Where Are You From? Middle-Class Migrants in the Modern World

By Dhooleka S. Raj | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
The Search for a Suitable Boy

My parents took me to meet this guy. He was all the things they wanted: he was fair; he was tall; he was a banker, or investment guy, earning £200,000 a year. All the things I hate. We went in; it was me, my parents, my brother, and my bhabi [brother's wife]. There were five of us; there were thirty of them, just sitting there in the room—all over the place. He was on one side; I was on the other. It was silent and then someone would ask a question and everyone would be focused on me or him. So then his Aunt asks him (in front of everyone), “Do you like her?” And before he answers, then she says why don't you go into the other room and talk. So we went into the other room. Basically there was nothing wrong with this guy, nothing at all that I could tell them. On the way out I asked my brother, “Please I have never asked you to do anything in your whole life so tell them you didn't like him. ” And so my brother later said that he thought the guy was too arrogant and stuck up and that is why he didn't like him. So I just said, “Yeah I found that too when we went into the room to talk. ” And that was that. I have seen a couple of others. Last week I told my mum about Ashok [her current boyfriend], he is South Indian but at least he is a Hindu. I just told her, “What do you think of him as a possibility?” And that was it, she hasn't said anything else to me since then. (Anu Sharma)

Thus far we have examined how culture, ethnicity, and community are disrupted when looking at the terms “Punjabi” and “Hindu” through the lens of power and representation. In the following discussion on Hindu Punjabi marriage, the ethnography illustrates the subtle ways ethnic 105

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