.
They don’t want to be answerable to us or stick to our deadlines. They want to move out of the house at 18 just like their friends would. Back home in India, our home remains our home forever, unless you move to another city or country for work!
The question on everyone’s mind is whether to bring up their children in America in the American way or to create a little India at home for them to experience the culture. Some have even debated moving back to India!
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We can’t really judge who is right or wrong, but its a personal choice. One that we all have to make as NRIs!

Currency Exchange for NRIs

January 23, 2012

  As NRIs, we share a very strong bond with India, in more ways than one. We are forever connected with India and our loved ones who live there. Like many others, I too made the ultimate sacrifice of leaving my home behind and moving to U.K 17 years ago. And while the physical detachment has been nothing less than an unseen umbilical chord; the reason for my move, monetary prosperity, has made up for all that I have lost.

   And I speak of this now specifically in light of the events of the past year. Until last year it was simple mathematics. As the Rupee grew stronger, my buying and purchasing power in India reduced. I got lesser value for my Pound Sterling. But through the past year, as the Rupee rate kept falling, I and many others like me have had a really good run. I know this must sound a tad insensitive, but from an NRI’s perspective a weakening Rupee means that we have been able to send more money to our elders back home and invest a lot more in India. Let me give you another simple example. My wife and I had been wanting to invest in a property in Gurgaon, thinking we will move back to India for good someday. But with the value of the Rupee constantly on the rise, coupled with real estate prices on the upward slope, we had nearly given up on that dream.

  And then, all of a sudden our hopes turned into confidence due to the falling Rupee. That confidence quickly turned into an actual purchase with the Rupee hitting it’s lowest a few months back. We are now proud owners of a new property in Gurgaon, which overlooks a plush golf course. Though it is far from ready, it promises to be the perfect retirement home for us. And it has only been possible because we were able to stretch our budgets, thanks to the great value we received for our money in India.

   I can say that like me, the NRI community has seen many benefits of the currency exchange rate recently, and we feel a lot better because of it.


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