Coconut!

Am I one?

sorry for those of you who only know this to be a kind of edible hard nut, I apologise. This is a term used to make fun of people who have believed to have, given up their values  to become someone,they should not be!

As a recent row between the two Bristol city councillors has demonstrated. Since then I have been wondering about myself, am I one? and if so then is it necessarily a bad thing?

A couple of things happened during the last week or so which have concentrated my mind on my own status. I went to a reunion of my husband;s medical school. There were people who have lived here a long time, and should be a part of this society. It surprised me to see, how most of the crowd was still very Indian, and hankering after the old country. Especially women,they were painfully and obviously very “home sick”.some even after forty years of living in the UK. I agree that one retains a certain nostalgia for the place you came from, you even miss it at times,but to be so steeped in the culture of their origin and be quite oblivious of the one they have adopted really staggered me.

I look at it as a country, I left to go to elsewhere,to have a better life. If I was to live and work and spend the rest of my life somewhere,then it was important that I learnt the ways of that country,that I got to know the natives,and their history, culture and how best I could fit in. I did not want to constantly look over my shoulder, compare the two cultures and always come up with the belief that the culture I left behind is the most superior! I could never have a fulfilling life,or settle, apart from anything else this will make me frustrated and un- settled. And if I was in this mind set I will not bring up children who were at peace with themselves and felt part of the society they were born in.

This required and does require having a certain loyalty and liking for the host culture,then only can you pass on those values to the next generation.

Then I have found that I find it tedious to go back about twice a year,or at least every year to the mother country,in this case India. I want to visit other parts of the world. My husband goes back every year, and the rest of the family do not understand and am labelled as someone who has given up their values!

I plan holidays to go to other places because it broadens my horizons,I think! I love exploring new places. My other half on the other hand, would rather go to India all the time! This time I agreed to go with him for a short while. And have just found out to my horror that a six week holiday has been booked, travelling across India. Now I do not wish to be un grateful but I find I do not take kindly to the climate and the food any longer, the over crowding ,the noise, flies and  poverty makes my stay miserable,besides I do not wish to be away from my garden,my precious house plants,my home and my children for that length of the time. I left that country and have made a better life for myself elsewhere,I do not hanker nor do I constantly want to straddle the two cultures constantly. I know am going to refuse to go for that length,and I know that some will call me a “coconut”! Perhaps I am, but simply because I have made my choices in my life and I stick by them and enjoy them.

So if am going to be called a coconut or a pineapple, am not bothered.

Should I be?

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