Saturday, December 03, 2005

Degrees Of Separation

J went to a klezmer music concert this afternoon and tried out the rugalach. We both missed our self appointed activity director who is out of town these days. Turns out that the activity director missed us too. She called this evening to check on what J and I were up to on the weekend.

J enjoyed the performance but didn't care too much about the rugalach. Sitting there with an elderly crowd interspersed with few toddlers of a color and culture very different from mine, I wondered if J saw any difference between herself and everyone else. And if she did what she thought about it. I feel like an outsider who is treated with amused indulgence by those who really belong. Hopefully with time I would have acquired the air of a curious but detached tourist who is not looking for any acceptance at all. I am still too new in this country.

J has had opportunity to sample vignettes from diverse cultures but has seen close to nothing of her own the last one year that she and I have been on our own in America. I stay away from my kind because my divorced, single parent status makes me too conspicuous for comfort in a typical Indian crowd.

While I question the merits of J's cultural exposure that does not include a generous measure of her own, I realize I cannot do more than take her to an occasional classical Indian music or dance performance. She may be destined to never have the holistic understanding of what it is to be Indian separated as she is by two degrees from the very idea of Indianness.

2 comments:

Priyamvada_K said...

HC,
Come over. You're welcome, and so is J - would be glad to provide the Indian contact.

Priya.

Heartcrossings said...

Priya - I wish I could too :)