Just Indian Things

What It's Like To Be Raised by Foreign Parents

What []_[] Want | Reema Saribala | March 23, 2016

  • Copied

Being raised by parents who have followed a generally traditional lifestyle isn’t easy. It’s a constant struggle to balance my roots and keep up with life in Miami where drinking and partying are everywhere. Over the last six months, I’ve found myself in some sticky situations that I look back on and laugh or sometimes feel sad about (but most of the time, try to forget).

I’ve noticed that most foreign parents are the same; particularly Indian parents from my personal experience. It’s like God has a remote that controls every Indian parent ever (and if you think that God is brown, the remote has a plastic cover on it).


Here are some signs that you were most definitely raised by foreign parents:

  • Your parents are ALWAYS on your tail about your grades. “Did you make all As this semester” “Do all your professors know you yet?” “When is your next exam?” Don’t worry mom. I will become a doctor someday and the first thing I’m going to do is prescribe you some Valium.
  • Your parents are always trying to get you to teach them “how to facebook” and “how to computer” so they can see what you’re really up to through your social media (because you sure as hell aren’t going to tell them the real reason you have bruises is because you slipped and fell off of a bar table while dancing). But this is why we have this incredible gift otherwise known as privacy settings. The only thing you’re going to see is my cover photo because you’re more limited than my attention span during Friday 8 a.m.s.
  • Your parents turn some conversations (and I mean every conversation) into something emotionally scarring. Like this one time my mom did something absolutely hilarious and I wanted to Snapchat it and she goes off: “Why don’t you Snapchat the work you’re not doing or your dirty room that you never clean?” Fine. I guess I’ll just tweet it.
  • Your parents know you well enough to understand the “spicy” mayo in the dining hall will never come close to satisfying your cravings for the amazing food you can get at home.Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 4.19.29 PM
  • You grew up around crazy superstitions.Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 4.20.25 PM
  • Your good grades aren’t much to be celebrated but come home with anything less than an A and you might as well start planning your funeral.FullSizeRender
    After I told my parents I got a 97 on my calc midterm.

  • If any of the following sound even remotely familiar:

Other people
: “No I can’t this weekend. My cousin’s getting married”
You: “No I can’t this month. My cousin’s getting married”

Other people: “Girl, Josh and I look so good in that picture you just posted!”

You: “Girl listen I need you to make that picture you posted private, I have my family on Facebook.

people: “I cannot wait to tan.”
You: “Uhh you can find me in the shade.”


In all seriousness, I love my parents to death and wouldn’t be where I am without them. They’ve given me as much comfort and security as they have threats and craziness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s easy to feel like having foreign parents is difficult at times; they don’t understand why we do the things we do and we don’t understand why sometimes it feels like they aren’t on our side. But always remember that we’re incredibly lucky to be the first-generation Americans. Our parents worked their asses off to offer us the best life we could possibly have, and they didn’t have palm trees and beautiful weather around them while doing it. So call your parents! Remind them you love them (and that you’re alive) and that it was all worth it.

P.S. hit up MT 520 for some bomb ass curry.