The South African Indian community has changed drastically in the passed few years, and I believe that most of this change has been for the better. Indian women are not expected to be submissive and subservient; we are now independent, opinionated and career orientated. The patriarchal society that the Indian community has been enveloped in is almost a thing of the past.
Yes, a full transition into a modern cosmopolitan lifestyle will not be smooth to say the least. The older generations are head strong and steadfast in their beliefs and values, and what to me or any other young Indian person is progression and growth, to elders would be complete disobedience and defiance.
As a young Indian woman, my family is my highest priority, that is, my parents and sibling. I am 22 years old and all my life I lived with my parents. I was brought up with the morals, values and love that most Indian families consciously impart to their children; in an extremely sheltered environment.
My career path took me all the way from my home town in Johannesburg to Cape Town. Needless to say, this was not my parent’s first choice for me. But, I am fortunate to have parents who were able to put their apprehension aside for my benefit. My parents and I share a wonderful relationship, we are open, to the point that we are more friends than anything else; yet through this, my respect for them still holds strong.
I believe that they are the ideal example of this transition that our Indian society is in the process of undertaking. Their actions are not motivated by a dictatorial outlook but rather by their need to see me succeed in every facet in my life. Their trust and belief in my ability to live my own life and make the right choices, allows me to take on each day with confidence.
If nothing else, let this little account be a lesson in life…
Neha Singh - SUTRA READER