I was on BBC Asian Network on Friday morning along with Bindiya Solanki (ex-Eastenders) and Nina Wadia (Goodness Gracious Me) commenting on a variety of things when this topic of marrying someone from the sub-continent came up.
It’s an old topic but bear with me. My position is that marriage is ideally with someone you can relate to culturally, hence it’s much better to find a British partner than, out of desperation, finding someone from there. Both my co-panelists made a point I hadn’t really thought about too much – that it’s always the guys more willing to find a wife from the sub-continent than the women. The latter usually prefer that as the last resort.
This would support my thesis that anyone who wants to marry a wife from home essentially wants a slave who can cook and clean for them and not complain about it. Why might this be the case? In yesterday’s Financial Times Gautam Malkani, author of Londonstani, explains his theory:
Indian boys are renowned for being mummyâ€™s boys; Indian dads are renowned for being emotionally detached patriarchal figures; while Indian mums are renowned for being domineering, emotionally involved patriarchal figures. Although prescriptive hypotheses like this have a tendency to prove self-fulfilling, the usefulness of this theory seemed to be confirmed during interview after interview.
If Asian ‘rudeboys’ were thereby overshooting their masculinity and looking for cultural props with which to do so, no wonder theyâ€™d also reached out to gangsta rap music, successfully blending the elements of machismo, misogyny and homophobia in their parentâ€™s culture with that inherent in hip-hop.
That would also explain the need for a woman from back home – they need someone to replace their mother.
What is interesting about Malkani’s piece, which is the basis of his book, is that when he went out to study Hounslow boys for his project (he was raised there too), he was asked to interpret his study in gender terms rather than racial terms. A stroke of brilliance.
Read the article in full [hat tip: al], there is a lot to chew on. There is something else mentioned that I want to highlight for another discussion later.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Culture,South Asia