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Difference

It’s been half an year since I am living and learning in this part of the world. While Canada is different than America in many ways – the social life is the same. Immigrants and background is what defines people in this country. They are never Canadians rather they are Indian-Canadians, Mexican-Canadians, Finnish- Canadians, Irish-Canadians – you know what I mean by now. The social structure in Canada is safer than in America – higher social security, better health system, at the cost of higher tax rates and harsher winters. Canadians are less Canadians and more Chinese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Irish, Finnish. Americans are Americans. And every coin has two sides. Canada and America share the longest unarmed border – they can cross the borders and not face a single problem. Under NAFTA working in either countries is not as bad as getting an H1B.  Well, but this post is not about that it is about the fickle part of their lives and a stronger and harder of our – relationships and love.

It is interesting to see what dominates our lives as we grow out of teenage-hood. While as kids we worried about those craft assignments, filling in the water paint inside the pencil borders, then choosing a degree, then the job, promotions, back stabbing etc. When all is going well, its the life-partner that bothers. Find one, you want kids, and then your life cycle starts afresh with roles being reversed. Since I left undergraduate school I am seeing my friends getting married, or struggling to get married with their loved ones, fighting the rules set by the society. There are tons of reasons for rejection – religion, caste, looks, education, fair skin, thin and slim, height, immaturity. This is rejected by people who gave us our kindergarten moral lesson that all that glitters is not gold. These are the people who overlook the fact that two people love each other and will take care of each other. Why do they overlook love? Because we build families, not individuals.

Welcome to western culture as it is famously known. I was talking about arrange marriages with an immigrant Canadian(maybe they are synonymous). Just like me they cannot understand how people can share their bed and breakfast with a person they have met few minutes. But, I know that it works. It has worked for all the people I know, and we are the result of it. Like us, men and women here are scared to disclose their relationships to their families – reasons are the same as us. "She was raised a German Catholic", "He is a Jew", "Asian??". But they overcome all that since they were raised as an individual and it is "me and my life" at the end of the day. They might not be in love but they fall in love with the idea of being in love. They break apart. They get upset, cry, get drunk, swear to be single again and then start dating again. Break ups are hard, being in love is hard, since it is the risk of being in pain. They bear it all – they are an individual. Yet it is the fickle part of their life.

People in India want to fall in love. They do. And then they step back and hurt the other because they cannot go against family. They have to fight all odds to get the person they love in this life. Make love a more rational than emotional issue. Don’t be in love, if you have no heart to break the barriers that your society sets for you. Do not play with feelings of the other person if you don’t know what you want from your relationship. Think what you can give in a relationship, since it is the harder part than asking for what you want. Don’t lie, don’t assume, even if it hurts.

Being in love is beautiful. It needs courage. It needs to break the barriers since society cannot change over night rather over a period of time. And yes, you might want to build a family. Don’t you ?

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Categories: Canada, Expression, Friends, Love, People
  1. Harsh
    March 14, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Yes you are right, Love is beautiful feeling. But it never comes alone regardless of it’s western part or it’s India. Well its always hard to unerstand how people easily fall in love and more easily they break it off when we consider western culture.

    But if we talk about india, love comes with plenty of things. Cast, family, color, looks, height, age, religeon and bla bla bla. It is necessary to have courage to fight against all these constraints or don’t fall in love. In master’s term they are ‘prerequisites’ for course of love.

    Well in my thinking when two people like or love each other all these are secondery things. Primary thing is to express it as no one knows how much longer one can wait.

    “it’s thin line between love and hate”

  2. March 14, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Well, yes, these are all those secondary things but become primary when one falls in love and lacks enough courage.

  3. Saibal Barman
    March 17, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Thanks, Shefali, for this rich contribution !

    This I consider for two reasons…

    1. It leaves a question to the world to ponder over where society stands with its set values and where it should.
    2. It also leaves an answer to idle brains that have ever wished to refrain from any serious discussions, instead, opt straight for an instant choice.

    Thus, the post has offered encouraging inputs for readers of both the classes..

    What has really inspired me is the last line–rather question–it ends with. Human relationship is the worst casualty of this modern world–be it in any social structure or form. It stands upon the individual’s contribution to the relationship. This contribution has varied forms–love, trust, respect, cooperation, understanding, devotion, honour, affection, ideology, etc. But, whatever form this contribution may subscribe to, it must have philosophical enrichment in soul to endlessly nurture, water, care and protect it. And, it naturally holds love, courage, compassion, truth and honesty to embolden relationship. A family is definitely an arena to explore individual’s qualities contributory to a level beyond self.

    Sadly, the world has delivered more failures in people’s own estimation than on others. We love to hold a cherished belief of doing fine to every relationship that we are related to and we realise our own failings too late before it all shatter. Naturally, society has to succumb to such inevitable influence and it sets its social perception accordingly.
    None of us has scope to change its paradigm until it finds adequate shift in people’s individual level.

    Your post, I wish, will contribute to imbibe a few souls in that direction.

    With best wishes and affection,

    Saibal Barman

  4. April 9, 2008 at 6:16 am

    When you say, “They might not be in love but they fall in love with the idea of being in love.” you make a very good point.

    This post and Saibal’s comments make for a very interesting read together…

    In India, People succumb to their cowardice more so not because they are more attached to their families, but rather because, they feel as if they are more attached and like that feeling also…while the reality may be different. It is an excuse for lack of courage.

    But, in a certain sense, when people do stand up and fight the constraints of our society, they know exactly what they are against and hence attach more value and learn to “expect less and give more space to the other person” than the west.

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