Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cocktail Case

Indians I think feel a need to a people based on their community, sort of like keeping things organised.  So when therer's a question of the cocktails or the crossbreed or whatever the word is for children of the people who married outside their community they don't know how to deal with it.  Why can't people just let us be plain Indians or just accept that we are mixed.

Generally the trend is the kids are pushed in the direction based on thier last names / Paternal community.  So for example if a Gujrati girl marries a Bong guy the kid (who is 50% Gujju and 50% Bong) would be categorised as a Bong because the father is a Bengali.  However, if the mother was a Bong and father was a Gujju the kid (still a 50% Gujju and 50% Bong mix) would have been categorised as a Gujju! WHY? Isn't the child still made up of the same ratio? 

Talking of numbers reminds me of what a friend once told me.  He is a Mother is a Gujju and Father a South Indian so he has a South Indian last name.  What he said was... "I'm 50% South Indian and 50% Gujju but I have a south Indian last name and hence will be called a South Indian.  Someday when I decide to get married and if I choose a Gujju girl my kids would be 75% Gujju but will still have a South Indian Surname and will be called South Indian." We had quiet a laugh about it then but after that day I did think about it and wondered why do we have to be categorised?

I'm a 50-50 mix of Mallu and Konkani.  My father is from Kerela and Mother a Konkani.  My first name is Bengali and look like one too sometimes...  that confuses people and amuses me.  Its as if a person with OCD has been stopped from doing what he soo badly wants to do - Categorise :o)

When someone asks me what I am, I tell them I'm a cocktail and explain the ratio, blah blah blah.  Some people just nod while some at the end say oh ok so ur a Mallu.. that is such a facepalm moment!  I don't have a problem being called a Mallu.  Just that technically I'm a mixed Indian with a south Indian last name.  I have been brought up under the Maternal cultural influence, I don't speak Malayalam, or know much about anything on my fathers side of the family with almost no contact with my paternal cousins.  So at the end of it when someone calls me a Mallu it doesn't feel very right.  Why would they not accept a mix? It can be a little annoying at times - when I attend a (maternal) community function.  People would talk quiet nicely till they realise I'm a Mallu almost everytime they react as if they have bit into a Pomello assuming it was sweet lime! Its like a club where you need a last name to enter.  Even though people claim to be educated, liberal / broad minded they just cant seem to stop with tagging.

Sometimes when I explain to people that I am a mix and not to tag me they think I have an aversion to being called a Mallu.  Those who know me don't categorise me and those who don't... Well I really don't care.  Theres a lot to a person than just a last name.

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