The Beauty and Irony of the Indian Culture all Wrapped in One Will Make you Laugh


by Alyssa John 

My sense of humor usually stems from racial stereotyping, so here are some of my thoughts on my lovely racial background (Singaporean/Indian). Enjoy and tell me your thoughts below in the comments!

Point 1: To have or not to have an arranged marriage?

Now, non-Indians, when you hear of arranged marriages, do you automatically imagine some random guy riding an elephant to another random girl’s house to marry her, not to mention, it is the first time they have ever met before?

I hope not…because things have changed (for the most part).

Arrange marriage used to sound and look like that. It was a tough process and it still can be in certain parts of the South Asian world, where women are paired with men they’ve never met in order to fulfill their family’s name and duties.

But I’m not referring to that type of arranged marriage because that is now heavily outdated and looked down upon.

In most Indians’ eyes, yes, getting an arranged marriage is literally having your mum or dad, or both, ask their family friends to choose a suitable life partner who  would be compatible with your lifestyle, status and education.

Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well… you don’t exactly have the option to marry interracially, which kind of sucks considering HALFIE CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE.

Arranged marriages are genuinely a great solution if you think you’re going to be forever alone, you know? Which is a thought that scares me daily.

However, I could go call my grandma and say “you got a boy ready for me to meet?” and she will most likely send my photo around and try to find me a husband one in a couple of days.

Obviously, I believe in the notion of love because I live in the 21st century and have seen countless romcoms, but in all seriousness, if you’re someone who fears being lonely like me, it’s really not a bad last resort!

Now, of course, even through the arranged marriage route, you have the option to meet the person you may forever be set up with, you still date him/her, you do the whole get-to-know-each-other-thing, and if it doesn’t work out, YOU MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE!

Sounds like a sweet deal, am I right? In an Anglo person’s perception…maybe not but, I think it’s actually quite practical if you do like the idea of being married but are too introverted to go out there and find someone to date and so on.

So yes, arranged marriages aren’t as ludicrous as they seem!

Point 2: What is the big deal about skin color?

Now, everyone knows how much I love cracking a joke about this topic because it can be SO controversial, and I love a bit of controversy.

Indians regard skin color as one of the most important things to maintain in their lives. By maintain, I mean stay fair (light-skinned), stay as fair as you can. It’s a very cultural aspect of being Indian, just as being tanned can be super important to white girls, to the point where they use artificial products to lighten the skin.

I laugh at how backwards this thinking is though. I have heard several times by countless people that “you’re never going to find someone to marry if you’re that dark.” As if my skin color is what draws people in, that’s what I have breasts for. JUST KIDDING!

But seriously, girls have so many gorgeous features (not talking about myself, generally) that skin color may almost be something to look over physically. I know people are attracted and not attracted to certain races, but the extent to how dark/light someone is should NOT affect how you’re perceived.

I always like to console my white friends who think they look “hotter” with a tan. I reply by saying, “girl, you are hot regardless; making your skin a shade darker or becoming a Oompa Loompa isn’t going to make too much of a difference to men.”

I really like natural aspects of women and men, such as skin color. Skin color is unique and something you have naturally, it changes when you tan outside. but it shouldn’t affect how you are perceived as a person.

Seriously, my family are 50 different shades of brown and I don’t hear anyone complaining.

None of the guys I’ve been with have ever said “oh, I can’t do this, you’re a bit too brown.”

On that note, (mind my language) screw you culture! We are all beautiful in our own way. I think it’s hilarious when people think skin color actually determines how attractive/unattractive you are in this day and age.

So yes, these are two observations of my Indian culture that make me (sort of cringe) and laugh at the thought of them.

alyssaMy name is Alyssa and I have lived in Australia for most of my life. I am a Singaporean-Indian aspiring teacher who loves quirky observations people notice about Indians!

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