Things I Miss While Raising Children In A Foreign Country
I think visiting a foreign country is the cherished aspiration of all individual and we were one of them. Being a software engineer, my husband got a chance to complete a project in the USA. When he moved from India to the USA, I was in the India with kids to complete their exam sessions. Although my parents were with me at that time, but still it was the toughest time of my life.
After 3 months, we also got an opportunity to come to the USA. It was not an easy moment for me. I was in the emotional ambivalence state. I was eager and excited to start a new venture, at the same time harboring fears about not being able to complete it successfully had put me in a situation of emotional bipolarity.
At last, the moment came when we moved from India to the USA. I was immensely surprised by little things. My assumptions (like we all heard about the USA) were absolutely true. The USA is filled with countless scenic and safe roads and a stunningly diverse range of beautiful landscape and climate. The roads are well-maintained and offer an extremely smooth ride. Great infrastructure and extraordinary neatness had grabbed my attention.
The most important thing that has impressed me is "organisational skills in each Task". They had courage, an imagination and an unbeatable determination to do their job at the best level. Their greatness lies in their ability to fix the faults. They express their faith in their country by working to improve it and that is truly exceptional and admirable. And we were also trying to learn the new ways of the country. The other thing that inspires me is the "steady pace of life". Everything seems smooth and peaceful. From the grocery mall to public transport, the gratitude and respect mutually illuminate one another. The days were passing with a flying speed and we were also involved in the new system. Then it was the time for starting of school for kids.
The USA education system is a world famous and people from all over the world came here to pursue their educational dream. But if I share my honest opinion, firstly I was shocked with the certain things, like no books, no writing up to 5 years, and no pressurizing study schedule. Initially, my reaction was that oh! It is so different because in India I have a strong focus on the academic subject and a strict routine study schedule for kids. But slowly I had observed that here schooling is more related to the learning, not with the marks and grades. They focus on overall development and exposure to latest technologies. My pre-schooler’s first topic at preschool was how to control your negative emotions (anger) had surprised me. Kids also get started to enjoy their school routine.
In between we moved from California to Connecticut (California has a stable weather, but Connecticut is well-known for severe snowfall and extreme cold weather). In Connecticut, when the weather changed after the month of September. The sudden drop in temperature and cold breezy air has restricted our outdoor life. We get trapped inside it was not easy for kids too. They had no outdoor activities; electronic gadgets are the only source of entertainment. In India, we had a normal life throughout the year. But here playing outside, park visit, shopping, and social gatherings all routine activities affected badly because of extremely cold weather. We were missing India so much. This was the first "F"- "Feel good weather" that has made us nostalgic.
The family is the most important thing which we missed here. I cannot express my feeling in words, that how much I missed my parents. Every day I missed the each moment of togetherness. I used to meet my parents 3-4 times in a year. We celebrate festivals, spend the holidays (like all other people) and had enough fun in life. Here I missed all those tiny moments. This year on Rakhi, I had cried the whole day for my brother. During the Diwali celebration, I had missed all my friends and family so much. But here is no variation in routine life. All days are same, no social gatherings. The "Family" is the second "F" that makes me homesick every day.
The third "F" is "Food…The tastiest Indian food". Although the Indian grocery store is available here (but only one) and we can get all routine household items. But there is a restriction and bounded feeling. We are completely foodie when it comes to Indian street food (PaniPuri, Pavbhaji, Vadapav). Our taste buds are craving for this tastiest food. We are missing those routine spicy street foods which we usually enjoyed after the shopping. We are the bored from the bland foods that served here.
The fourth "F" is "Faithful maids" which we are missing here. We Indian used to have a household maid in each house since childhood. And I was also one of them. But here is no maid system. You need to do your all household by yourselves in each circumstance. Sometimes, when I am sick and I see a whopping pile of laundry and dishes, I missed my all faithful maids (Vidhya, Sunita, and Pushpa) the most.
The last "F" is the "Friendly neighbourhood". In India, we all have a neighbourhood connection and friendly neighbourhood is a treasure in our life. The kids also had good neighbourhood friends. They used to enjoy their routine play time and vacations with fun. But here life is mechanical and more practical. To find a friendly neighbourhood indeed is a daunting task here.
So these were my experience when we moved from India to the USA. We had completed 1.5 years here. Although the USA is one of the most developed countries in the world and people think that it is a privilege to stay here. And we are also enjoying our life here, but my heart and innermost feeling always say that "East or west, India is the best".
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