Sounds ironical, right? Well, how can someone belonging to a different nationality celebrate their native roots in a foreign land? However, impossible it might sound like, our vigorous Indian patrons always shine like a crazy diamond no matter where they travel or settle. With heaps of expectations and living the American dream, there are several silver souls who transgress the western values and establish their own identity. In the midst of competition and fast-paced life, Indian women settled overseas with their beau’s post-marriage or to pursue higher dreams and investing in education are often involved in balancing both the cultures spontaneously and code-switching becomes their alter-ego. Wondering why women need to strike a perfect balance and ace the race to stand out? Well, because both the cultures in their respective arenas have deep values to embed and instill a sense of compassion, confidence, skills to fight against the immoral and strive for excellence.
The struggle is real and to maintain the balance and code-switching is even hard, it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea for there are innumerous Indians who give up and embrace American way of life while there are others who would stick to their roots and values (read Rajesh Koothrappalli in Big Bang Theory) and stay Indian at heart. However, there are several instances where Indian women undergo a series of trials and tribulations, especially if they do not own a work permit. The women who keep their heads and standards high might feel small for being financially dependent, however, that’s the phase of life that teaches you to stay uprooted and celebrate the divine culture and traditions. Having known, read and spoken to such women reassures our belief in pious and substantial Indian school of traditions. This clan of women either take up courses from community colleges or vocational training to fetch working permit or volunteer in non-profit organizations.
There are several Indian women who live with their parents and study in American schools going through the culture shock and facing the clash of two absolutely different cultures is indeed paranoid. One major aspect that Indians lay the maximum emphasis on is education and while the westerners stay calm and composed about theoretic education, focussing more on practical knowledge and personality development, Indians, on the other hand, are again on a losing edge here. This competitive feeling has been balanced wonderfully by some Indian women who imbibe the western education in all its form and purity. They are keen observers are always on the lookout for an opportunity to foster their learning and development, thereby assisting fellow students to stay at par.
Not just that, Indian women have time and again, garnered respect, admiration, and recognition in the western societies through their constant efforts to achieve the impossible. Talk about legendary women like Kalpana Chawla, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Norah Jones, Sunita Williams and such, we’re enthralled and feel a wave of empowerment gushing through our veins. Indian women are no longer synonymous to big red bindi, gajras or fragrant carnations in hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and layered jewels instead they reflect the aura of substantial iron women who are capable of flying if given the opportunity in the glorious weaves of royal Indian silhouette. Saree is what makes an Indian woman look complete and authentic with a touch of elegance that resonates sheer charm and grace of the colorful land. And we are not advocating the cause, people all over the world conform to this very fact and notion.
America, is a melting point of cultures and traditions has witnessed a pattern of breakthrough norms and regulations. The picture is not always rosy and sweet, living in another country has its own share of troubles. Behind those scarred and tainted Indian image lies a deep provocative truth. The truth that justifies Indian women to be connoisseurs of hospitality and food which makes them great hosts in the neighborhood. No matter how loud or crazy Indians may sound, people know the fact that they are all so adorable and loving with a big warm golden heart residing in them. Indian women make the best literature enthusiasts and students in the US according to several kinds of research because of their undying passion to give back to the society and uplift the status quo of women in India and abroad.
One such exemplary figure is Padma Lakshmi who is the Indian-origin actress, model and winner of the Best First Book for her cookbook “Easy Exotic”. She underwent a tumultuous childhood and troubled adulthood. However, what kept her going was the unflinching hope and the determination to surpass her miseries. The Chennai based dusky model was bullied on racial grounds and today, she has walked the ramp for luminary designers including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren, Alberta Ferretti and the like besides her styling columns in the prestigious Harper’s Bazaar magazine and Allure magazine. This spirit of strength, courage and high hopes is what defines every Indian woman who is out and about leaving a significant legacy for others to follow. Defying the pre-conceived notions laid upon by the dominant and male chauvinist society, women are no less than warriors who are constantly fighting their battle to prove their worth.
Indian women have carved a niche for themselves and portray strength and wisdom with an urge to transform and taste the victory in every aspect of life. Celebrating ethnicity, not through their ethnic attires but yes, the personal statement is what adds the cherry to the icing. As Arundhati Roy quoted in one of her interviews that a piece of Indian clothing can change the look of a woman and add layers of confidence. We absolutely love her cotton drapes and long kurtas with cotton jackets that instantly elevates her Indian-ness.
Across the seas and borders, our women who are laboriously working hard each day, meticulously hoping to sabotage the stereotypes withstand with a pure heart in an attempt to fly high soaked in glorious colors. We brim with pride and patriotism every single time we glorify the eminent Indian leaders and icons who are looked upon overseas and paving a way for each one of us to kindle the light of transformation and change in multi-racial society.
Article By : Ambika Asthana