White Hindu Conversations

Place: Indian Clothing Store

Time: Noon on Sunday

Me: We need to get a sherwani for my husband. We got married last weekend, but we’re having another ceremony in my parents’ mandir and we need an appropriate outfit for him.

Saleswoman: Sure, sure.

[While Brad is trying on clothes] Saleswoman: Your chura are nice.

Me: Thank you.

Saleswoman: So you got married in Hindu ceremony?

Me: Yes. Well, it was kind of interfaith. Half Hindu and half western. That’s why we’re doing another fully Hindu one.

Saleswoman: But he is not Hindu.

Me: No

Saleswoman: And you are not Hindu.

Me: Actually, I am.

Saleswoman: But you don’t look Hindu.

Me: I know. My parents [mumble, mumble] (I let them take the blame for my own choices far too much!)

Saleswoman: Oh. Usually we see westerners get Indian clothes for weddings because they think they’re beautiful and like the traditions.

Me: Well, they are lovely traditions. But that’s not us.

[Awkward silence waiting for Brad. I browse sale saris and pick out two...who can resist sales saris?]

Saleswoman (ringing us up): You know how to wear these?

***

So Brad and I are off to Massachusetts for a proper Hindu wedding at the temple. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family again so soon!

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About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.


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