Two days ago, I attended an Indian wedding in North Carolina. It was a grand wedding. All went well. Everyone was very happy. Met a few relatives I have not seen in a long time.
The previous day before marriage day was “Vratham Day”*. (I don't know how to translate this in English) I went there and sat in a chair. A smart and beautiful young lady approached me and said “breakfast is ready. I will take you to the breakfast table”. I said my name is R and I am the bride’s…. Even before I could finish, she said I know you are the bride’s paternal uncle. I was impressed she did her homework before having conversation with me. She said her name is S and she lives in Seattle. I said I used to live in Sammamish for a few years. She said she is familiar with that place. It was a short small talk.
This young lady impressed me because she did not ask the usual intrusive questions Indians/NRIs ask when they meet someone for the first time. Within 2 minutes of meeting the following 2 questions will come up:
Where did you go to college?
Where do you work?
If it is in India, with some people there will be another question – What is your salary.
I think asking such intrusive questions upon first meeting are impolite. But why they still ask? Once, a professor at a famous university in USA told me that Indians are really inquisitive people. This is their habit of placing people in their social hierarchy.
Some of the other intrusive questions (during small talk) I have heard:
Why aren’t you married yet?
When are you going to have a baby?
How old are you?
If you have heard/experienced any other intrusive questions, please let me know.
* Vratham is a religious ceremony performed for both the bride and the groom. For the bride, it is the tying of holy thread on her wrist to ward off all evil spirits. Kind of protective armor for the bride. For the groom, preparing himself as a new chapter in his life as a Grihasta (householder). (Courtesy: Vadhyar.com)