Posted on Leave a comment

Cultural dipsay, really ? An interesting chat

 Cultural disparity , really ?

Early morning on Sept. 15th, I had an interesting internet chat with an unknown friend . That good soul, opened up his mind instantly, though that was our maiden meet through the net and he had no inkling whether I am a Rama or Ravana. Our only link is my stories.
I would like to quote him verbatim :

:51am Sep 16
 ” Sir, I was born in Kerala and brought up in strict Palakkad tradition in a place called Wadi in North Karnataka by my widowed, authoritarian disciplinarian grandmother. My wife was born and brought up in Delhi in Tanjore Iyer tradition. The difference is there for us to see. As I mentioned earlier my grandmother used to illustrate her comments with stories like “Vedam chollara vaayakkum brahmana”, “Mai ittukkaraya mamiyare”, “Tamburanekkaal enikkanu sambathu” etc. And the phrase I said I used with my wife was “Ory vai chottai kottinduttu poyendi, verum vayathode choundikki pora mathiri ponama”. Thanks sir, for remembering me in your post.

Sri.Iyer’s complaint is the poochai-poonai disparity in routine conversation between the husband and wife is creating tension sometimes . “That is due to our cultural disparity” he asserts. In the example narrated above, with all the affection and consideration, when he asks his wife not to go out with an empty stomach, she takes it as an abuse.
I disagree and I tell him so.”You have lived under the same roof for several years, talk mostly Hindi or English, your children also do the same way, eat mostly north Indian food and your children too do the same, both belong to the Iyer community and therefore there cannot be much variation in your practices and way of worship etc.Then how do you say that is a cultural disparity, I ask and  continue :
Thirty years ago my sister, who is fluent more in Malayalam than in Tamil was married to an Iyengar boy, whose mother Tongue is Tamil but he is fluent  in Telugu. They are happily living without any cultural disparity.
Their son, a medico, working in US, married a month ago a Telugu girl,known to him but chosen by his parents. The wedding was as per the Telugu tradition, the bride carried in a colurful basket brought to the pantaal by her maternal uncles and Chilakkara-vellam (cummin-jaggery ) paste applied on her head on the auspicious murhoortham, considered as the main uniting symbol .
My only daughter married , ten years ago a Telugu Vaishnavite, their children now hardly speak the mother tongues of their parents and they have been living happily.
My SIL’S brother recently married an Australian girl, strictly according to the Telugu vaishnava sampradayam.
Yesterday I had been to the Greater Baltimore Temple to perform the sradham of my mother under the guidance of Sri.Murali Vaadyar. A wedding was taking place there, in the typical Tamil style with oonjal, kasi yatrai etc. The bride is an American girl in madisaru.
Compared to all the above, your partner ship with a Tamil brahmin woman gives no hope for disparity .
No, Iyer doesn’t agree.
“BTW my brother married a Reddy girl and they dont seem to find any cultural disparities between them They speak a curious mix of PI Tamil, Hyderabadi Hindi and English. They seem very comfortable with it. She loves molakoottal and he loves Gongoora pachadi and all is well. May be when the cultural differences are wide they don’t matter, when they are close it irritates”.
Now, you tell me when there is no ‘cultural disparity’ in the  ‘molakoottal-gongoora chatni’ mix, why should it be there in the ‘morkoottan-morkkozhambu’ mix ?.

And, let me assure you that the married life of my net friend is booming and the disparity is only in the dialectics.
Baltimore,
Sept16, 2011
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.