Every thing you’ll get if you grew up in an Indian family

Big families, long movies and lots of weddings

Growing up in an Indian family is so much more than the stereotypes would lead you to believe. Although we tend to have big families and there probably is at least one engineer in the family, that doesn’t mean we all know how to make a curry or even like spicy food. I actually really like pizza.

That said, there are certain things most people from Indian families can relate to.

Calling someone a cousin doesn’t mean you’re actually related to them

I have a lot of cousins. And cousins’ cousins. But we’re all family, so I call them my cousins too. Oh, and every person roughly the same age as my parents is an aunt or uncle. Yes, even if I’m not related and yes, even if this is the first time I’m meeting them. The term ‘family’ is used quite liberally. An acquaintance of Indian origin is considered family.

The number of people in your family is roughly equivalent to the population size of a small country

There’s one billion people in India, which at first might seem like a lot but honestly that’s only like four families.

Just because arranged marriages aren’t really a thing any more doesn’t mean the family is any less likely get involved with your love life

They’re just getting sneaker at it. It’s not an arranged marriage, it’s an “introduction”. This means that if you have a boyfriend, especially  if they’re not Indian, you’ve got to be sneaky about it. Really sneaky. You’re only really going to introduce him to your family once you’ve been dating for seven years, living together for five and are intending on getting married/having kids.

Introducing the family to anyone too early is dangerous because word spreads so you’ll have six different aunts on the phone asking for regular updates on the guy you brought to the family dinner in 2010.

Your parents get really excited when you make an Indian friend

What’s even more impressive is that they can tell the exact coordinates of your new friend’s grandparents village in India from only hearing their name.

There’s a wedding every month

I find it truly shocking when I meet people who have never been to a wedding. Weddings are a regular occurrence in Indian families and they’re so much fun. You better have a good excuse if you’re gonna miss one though because your parents will be worried about what your uncle’s neighbour’s nephew’s daughter-in-law will say if you’re not there.

Becoming a doctor is like performing a miracle

For Indian parents there is literally nothing you could ever do that will be as good as becoming a doctor.

You could have an Olympic gold medal, a Nobel Peace Prize and a billion pounds but at most you’ll get a pat on the back because none of that means anything to your parents if you’re not a doctor.

However, you could be a drug dealing murderer but if you have a medical degree you’re still guaranteed to be the success story of the family.

There’s someone in your family who thinks an arts degrees is pointless

For me, it’s my dad. He can’t help it. He’s always said that he had two kids so that one could be a doctor and one could be a lawyer.

He wasn’t exactly thrilled when I told him I’d be studying languages, especially given the fact that my brother had already decided to spend three years studying theology. He hasn’t let this stop him from lying to our relatives in India who think I’m on my way to becoming a qualified lawyer and that my brother’s a surgeon.

You get to wear bindis without being accused of cultural appropriation

This is one of the major perks. Plus I never had to go to Claire’s accessories to get mine, there’s just a draw full of them at home ready for next months wedding.

All your friends show you Lily Singh’s YouTube videos

Whatup everyone it’s your guuuuurl Superwoman

We have some really cool traditions

There’s a lot of traditions and no one can really explain why we have them but they usually involve gold and sweets. My personal favourite is the one where the boys in the family are supposed to give the girls money and sweets just for being a girl and in return all you do is tie a piece of string around their wrist.

We also have some really weird superstitions

When a newlywed couple come into your house you must pour oil on the floor. Don’t ask questions, just do it.

Not all of us are great with spicy food

Indian’s are big on the whole ‘not bringing shame upon your family’ and you’re a disappointment to the family if you can’t deal with chilli.

Not all of us eat curry

And please don’t ask me to recommend a place for a good Indian in London because the only place I know is my grandma’s house.

This is the unofficial God of your family

You’re judged on your ability to cook

Food is a big part of the Indian culture. If you’re not prepared to become a doctor but still want to make your parents proud, the ability to make good aloo paratha is another sure way to guarantee some credit with the family.

Not all of our parents are strict (but most of them are)

You know that whole ‘You’re an Asian not Bsain’ joke? It’s not entirely a joke. Having a big family means that there are a lot of overachieving cousins you’re constantly being compared to.

You spent your childhood watching some of the greatest Bollywood films of all time

They involved a wedding, an overly dramatic mother in law, a jealous cousin, fifty seven outfit changes, three hundred songs, six thousand extras and this guy.

And they were emotional af.