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Old 11-03-2007, 09:59 AM
 
63 posts, read 252,945 times
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A co-worker, who happens to be from India (living here as a US citizen for 10 years), is expecting his first child. He and his wife are planning on sending the baby, shortly after birth, to India in order to be raised by the grandparents. His brother, also in the US, has already done the same with his baby. Is this commonly done? It seems so extreme, but then so does arranged marriage here in the states.

I'd like to hear from people who are familiar with Indian culture......since I'd like to better understand this arrangement. The Indian parents-to-be are very eager to get ahead and seem to have fully embraced the American shopzilla lifestyle.....he has mentioned that it is cheaper to raise a child in India, and Indian values are what he wants instilled in his children. If that is the case, why stay in a country whose culture you're not thrilled with, just because you enjoy greater material success? I could understand if one lived in poverty in his home country, but this is not at all the case with the co-worker.

Thanks,
Hanne
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:21 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,786,451 times
Reputation: 5565
I've heard of this too, but never understood it, mainly from the parents' perspective -- how could you not be with your child for years?

However, I can somewhat see the logic behind it. With the poor standard of education in many areas in our country, school shootings, the proliferation of drugs and alchohol, and our pop culture-obsessed media, even many Americans might wish they could raise their children elsewhere. We lament the state of youth in this country but just have to deal with it -- we don't leave and raise our kids in other countries with better "values" because we like the material American lifestyle better. But your co-worker has the benefit of being able to raise their kids in a "better" environment (according to their definition of better) AND have access to the better material American lifestyle later (again, better according to their definition).

Another aspect I can think of is preparing for future uncertainty. No one knows what will happen in the future -- what if, for some reason, your co-worker and family have to return to India for good? Then, at least their kid is familiar with Indian lifestyle.

And on top of it all, the children get an understanding of their heritage and their roots. A lot of foreign kids (especially first generation ones) are "lost" here in the US -- they don't have much familiarity/touch with their own culture/heritage, but they don't fit it with the American culture/lifestyle either. Haven't you heard the term "ABCD"? American Born Confused Desi. Sending the child to be raised in India might help avoid some of that confusion maybe.
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:39 AM
 
Location: NJ
2,212 posts, read 6,337,037 times
Reputation: 2174
Sounds sad.
I live in an area with a large Indian population. There seem to be lots of Indian kids raised around here - my daughters class is 25% Indian - then again maybe the large community is reassuring.
I know one person who sent her 10 year old daughter to boarding school in India, she also spends about 50% of her time there. The family is very wealthy, even in the US they have a high end lifestyle and in India they have an enormous home, multiple nannies and housekeepers, the works.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Brusssels
1,933 posts, read 3,417,618 times
Reputation: 1895
I cannot speak for the parents but perhaps these are a few things motivating them:

- As a way to keep their extended family tied together (very important to Indians). Living with the child's grandparents will build a bond between them which would otherwise never be possible through the distance. The parents hometown will be the child's hometown as well - yet another common bond between them.

- To be raised in Hindu society and to learn to speak Hindi, Marathi, etc (depending on where they are from). It is more difficult for a child to learn Hindu values in America (but not impossible) given the overwhelmingly strong Christian and secular materialist nature of the country. Also, being raised in America, the child will become excellent in English but weak in any of the Indian languages. Being raised for a time in India, the child will build a strong foundation in his/her native tongue.

- Identity. Fuzz is 100% correct. The child will have a much less confused sense of identity if he/she is raised for a time in India before moving back to America. This does not mean the parents do not think highly of living in America, but perhaps they want their child to know who he/she is before stepping into this great multicultural mix.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:09 PM
 
Location: European Union
281 posts, read 1,202,206 times
Reputation: 196
I agree with Xpats statements as I would say the main reason is to pass knowlegde about Indian culture, family values, history and tradition, language and festivals to the children. In addition I feel that some believe a children raised here will either get mollycoddled or barefaced.

It seems that this is not uncommon for many asian countries. Friends of mine left their kid in Thailand up to the age of four, then brought it to Germany. Indeed it came back with a good discipline due to a more severe upbringing and there was enough time left to learn German before entering school.

Last edited by ZipZap; 11-10-2007 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:36 PM
 
1,269 posts, read 3,415,317 times
Reputation: 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanne View Post
A co-worker, who happens to be from India (living here as a US citizen for 10 years), is expecting his first child. He and his wife are planning on sending the baby, shortly after birth, to India in order to be raised by the grandparents. His brother, also in the US, has already done the same with his baby. Is this commonly done? It seems so extreme, but then so does arranged marriage here in the states.

I'd like to hear from people who are familiar with Indian culture......since I'd like to better understand this arrangement. The Indian parents-to-be are very eager to get ahead and seem to have fully embraced the American shopzilla lifestyle.....he has mentioned that it is cheaper to raise a child in India, and Indian values are what he wants instilled in his children. If that is the case, why stay in a country whose culture you're not thrilled with, just because you enjoy greater material success? I could understand if one lived in poverty in his home country, but this is not at all the case with the co-worker.
This practice is also common among working couples originally from China but have migrated to Canada and the US. In both cultures (India & China),
- it is common for 3 generations to live under the same roof
- it is customary for the working couples to send money to their respective parents, either for the seniors' living expenses or as a token gift during festive seasons/birthdays, etc.

