Aug 6, 2005

I have been out of town for a while, helping with a close cousin's wedding, for which the festivities will be over on Sunday. I have a lot to think about, and hope to have some more interesting stuff to write about family, community, and boundaries here, to add to thoughts from the past few months. I am so happy to be part of this ceremony and process, but as the first wedding to a non-Indian in my immediate family, we're coming across some interesting cultural and boundary issues in the proceedings. I couldn't be happier for my cousin, but it's brought me face-to-face with questions that I've never really had to deal with or think about before.

And it's made me think about the different branches in my family tree, and how I've sometimes used the interactions that I have with them to inform and ground the way that I think about working with community members in general, and that may be unfair to both my family and my community, because I'm only seeing a small, non-random sample. But anyway, religion, language, customs, and culture all seem to come into play in large family functions, and there's nothing larger, nor more intense, than a wedding.

Interestingly enough, though, we've had the chance to engage different cousins and elders on issues as wide-ranging as religion, language, family relationships, the train profiling that's going on now, hate crimes/bias, and a range of other things. Not to mention mediating expectations and the vocalization thereof in regards to the wedding traditions and program. In my family, it seems like everyone has an opinion about these things, and few folks can keep those opinions to themselves. Myself included.

4 comments:

DesiDancer said...

would love to hear your experiences, opinions and thoughts on the whole thing. Funny how weddings bring out the best and the worst sometimes.

my wedding was quite interesting. Me being ABCD/not so traditional and mixed on top of that (so somewhat divided in my camp), my husband coming from a more traditionally minded family... well it was interesting and I think we learned a lot ;)

Glad you're having a good time, and congrats to your families!

someone else said...

you should read my wedding posts at some point if you havevn't, dd :)

Rage said...

Thanks for your thoughts, dd, and you should definitely post some of your thoughts from your own and other weddings. It's always such a stressful thing to manage, with expectations, miscommunication, and the works.

I think love must prevail, but I've suggested eloping to all the young couples that I've met since. This particular couple met in college, and they are 24 and 23, so even if things are all over the place right now, they'll settle into a rhythm later. Of course, when we tried to offer any advice, we were turned around with "we've known each other for a long time, so it's not going to be an issue for us."

Okay. Find out the hard way that the first year of marriage is tough, no matter how long you've known each other.

DesiDancer said...

boy, that's got to be the biggest smoke and mirrors trick in history-- only my dear sister-cousin was straight up enough to tell me about the first year totally sucking hard. I think especially women are guilty of keeping this dirty little secret because it's somehow expected that if you're newlywed you should be snuggling and having all kinds of happy newlywed sex, and life should be a continuation of the honeymoon. WRONG. And nobody wants to admit it because they're too busy keeping up appearances and nobody wants to let on that they're having a hard time. Well I, for one, am all about blowing the lid off that scam! I tell everyone about to get married-- if the wedding didn't kill you, the first year will come close. -Doesn't matter how much you love each other, doesn't matter how long you knew each other... there is so much adjustment to contend with, both individually and as a couple.

There was actually a very strange article today about an institute for training wives, in India. Most of it is neanderthal garbage, however, it raised some very interesting points about the adjustment a woman has to make in acquiring a new husband and his family. Doesn't matter if you live in the same house, up the street, in a different state, or across the planet. While I can only speak for women, the expectations society, family and women themselves place on new brides is totally ridiculous.

It was worth it, don't get me wrong, but last year was all about straightening things out, laying out boundaries, etc etc. This year is a return to Us.