really rather interesting
when you fall in love w/ another person – you fall in love with all parts of who they are. and it’s very difficult when you go away to be around that part of them but not THEM.
i went to eat Indian food tonight at a new place close to a friend’s house. samosas, chicken tikka masala, nan and basmati rice w/ chai for dessert. it was all good food. they have a large hi def flatscreen tv playing music videos of Shah Rukh Khan and as i watched my mind couldn’t help but think back to another now defunct indian restaurant in a city over 1000 miles north of this sun-drenched ghetto-paradise. and i couldn’t help but think about the fantasy of would-haves and could-haves.
i am taken with not only what he was, but what he represented and the culture that i came to love because i loved him.
it’s one of the oddest aspects of love. that you can love someone so completely that their culture, their world, their people become your culture, your world and your people. not, in my case, to the exclusion of my own culture or of other cultures that i have come to appreciate, admire and to a certain extent adapt; but only as a wonderful rounding out of me. in a sense, i say “i’m throwing myself into my your world b/c it’s part of you and i love you”.
to give yourself wholeheartedly to another – that’s amazing.
i can now understand why women of one ilk/race will leave their families to trek the world w/ their husbands of another ilk. why an american women will leave montana to live in nepal w/ her nepalese husband, learn the language, make the food and teach the children the cultural norms of her husband’s people. and why a ghanaian man will leave the comfort of his bustling capital city of Accra to cook joloff for his black american wife.
so i term it cultural love. it’s the same kind of love that you have for the wonderful family of your ex – so much so that when they have family events they ask you personally to be there, without any regard to the sympathy of your ex. it’s what amazes people from that culture when they see you rocking the bhangra or salsa-ing or waltzing like you’re Punjabi, Cuban or Austrian when you’re Ghanaian, Irish or Navaho.
so you’re left w/ the love of the culture – forever linked w/ the love of the man. problem.
i’ve tried to divorce the two. i can’t. i don’t think that’s the right way. i end up suffering b/c i won’t allow myself to enjoy the enjoyable.
perhaps the better way is to cultivate other more healthy connections with the culture that i’ve grown to love so i don’t become sentimental, weepy and one-sided in my perspective. in short, i don’t want to sell “India” short b/c of my difficult interactions.
so i’ve found one way to prevent becoming maudlin is to enjoy “India” with a friend. partly b/c i enjoyed “india” with my friends up north. it’s an attempt to establish positivity with something that went wrong. i want to “take back” so to speak my love for many things desi. to change the perspective. to attach another good to something that became tainted.
we’ll see if it works.