LEARNING TOOLS

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO AT A GUJARATI GATHERING




Imagine, you have been invited to a Gujarati uncle and aunt’s house for their kid’s birthday party or graduation party or even a Pooja (religious ceremony). You will come across many that will recognize you and ask you questions and some that are just curious wanting to know who you are, how old you are or where you are from.


They will try to get all the information squeezed out of you especially if you are anywhere from the age of 15-30. As you know a parent must start looking out for a match for their kid early on… “dhyaan ma raakhavaanu” (scope those potential kids out and keep an eye on them to get them hooked up with your kid). Well if you are in this situation, here is what not to do:


Don’t be scared of the stare…

This is a typical Gujarati thing to do. You see another desi (person of Indian origin) anywhere in this world you first stare at them or keep looking at them. The intention here is not to judge you, they are trying to figure out, do they know you? Ss if they know all 65 million Gujaratis in this world.


Don’t answer…

“Tu mane odhakhe chhe?” (Do you know who I am?) Or even better “Tu mane bhuli gayi” (You forgot who I am?). Chances are you have never met this person and they just think that you know them or you genuinely forgot who they are. All you do is pause and pretend to think and they will come back with… “Hu tara pappa no friend… Aapne tya Madela…” (I am your dad’s friend, we met at…).


Don’t ask another young person’s whereabouts from aunt or uncle…

They will think you are interested in their niece or nephew and next thing you know, you’ll have that person’s biodata and whole life history so you can judge if they are a marrying kind or not.


Don’t give out any information to the “Gujarat Samaachaar” aunt…

There is always that one aunt that needs to know everything in your life and the minute you move away from everyone at the party, everyone in your community and all your neighbors will know that information as this aunt loves to share the news like the newspaper “Gujarat Samaachaar”


Don’t leave your shoes on if the event is at a temple…

“Jo ne aane etlu pan bhaan nathi” (look at her she doesn’t even know basic Gujarati values). You do not wear your shoes in a temple and by God if you accidentally forgot to take them off or thought your dress is long enough and no one will notice and some aunt spotted you… “Gayi vaat” (you are doomed). You will be known as the idiot or Americanized idiot who doesn’t even know that you don’t wear champal(flipflops) in the mandir (temple).


What are you told not to do in your family when you visit others? Do share with us, we would love to know.