The Big Debate – Going Home?

Last time I talked about teaching a second language in big debates facing me and some other moms I know who are establishing themselves in a new country. This time I thought I will write about the big question that lies fallow in my mind about raising the babe and occasionally surfaces to cause confusion.Its about – when raising my son, do I stay on in the US or do I return to India?  In other words, which now is my home, and where am I more comfortable shouldering probably the most difficult and delightful responsibility I have ever had.

You see, the US looks very different seen from unmarried and newly married eyes. We are part of a new generation, no matter what the age, and there is excitement in learning about a new culture, and such a open, excitng one filled with opportunities. But when kids come along, right along with CNN stories on school shootings, drugs, arms checks and gangs in schools, the question arises, wouldnt we be better off in India or our home country? At least there the kids would learn ‘values’ – our values – stirred into our milks with Bournvita and stuffed into our paranthas. Respect for parents, not kicking books, not touching people with feet and such mundane and important ones.

Plus there is the education system we all suffered through and trust. In some cases there is the issue of religion. A lot of my Chinese friends have converted in the US. But many others havent. How do I teach cultural traditions and religious customs without seeming like a religious zealot? I have seen Indian parents here raising daughters and sons steeped in Hinduism, but through so much hard work! And of course there is the protective blanket of family. And affordable private school education.

Then again there is the land of opportunity. The way of teaching which allows kids to experiment and not burden them with homework. Our own lives here. The independance. The opportunities as a woman. The clean roads…. I know this side of the scale seems more frivolous but a lot of this counts towards happiness.

Have you faced this debate? What are your thoughts?

 

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    We went back home as opportunities for jobs were great and the kids are raised in a familiar culture.

  2. winfried

    I would stay in the US. For no matter all the ills that we can see, being foreigners in this land, still it is the best country for kids to grow up and opportunities for a better future.

    I really love the US, I have been here since I was 18 years old and cannot imagine leaving somewhere else!

    Cheers!

  3. Khushi

    Winfried, I am starting to think like you too. The opportunities are great.. but you know I have been here lesser years, so I still feel the pull back home.

    Anonymous, how is life back home? Was it tough to adjust?

  4. indrani

    India – An option

    A year and half back, when my husband’s company wanted us to be in India for 2 years, much to our surprise, we were having mixed feelings. I asked myself “? Then why am I not happy? Did’nt I miss home and all my friends and relatives” I realized that I had got used to few things in life, having lived outside India for almost 8 years had made me gotten used to comforts like clean air, uninterrupted water and power supply, roads, traffic that’s not inching… most of which are taken for granted in first world countries, most importantly the independence and privacy, a rare commodity in big cities like Delhi.
    So when we moved, we told ourselves and others “ We are here only for 2 years.”

    The initial settling down issues seemed enormous. But I also realized that those could be fixed. To make sure that we have water and power the whole day, two things in short supply in Delhi, we moved into an apartment with water and power back up, for a fast internet connection, I got a broadband with a router. The traffic is maddening and so is the honking but I guess one just gets used to it. And if you get a driver to drive you around, it stops bothering you as well. Few of the malls are kids friendly and the stores in them are what they were in the Bay area.

    India is not like the US and probably never will be in my life time. The lack of civic sense and work life balance, the pollution, the dust, nosy people, to name a few. But all these start appearing as minor irritants when I see my 22 month old son, who holds an American passport, share a close bond with my parents and in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles. Getting all the love, attention and pampering that he rightfully deserves, preparing and celebrating all the festivals with family without the need to find out which all family friends are still in the country for Diwali who might like to be with us when we miss our family and reminiscence our child hood memories. Christmas, New Years are big events in India as well. And things are changing…. The economy is growing, job opportunities are enormous and so are the pay hikes, roads, flyovers and underpasses have been built and many on the way, hopefully the subway system or the metro as its called here will take away a lot of traffic from the roads, hospitals like Max Health care are comparable to the Health services available in the States and quite a few of Non resident Indians are moving to India for good.

    I don’t know where were are going to be six months later as a lot of it depends on my husband’s job and his company. But I am glad life we got this opportunity to live on both sides of the globe as matured independent adults. At least now, we can consider India as an option to settle down as well which probably I would’nt have if I had not moved here.

  5. Khushi

    That is a lovely writeup. Thanks so much for the comment and the detailed writeup on your experience.

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