As I wrote many times before, I am usually at the receiving end of various direct and indirect innuendos about my children’s lack of cultural ( read Indian) awareness by various relatives.

It really doesn’t matter to anyone that I have three happy, hardworking, well behaved children. What matters the most is that they are not acting like Malayalees.

Comments by various family members went like this.

1.”When my children were little, I taught them, they  are Malayalees, they have 5000 years of rich cultural heritage behind them. It doesn’t matter where you were born or the passport you hold. Being a Malayalee is the most important thing and I made sure we spoke Malayalam at home and visited our family and relatives in India every year”

2. Yaya made the mistake of telling them that she is hoping to study in US. “Are you crazy? Why would you want to spend so much money to study in US, when Unis like Indias IIT are the top Unis in the world. ( they are not even in the first 100 top uni) Indian education is the best, the teachers know how to explain  US education is crap. It is a waste of money.

3. My son had friends over. “Doesn’t he have any Indian friends? He is going to learn all the bad habits, take drugs and drink alcohol if he has only white friends. Indian children are all raised with the same standard. It is better that you ( as in me the mother) prevent him from mixing with the wrong crowds.

4. After dinner, my children excused themselves and went to Yaya’s room to watch a movie on her computer. She has a huge collection of movies that she buys from the shop where she works.

“Do you know what movie they are watching?” They asked me.

I didn’t know. ( My children knew from the time they were old enough to understand to follow the code restrictions. If it is MA, they won’t let Baby watch it. I don’t have to ask them each time they watch a movie what movie are they watching. I trust them.)

“How can you be so irresponsible? You should take better control of your children. There are so many bad movies, you can’t raise them like this. For heaven’s sake, you are the mother”

To recap, the person who told me all of the above, his oldest child studied in an Ivy league uni, married her Jewish classmate. I would have liked to ask, how come he didn’t send his children to India to study if the education in India is the best and how come he allowed his child to marry a non Malayalee. But the thing with mallus is..their advice is free and flowing but it doesn’t mean that they themselves follow it. They are send to earth to make sure everyone else follows the mallu dictates..but they themselves are exempt. Hypocrites.


12 thoughts on “Hypocrisy

  1. Lol!! This is not the first time that Mallu relatives are pointing out about your kids lack of “Mallu culture”.. you should by now know to ignore them.. in through one ear and out through the other..

    • MS: I am a tough nut..however this kind of hypocrisy bothers me very much. Worst, this is what every other mallu family goes through..where the parents are compelled to keep their children from mixing with non mallus, send them to India to study etc.

  2. You do realize that being a hypocrite is a very common malayalee trait? They try to blame certain problems onto the rest of the world and act like they are innocent when in reality, the problems are very much evident in Kerala too. Here’s what I experienced:

    1. I have gotten the “you should have grown up in Kerala so you can have the malayalee culture imbibed into you = need to speak perfect malayalam, learn to get up early and serve the house hold, cook, clean, have an arranged marriage, and have kids when you are supposed to as all young girls do that at an early age and it is what society dictates !” Reality: I have seen NONE of my cousins in Kerala and many of the girls I have met do any of the latter, rather they lounge around making their moms complain that they do NOTHING. The marriage part is kind of true though (which I feel they have no choice but to be forced into it because of the “age limit”). However, it’s beginning to not be all arranged marriages now as many girls in Kerala too are trying out the concept of dating and having boyfriends. Example-my former ” born and bred in Kerala” roommate who is engaged to her non-malayalee boyfriend (her family is one of the rare malayalees out there who don’t follow these so kind of “rules”, but rather go with the flow. ). She told me the actual reality of what India is today as opposed to many of the older generations think it is, which shows that the older generation is stuck in a time warp and are blinded by the changes. And I’m sure her accounts are 99% right since she’s been outside India for only 2 years where else many the older folks were living outside for decades (20-30 yrs?) hence have no idea that things have changed since then.

    2. No one, even children in Kerala or perhaps whole of India don’t do drugs, have sex, drink alcohol. Reality: I’m surprised that it doesn’t stick in many of their brainless heads that Kerala has the highest alcohol consumption (and suicide rate) in India. Even when I have gone to India many of my cousins and their friends were drinking right along with the adults ! Having sex and drugs?-Ohhh yesss it’s def there, but as always, it’s kept hush hush. Ran into one malayalee aquaintance in Kerala once who started having sex at 17 !

    3. India has the best education system: There are indeed good schools in some areas (like in Bangalore), but there are many schools that are just corrupted. However, India, and even the US now does not have the best education system nor is anywhere near having a good education system compared to other countries. If you want your child to have the best education, go to Finland. I’m not kidding…you’ll be surprised and amazed on how they teach and prepare their students who score extremely high, hence they are number 1 in the world for education.

