5 Desi Habits I Won’t Give Up

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with an online friend and fellow blogger Sarah from Flour & Spice. As an immigrant to Canada she’s concerned about raising her kids in a way that encourages them to embrace their Canadian side, but still be proud of their heritage and culture. The answer to that riddle is a blog post for another day, but it did get me thinking about something else; desi habits that are sometimes viewed as a negative or annoying, but I think are actually really sweet. 

So in honour of my lack of preparedness {and as a result lack of blog post} this Wednesday morning, there are 5 desi habits I won’t give up, and I’m not even embarrassed to say that!learning to make chai in india{I’m pretty sure my chai obsession is also a desi habit I won’t give up}

1. Arguing over the bill at restaurants.
Last summer, Mr T & I met up with a blog reader {who’s now a friend} in Edmonton for drinks. She was sweet enough to pick us up from our hotel, keep us entertained for an hour, and then she reached for the bill. I was hesitant to let her pay because she’s younger than us {see my next point to understand this}, and she wanted to pay because we were in her city and she was the host. It made me smile to think that both of us Canadian girls still have that desi mentality {which isn’t always negative!}

I think it’s really sweet that we are such kind hearted people and actually argue over who pays the bill. I especially love watching “mock fights” between the older generation when the cheque comes to the table. 

2. Taking care of those younger than us/respecting those older.
I sometimes tell my son that it’s his job to take care of his younger sister, and then I cringe for a moment. My Canadian side tells me it’s inappropriate to put that kind of pressure on a child, but then I remember the tide will turn, and tomorrow I will tell his sister that she has to listen to him because he’s older. 

I think this strange hierarchy ensures that we always have someone looking out for us, and we are always looking out for someone. 

3. ‘Leyn-deyn’/give and take
You know all those weird desi traditions; she had a baby so now you have to buy a suit for her mother-in-law, it’s the first time he came to your house so you have to give his kid a gift, etc.? I secretly love those traditions. Yes, I hate when people feel obligated to participate, but I do it because I enjoy it. I love spoiling a newborn or newlyweds the first time they come to my house, I enjoy picking “new house gifts” for relatives, and I never ever let someone leave my house empty handed when they deliver a wedding card. 

4. Not washing my hair on Mangalwar {Tuesday}
There is absolutely no logic in this one and it’s straight up superstition, but I don’t care. My mother has basically drilled this one into my head since childhood, and it’s stuck. Occasionally I forget what day of the week it is {because I’m a sleep deprived mom} and shower, then I’m perpetually worried that some horrible fate will fall upon me. Crazy, but I’m sticking to it.

5. Feeding my kids all the dairy
Ghee, makhan, dahi, and dhood; it’s what Punjabi’s are supposed to be made of. I don’t care what the food guide and all the dietitians in the world tell me, until my child eats at least one parantha loaded with ghee and drinks a glass of milk, I don’t believe he’s full. Typical Punjabi mother – loading the boy with ghee. {I also feed the girl, but she’s much more fond of dahi and sugar than butter.}

 

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4 Comments

  1. ac
    June 3, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Loved this post!! And def agree!! :-)

  2. June 3, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    Having a ‘plastic tehlee’ (bag) hanging on the kitchen sink cabinet handle to throw away stinky trash while cooking even though the trash bin is there too!

  3. June 3, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    Great post! I can definitely relate to them all!

  4. June 5, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    Really fun post Raj :) The mock bill fights give me the warm fuzzies, and I didn’t even realize the ‘respect your elders’ was a desi thing until I said to a friend that “it’s cool that Zaras bossy since she’s the oldest” and had them look at me blankly lol

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