• kimbansi

The Tale of a Feisty Indian Girl

Let me preface this whole post by saying that I love Indian culture. The strong sense of community, the knowledge of how to throw a wicked party, the food, the clothes and of course the importance of family. It has a lot of great things, there’s just one aspect which causes me annoyance.

Certain expectations come from being an Indian girl and it’s safe to say I don’t always live up to those ideals. I, myself, have never been held back by my family because I am a girl and I have always been treated the same as my brother (and indeed sister) throughout my life. This is why growing up I never felt I had to act a certain way just because I was a girl. I know this isn’t the case for all.

Unfortunately, not everyone else sees it this way. Most of you that know me will have learned that I’m outgoing and feel passionately about expressing my opinions and beliefs- hence the blog. However, being a feisty Indian girl with opinions doesn’t always go down well. In fact, I got a few rolled eyes when I told people I was even considering writing this blog. In larger groups of Indian people I feel reluctant to show my true colours and when I do I always get feedback stating ‘I’m very aggressive’ or ‘she’s quite loud for a girl.’ Yet, I’m quite sure that if an Indian boy said the things I did, they would be getting a pat on the back saying ‘he’s so clever’ or ‘look how great my son is.’

I’m not just talking about the older generation either. I was once told by a guy who supposedly fancied me that he could ‘Make me more Indian’. (Just a note guys, that’s not a strong chat up line). These also seem to be the same kind of guys that don’t want girlfriends that go out to clubs and drink, despite the fact that they themselves do exactly that!

This all stems from the awful sexism that Indian culture has embedded into it, where girls were killed before they were even born. I know a lot has changed, especially for Indian girls living in the UK, but I can’t help feel that these old fashioned views still seep into Indian culture today and manifest as pressures put on Indian girls even nowadays.  I know for sure that it’s not just Indian culture that has these problems too!

Also, if you are an Indian girl that doesn’t venture too far from the track that’s ok too- as long as it’s own choice.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase:‘Aren’t you going to learn to make roti for your husband?' Said in jest or not, it just proves how there is a conflict between Indian culture and being an opinionated young girl. Time for change?

Brown girl Kim
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