Keeping an open house ?
September 14, 2017 3:31am CST
In India the tradition has been to keep an open house at all times so that relatives and friends can freely visit each other at their convenience and since most households in the olden days had the joint family system , there were plenty of people around and plenty of food too. There are some villages and small towns where this system is still practiced. It is also true that some people don't want to change with times. They don't realise that in today's scenario where both the couple work, it is not possible to be available all the time . Last week I had a very annoying experience with one of my relatives . At 11 am he called me .. 'Where are you ? I am waiting at your doorstep ? I asked ' Have you come home? He replied ..Of course ! Anyway, I was at the bank and left in a hurry without finishing my work because he had come from anther smaller town. When I reached home he simply nodded his head without a smile . Later, he asked me quite rudely I felt .. ' I thought you work part time so where did you go now ? I thought it was better not to tell him anything knowing his mentality. I had to cook more rice and dhal and we had lunch while he spoke about his own family etc ...As he was leaving I politely requested him to call me before he leaves his home , the next time he plans to visit us. He sarcastically told me that I had changed with all the new ideas seeping into the society. I Said yes I have changed and again told him firmly to call me at least a day or two before planning to visit me which he did not take well, but that is his problem. Not all relatives are the same, some of them are so very nice and accommodating but many others fall into this category.. I guess it takes time to change ones mindset , but in the meantime we go through these highly annoying situations...
9 people like this
When I moved to Pakistan, I had a cultural shock. I saw this open house system which we don't have in Cyprus, and they expected a European to also have all the time in the world to treat them with their unexpected visits. I didn't even have a "worker" as they call them to clean and cook for me like they do there. Not to mention that I was busy in my son's speech therapy and homeschooling my children. So I understand your frustration perfectly. My in laws would come from the village which is at least 4 hours drive, and sometimes will not even notify us until they rang the entrance bell! Now my husband is trying to bring them to Europe with us, I want to see the look on their faces on how things work here. Because some of them looked at me like I am a crazy person.
• Mangalore, India
Yes I can understand your plight especially when you have to take care of everything. It is an added burden to have guests who turn up without notice..But the best thing about Indians and people from the Indian subcontinent is that they adjust pretty quickly . One of our friends was telling me that even if he is thrown into Alaska he will find something to do there...
• United States
My friend is from there and many of the customs she hates. Like the family sleeping in one room.She does not like that when her family comes they sleep in the living room. Her mom will get in her bed after the husband goes to work. I think that is gross. But that is just me.
• Genova, Italy
Opening the house and sharing the goods is the fundamental principle of every Religion. I, being Italian, I am Baptized as a Christian Catholic. However I love the Hindu Religion. Can I ask you what is your religion?
• Mangalore, India
I am a Hindu and we are taught to treat guests with respect and care. I would be happy to share what I have within limits. In fact I have house guests all the time but it can come in the way of your own plans and activities. I have had to change or postpone my own plans for the weekend to simply accommodate someone . It is nice to have guests once in a while but not all the time ..
I`m so speechless about things like that because in my family in the Philippines most of them are really helping each other in times of hardship eventhough they also having some financial difficulty as long as they can share a little with their siblings..They will wholeheartedly do their best to help you but of course they are not perfect, They will still questions you and tells you to please! try to handle your life soon, some they will recommend you to get a job
• Mangalore, India
Even here there is a very close bond and people go all out to help within the family circle. The relative I was referring too would go all out to make me feel welcome if I were to visit him without calling him before hand because his life circumstances are different. He has his parents living with him, his wife is at home and they have a cook and maids ...He expects others do the same !
• Palisade, Colorado
My family either tells me they are headed my way or will call and ask if I am home. Both of my sons has a key to my place in case they need to get something when I am not home. I feel that people should let one know if they are coming from out of town and not assume that we will be there all the time.
• Mangalore, India
I agree , however my own children and husband are all the time in touch even if they go out for a couple of hours. It is the other relatives who don't bother with this minor courtesy of calling before visiting . It would be so much more practical and harmonious..
The same thing is practiced in my country, at least from my own experience. Relatives come and go and we're supposed to halt our life for them. I find it troublesome yet my mom would always say to put myself on their shoe. Wouldn't I want to feel special too? Well.. ;)