There always seems to be some angst among expats about keeping Indian traditions alive while living in a foreign land. I am not so bothered about this. For one, I think it’s natural for some traditions to fade when living in a different place and for new ones to be adopted. Also, I think it’s important for new families to make their own traditions.
I believe that if a tradition is important to you, you will make an effort to keep it up. Some traditions will fade and that’s okay. Many Indian traditions have a religious origin, and when one stops being religious, some of these are bound to fade. For me, Easter was one of those, though maybe if I was in India I would have been more into it. Eating simple, vegetarian food on Good Friday is a tradition I follow only myself.
Christmas is the major tradition I keep alive here. We definitely don’t celebrate on the scale that we would in India, and V and I do feel sad about that but not sad enough to actually host a grand Christmas party. But we do put up a tree, decorate the house, put gifts under the tree, go to Church with the kids, and have a nice lunch.
So why do I have a photo of books up? Because they signify the other smaller traditions that make up a family. Like reading bedtime stories which has become a nightly ritual. One of the aspects of parenting that I’m most proud of is cultivating a love of books in Benji. Mimi is not so interested – she demands that I “reeead” but she loses interest and just wants to flip through. She prefers dictionaries; maybe she’s an encyclopedia girl. The bedtime story ritual has become so sacred to Benji that he is loathe to share it with Mimi which is another problem. Soon, I’ll have to tweak tradition or expand it to include her as well. Right now though, it’s Benji and my time.
PS: The set of three books in front were from MinCat and have been delighting Benji (and V’s adult friend who is visiting) since they arrived. Thank you Aunty MinCat.