India…People

Here is something we would not hear in the US…”Mary, we are a patriarchal society in India.  My husband is the leader of the house and is responsible for me.”  Hmmm..now ladies, how many of YOU want your husband to be responsible FOR you.  I’m thinking not too many.  I guess in some sense we are still traditional in that there are roles for women and roles for men, but it is a muted issue in the states.  In India, it is very obvious.  My male traveling companion is greeted before me, is invited into a room before me and, if he is in the room, the conversation is directed toward him.  It is not that they are rude by any means.  In fact, they are painfully polite.  It is just that tradition calls for the man to be the leader, not the woman.  What is interesting is that this is changing.  In a society where tradition has 4 generations living in the same household, modern times sees kids not returning home after college or after they are married.  Their society is slowly adapting western ways.  This is good and bad.  Some of their traditions, like an entire village being responsible for creating an art, like silk fabric, is dying.  It is being replaced by modern equipment.  It reminds me of how in the states, the small town grocery is replaced by giants like Walmart.  There is something to be said for tradition, but perhaps only some traditions.  Patriarchy is not one I would hold on to.

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