    3. Censor what they watch as kids in India don’t get into bad habits….LOL !!! Truth: Uh yes that’s so funny because even though there is moral policing in India, none of the parents even bother what their children watch either, no matter what content it is. At least here it’s a tad better since there is some control that can be used.

    I kind of chuckle at these kinds of convos. As for control, no parent cannot control every aspect of their child’s life. They can give advice and guidance if lost, but not decide everything for them. Once the kids reach adult age, they need to learn to make proper decisions and choices themselves, and if they make an mistake, learn to resolve it. It’s the only way they’ll learn to survive and manage, especially when their parents are not around anymore.

    “But the thing with mallus is..their advice is free and flowing but it doesn’t mean that they themselves follow it. They are send to earth to make sure everyone else follows the mallu dictates..but they themselves are exempt. Hypocrites.”

    Well I kind of disagree. The way I always saw: these malayalees do make sure everyone follows the “rules” and they themselves try their best to follow it, but it doesn’t always work and they eventually have to let go and give up since they know they are going to lose the battle. I’m sure you uncle did not accept and agreed to the fact that his daughter was having relations with her Jewish classmate right away. And if he did, well god bless him because now he will have a new, broader perspective to show that no one is lesser because they are not malayalee. Most malayalees will put their children through a hellhole (happened with my cousin who married an American) if they find that they are dating or engaging in relationships (even with other mallus) since it’s not the traditional way ( aka marriage market system). I do actually praise those who mallus who marry foreigners only because it will diminish the narrow mindedness and give them a new outlook and expand their horizons. Plus it’s better because it’s good to learn about different backgrounds and cultures other people are from and at the same time share your own culture/background..etc. Unfortunately not many mallus like that and stay in their narrow bubble.

    Anyway, there is no such thing as “acting like a Malayalee”. Everyone should act like themselves and be themselves, whether they are malayalee, american..etc. As for being a Malayalee as the most important thing. Though it’s good to learn the cultural heritage and learn about your ethnic background, it’s not the most important, perhaps it would be way on the bottom regarding what’s important. I personally would encourage my own kids if I have any to experience malayalee culture and learn as much as they can (like learn a bit Malayalam, watch movies, travel to Kerala), but I will not force them since they need to discover their identity and own selves. The most important thing, IMO, is that everyone regardless what country they live in, they are good people, and have a heart to share and help others to make the world a much better place than it is. Your kids seem to do just that Sarah, so they are completely fine of who they are 😉

    • AJ: Yeterday was a stormy day and the sky was very cloudy at night and I didn’t see a single star. If I wrote about a night with no star, it doesn’t mean there were no stars in the sky, it meant I didn’t see it at that moment in that place where I live. If I wrote about Hypocrisy of Mallus, it means the ones I see, it doesn’t mean all Mallus are hypocrites. I am sure you would be able to make that distinction.

  3. Well said! me having grown up in a city outside Kerala face this often.. and now my kids growing up outside India, even more from the Kerala relatives… Not speaking malayalam at home..western culture bad.. etc. etc.. Even in news sometimes when they focus on “malayalis” were among the affected, makes me joke about it. Actually reading your blog, helps me alleviate some of the imposed doubts on these type of topics . I am not alone… hi hi..

      • @Shari,

        I and many others I know faced the same. We’re just a different type of “malayalee”. I realized through my interactions and friendships with malayalees who grew up in other places besides Kerala and my encounters within the born and bred ones that there are two types of malayalees..the “naadans” or “pakkas” who solely grew up in Kerala and the NRK aka “hybrid malayalees”, who spent their entire lives or at least part of their life outside Kerala. Difference? Biggest is mindset and thinking. Most naadans (with exceptions like my Kerala born roomate and few distant friends who grew up in Kerala who are so broad minded) have such narrow thinking that they will not accept anything or anyone that is foreign to them. They expect every malayalee to be the same type and have the same hobbies/interests, even jobs (think: you must be doctor or engineer). You must also follow all these societal norms (girls no going out or having guy friends) They like their pure form, and if you don’t follow these “pure rules”, you are shunned out from the “community” (my mom told me this once after an argument about my cousin who married into a different culture is not part of the “malayalee community” because she didn’t marry a mallu!) Some though after living outside Kerala do tend to change their mindset a little IF they welcome and try to learn about people from different cultures and background (doesn’t seem most do though). Seen some change their “paaka” selves and become more open. I have also gotten remarks from the nosy folks like “you’re not proper girl” or “you don’t speak perfect malayalam!” (I can speak, not fluently). “Not married and don’t run the household yet??” “You past the deadline!” Anyway, don’t fret. and just ignore their comments. At least being hybrid, you can be part of many cultures while keeping some customs from your ethnicity that you are comfortable and take out values you don’t like. I identify my self as Indian-American (but more Americanized lol). Don’t see myself nor can I stand being only malayalee. Feel like it will limit me from the experiences this world has to offer.

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