Purely Personal ThoughtsIf there is no choice, there is no point of this discussion. For those people who either are on the foreign land because of job or by choice and are planning kids, then this question arises.
We might say, we are global citizens, the geographical borders don't matter, all is in the mind, don't think small, think big, have a large heart and stuff... but excuse me, it just doesn't work that way.. we might be open-hearted the society/world isnt. Sounds idealistic on paper and in speech, coming to practicality does that really happen.. yes of course, there will always be a beginning, someone someday maybe :(.
People call me crazy for deciding to have an Indian baby in spite of having a chance for a US citizen, but I was adamant and am glad about it, dont know how LO would react to this as an adult.
People can give big lectures as to being patriotic and giving birth to kid in their motherland and doing service to the motherland, some might claim it is cheap thinking.. why dont you think big???, some say upbringing makes a difference not birth. We as parents or people in general can claim whatever we want to for the sake of a discussion or an argument but what we think might not necessarily be the thoughts endorsed by our children... so there will be a big question hanging over our head until the time they grow up and question or thank us for whatever we have done. I just hope I can see LO's reaction on this some time in the future.
So, when we have a chance to decide the fate of a kid (golden future with US citizenship or struggle and come up with Indian one) what would it be???
I know this can drag on to be an eternal discussion and there would be distractions no matter what the choice is.
My thoughts pre-LO in a forum were something like this...
Indian for me..
people call me crazy for that, but somehow, I want my kid to be an Indian.. I dont think I can digest the fact that my kid will be singing God Bless America.. !! India has given us so much, I want the kid to understand my motherland as well as I do!! I have money in US, clean and green lifestyle, a better quality of life but I just dont have that freedom that I have in my motherland.
Coming to the point dont Indian kids born in America sing that song.. yes, they will because US is the place giving them shelter, food, and good life at that point in time but Vandemaataram is still the song that have a greater meaning in their lives (not a petty discussion on song singing but my personal feelings)
Maybe I am thinking too much but they might not be in a position to say that this is their native place.. like the situations we have grown up in and all are quite different, so our thought process and thinking might be tangentially different from theirs in the growing up years which might cause a lot of friction.
I wont say the routine sanskruti sampradayalu totti dialogue but somehow I feel that the sense of belonging would be lost on a kid born here. Even if they do adopt that complete sense of belonging to that place, will they actually be treated as one by Americans in spite of the fact that they themselves are immigrants from various parts of the world!!..
I just dont want the insecurity the Japanese-US citizen had to face at the time of Pearl Harbor.. what were they Americans, Japanese what.. America treats them Japanese and Japan treats them American.. so what is left for them???? Doesnt mean US and India would be at war or something like that but even if far-fetched that is a possibility right... am very much confused as to what direction to go about as is the OH.. but 99% it is an Indian baby.
Coming to whatever place the kid is born, upbringing is what matters.. it surely depends on how you bring them up but a person who he/she becomes is a sum total of a lot of factors influencing them and whatever the parents decide is purely an individual choice.
I think my thoughts are really conservative in this aspect.. I was being extra-protective maybe.. the response I had given in the thread earlier was based on an assumption, something which was an idea/thought/decision at that point in time.. now, I have a baby and yes, she is India-born Indian which again is a purely personal choice... but looking back I still think what I thought was right given my circumstances. I absolutely do not find a fault with decision of US-born Indian kids, 'cos it might have been a well-thought out decision from their end too given their circumstances..
I hereby state my reasons for wanting an Indian baby and if it were right choice needs to be seen as she grows up.
Me and Sreya now can both relate to India the same way, I am the sort of a person who gets wild when an Indian criticizes India for being what it is by staying abroad.. so I was scared at the prospect of a nationality-war between the two of us ;). On a serious note, I wanted her to have the same sense of belonging that I have to this nation which I think she would not have if she were to be born there.. will explain it below
We become what we become by the way of upbringing and the society we are in. Agreed, I bring her up with traditional Indian values but the society she is a part of, no matter how many Indians are there in the place we stay, does not support these traditions which might leave her confused. Adaptability is something which comes with experience and putting her through a cultural confusion as an infant/toddler/adolescent is something which I wanted to avoid.
Okay, there is caste system in India, there is reservation, there is cheap politics, there is hell a lot of corruption, there is social strata discrimination, which I do not want my kid to go through.. considering all these factors, I had a slight bent over the American citizen, but more than anything even if I had to take a gamble and do that for the kid's golden future, the financial constraints and commitments IF AND IF we get back to India made me back away from the prospect.. like I just cant afford the lifestyle she will be given there no matter how much hard I work.. NRI fee structure is literally mind-blowing and it is like bringing up a white elephant.. I cant give her the cleanliness, the corruption-free life, the lifestyle, the multi-culture, being in a place where people all over the world vie to be, etc., once I come back here by chance or by choice. I am not sure as to how long we would be there in US in the current recession scenario and all that.. but even before this current trend, something like this was always at the back of our minds, so better be with a thought we don't belong in US than have serious adjustment issues when we are forced to go back.. again purely personal opinion/choice here.
the lack of freedom, it says it is a free country but then there are so many restraints.. visas, extensions, visits, visiting India on a foreign visa and applying for extensions to stay there :(((
Being here and facing the problems make me all the more resolute to stay put and make the difference in whatever way I can by giving my daughter to this nation... (I know quite senti).. don't know what she would become later on but would surely want her to be in armed forces or civil services or politics whatever her choice be.. if not also fine, I made an effort and she is a free soul. Like they say, kadupu nindaa unnavaadiki aakali viluva teliyadu. You need to be hungry at least once to know how it feels like to be hungry, so I need to personally feel the pinch to be able to get motivated..err.. or that is what I feel.
All these things.. I might be wrong, they might be silly issues for some but deep down, I don't want to go through them all. No patience to struggle than I already had to, so I preferred Indian baby and had one.. not a justification but my thoughts involved in the decision..
3. safety/responsibility towards the kids until they are on their own.
4. social security.
5. Most important of all, not expecting parents to give the property.. it is disgusting back in india to see people fight for what little property the old souls saved... i would be happy if they fought for taking care of the oldies instead!! I love the way the kids back there need to fend for themselves once they are self-sufficient.
6. Treating everybody equally no matter what he or she does.. the barber, the waiter, the cook, everyone, so social strata discrimination.
I again want to reiterate the fact that I have no intention to belittle/berate anyone. I respect their decision to have the kid in US as much they do my choice. Like I stated my reasons they will have a lot of their own which are genuine and valid, the most crippling of all is the caste system :((. They might actually do much much more to India by being an NRI or PIO than what me and LO or a whole lot of Indian citizens collectively do for it. Like me and a lot of us back home, they can be mute spectators of the events happening and not be able to do anything from that place of work but their heart still beats for the country and would skip a beat if something were to happen to it.
Deep down even if not expressed they are as much patriotic, no two thoughts about it!! IF and IF I have a grudge, it is on those who absolutely hate India and take pride in mentioning that opinion as many times as possible to whoever bothers to listen or ignore.