I am Rishi Khandelwal, and you guessed it right I am of Indian heritage. I am writing this blog to share what every parent of Indian origin faces while raising children in developed countries like Australia. For the sake of this article let's call them Miss Magpie and Master Gecko.
Although at this stage both children are quite young (less than 10 years of age) I constantly keep getting reminded from relatives that they are going to become headaches when they enter their teens. Does it concern me in any way? The simple answer is not at all. Well, you see according to the philosophy of Rishi Khandelwal if you remain true to yourself and raise your children with the right values, you need not worry irrespective of where you are located in the globe. This view is directly influenced and emphasized by Rishi Khandelwal’s wife. Another factor is that Rishi Khandelwal believes it is hypocritical to live in a foreign country and expect your children not to adopt any values from there.
The ideal situation for any parent is where the best of both worlds’ is maintained. Take, for example, Magpie’s independence and drive in certain areas continue to amaze me every day. The Father’s Day that went she wouldn’t let me do anything and brought me breakfast in bed. As much as I love my parents, I could never imagine performing a gesture like this, when I was so little back home in India Is this western influence? Maybe it is — Maybe kids in other developing countries now react the same way because of globalization but in any case, the credit goes to and there are merits of western culture.
On the other hand, Master Gecko has learned to recite Sanskrit chants from what I understand is the wife’s desire to replicate an Indian home environment in a western world. Would it happen if we were still living in India ?? Hmm. Not sure……
There are plenty of challenges yet to face. Rishi Khandelwal thinks in the future young children all over the world will float in a boat called globalization, will be exposed to and will have to respond to multiculturism from an early age. Their parents will be expected to take a stance on a gamut of issues -from simple ones like sleepover nights with friends to more complex matters of leaving home at an early age.
The question arises will you let go of the reins completely and let them spread their wings? The answer lies more on you than them. If you are confident of the values that you have instilled and bestowed upon them, need not worry and let nature take its course. As someone very wisely said, “ Be the change that you want to see”. If, however, you have compromised or given in to their unreasonable behaviors and attitudes expect a bumpy ride.
Finally, what happens if you have played your part as a parent but things didn’t go as you expected? Rishi Khandelwal would suggest that maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Instead of bitterness embrace the change and accept them for who they are and seek comfort in the belief that you tried your best.
According to Rishi Khandelwal, parents have emigrated for millennia and their children have evolved in their new surroundings and cultural context. At some point, your children may recourse to some or all of your values be it beyond your life when they realize their misgivings. Hopefully just in time before the next generation so some part of your legacy may live on.