Updated: May 4
11 things to remember for desis marrying into a different community than your own.
Does it matter if you are from the same Samaaj (community)?, when you are thinking of marriage? I know these days it really doesn’t however how do you adjust to your new life and make everyone around your feel included?
I was born and raised in Baroda and I am married into a Surati family. So technically I am a Surodian?(😆)I absolutely love being an adopted Surati and learning everything about the Surati life. One thing people think about this southern part of Gujarat is that people are big time foodie and that is correct but of course there is more to them. Most Surati people I know are genuinly caring, the sense of community is really a big part of their lives and there is no shame in doing any kind of work is their motto and perhaps for that reason many of them are well off these days.
Of course when I got married, I was scared. Will I learn all there is to know and will I be loved and accepted fully? I didn’t know many things that are expected from a new bride like being able to cook a full meal. Oh man, was I bad? and of course young and couldn’t admit that I was inadequate and didn’t know how to cook. First time I cooked or attempted to make Ghiloda bataakaa (potatoes and small gourds) nu shaak, I messed up in this high need to impress my in laws and then had to cry cuz I didn’t know.
I am so blessed to have found my in laws who are so patient and kind with me. I have learned fun new food recipes and fun ways and along the way have become confident in myself.
When you go in to a new community here are few things you may want to keep in mind:
1. Know that your new family is as anxious as you are about being accepted and accepting.
2.It is ok to acknowledge that this is new and you don’t know many things, even if your mind says, you should know this.
3.Keep an open mind and don’t be too quick to label things good or bad, they are just different.
4.Communicate, ask for what you need and ask for help when you feel lost or confused.
5.Be kind and firm at the same time, speak your mind and set clear boundaries without being rude.
6.Find a friend who will listen when you are frustrated and guide you in the right direction and not just agree with you and support your victimized opinions.
7. Journal your thoughts in forms of questions and the answers will start flowing.
8.In the end always keep in mind, everyone wants to feel like they matter so if you have to adjust your life a little to make someone feel that way, do it.
9.Create a new recipe book of your own. Every family has their own way of doing things, it is completely ok to learn few new ideas from your new family without downplaying what you already knew.
10.Pray and sleep it off. If you are really frustrated with something and you don’t know, this will work as it will create separation from your feelings and give you more clarity.
11.Your self worth is as important as anyone else’s so if you are in an overpowering or abusive household then take the necessary actions, this does not make you a bad person, it makes you a wise person. Seek help without feeling guilty or bad.