In Canada the child's parents may collect child benefits (C$400-$500/month) and daycare supplements ($700-$800/month). They cannot collect these benefits if their child is being cared for by the grandparents in another country. However some would circumvent rules and regulations, because the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Now assuming that in the US, parents do not collect cash benefits from the government, then all should work out fine.

Tamantha, it would be tacky in your sister's case, since she is legally 21 and very much under the control of her husband's family. I wonder what's the legal implications or how is it going to affect her rights eventually. Not trying to scare anyone, in-laws in some cultures are the worst nightmares for women.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:45 AM
 
12,677 posts, read 14,059,781 times
Reputation: 34728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanne View Post
A co-worker, who happens to be from India (living here as a US citizen for 10 years), is expecting his first child. He and his wife are planning on sending the baby, shortly after birth, to India in order to be raised by the grandparents. His brother, also in the US, has already done the same with his baby. Is this commonly done? It seems so extreme, but then so does arranged marriage here in the states.

I'd like to hear from people who are familiar with Indian culture......since I'd like to better understand this arrangement. The Indian parents-to-be are very eager to get ahead and seem to have fully embraced the American shopzilla lifestyle.....he has mentioned that it is cheaper to raise a child in India, and Indian values are what he wants instilled in his children. If that is the case, why stay in a country whose culture you're not thrilled with, just because you enjoy greater material success? I could understand if one lived in poverty in his home country, but this is not at all the case with the co-worker.
Ask him. But try and leave out the implied accusations.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 8,498,471 times
Reputation: 1436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanne View Post
A co-worker, who happens to be from India (living here as a US citizen for 10 years), is expecting his first child. He and his wife are planning on sending the baby, shortly after birth, to India in order to be raised by the grandparents. His brother, also in the US, has already done the same with his baby. Is this commonly done? It seems so extreme, but then so does arranged marriage here in the states.

I'd like to hear from people who are familiar with Indian culture......since I'd like to better understand this arrangement. The Indian parents-to-be are very eager to get ahead and seem to have fully embraced the American shopzilla lifestyle.....he has mentioned that it is cheaper to raise a child in India, and Indian values are what he wants instilled in his children. If that is the case, why stay in a country whose culture you're not thrilled with, just because you enjoy greater material success? I could understand if one lived in poverty in his home country, but this is not at all the case with the co-worker.

Thanks,
Hanne
He probably wants them to have the same childhood he did, I'd say Indians born after 1980 are generally white-washed by the time they grew up. They know Indian culture, but not the values so only some old-school parents can provide that upbringing.. Education in India is also SUPERIOR even into college. And believe it or not, growing up in India is much more fun, there are plenty of children and they play outside, they're not taking over by video games and internet. It's more organic.

I have an Indian friend who was born in inner city America and sent to live in India by his parents for 4 years, he had indian education from about age 13-16 and came back to america smarter than everyone and he knew his religion and language etc. I don't think it's a bad idea, unless u have plenty of money here in America and the grandparents are here and perhaps homeschool the child.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Next stop Antarctica
1,799 posts, read 2,428,429 times
Reputation: 2075
It may be that with both parents working maybe shiftwork or long hours, sending the children back to India to be brought up for a few years with Grandparents and family enables the parents to get a home together and not have to worry about child care, as a migrant myself it is hard going trying to establish a life in a new country, maybe thats the reason they send them to India.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,684 posts, read 6,531,390 times
Reputation: 8183
It's not unusual in many cultures for grandchildren to have strong ties to their grandparents.

Speaking of the "other" Indians, ie, Native Americans, there is among the Crow tribe a concept known as a 'grandmother's grandchild," - a grandchild that lives with the grandparent and helps them in their old age. I don't know whether this still happens but that's what used to be done.

Close ties between grandchildren and grandparents are also a way of ensuring cultural values are transmitted to younger generations. It is entirely possible to want to live in a western country for the opportunities available, and to provide your children with a potential country of refuge, and still want your children to have a knowledge of traditional values.

Losing your traditional cultural values due to not knowing about them, and choosing to them aside because you do know them and don't consider them important are two different things. And many parents, in my experience, seem to reconsider their traditional values when children enter the picture. Then all of a sudden traditions they had long sloughed off assume a renewed importance at least in knowing about them and why they are.

I think a lot of assimilated Americans/Canadians/whatevers/ make a mistake when they think that the appearance of having assimilated into the majority culture, ie, as the "shopzilla" lifestyle, has touched or changed the basic identity of how the minority culture person sees himself or herself.

On the outside, you can't tell me from any other Canadian and I was born in Canada. But it is a superficial resemblance. My inner self is who I am culturally, which means that I do not necessarily share the values of the majority culture in which I live.
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