Just Brown Family Things

Having moved back home last year, adjusting to living with with my folks has been a journey more difficult than I had imagined. While I’m sure some of my experiences will resonate with adults living with parents across the globe, some experiences are unique to brown families. With globalization bringing all the cultures of the world closer – I do feel like we’ve all picked up on attributes from other cultures. Here are some attributes unique to brown families –

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  1. Adult children usually live with their folks – I still remember Oprah expressing her shock when Aishwarya Rai mentioned this fact on her show but our culture has been one which celebrated joint families and large families. In olden days, parents, their kids, their grandkids all shared space in the same house – sharing good and bad times together. It also made sense money wise, since you’d save on rent and split utilities and groceries. While nuclear families are more popular these days, I’d still say that 75% of adult children in India live with their folks.
  2. The concept of ‘privacy’ doesn’t exist – Your business is the entire family’s business. Who you talk to on the phone, who you hang out with, who you date, who your colleagues are, who your cab driver was on a random day – your family will want to know it ALL! After not having to explain where I was heading to each time I left home to now having to give exact details of WHO I am meeting, WHERE I am meeting them, WHAT time I’d be back – it’s been exhausting to say the least.
  3. Shutting your room door is a CRIME – I used to think that this was a my family thing but after having discussed with A LOT of friends, it turns out that this is a pretty common occurrence in brown families. If you live with your folks and shut your door – you will have to answer so many questions about why you are shutting your room door and more often, they will keep coming and opening your door and leaving it open to make their view on shutting the door known.
  4. While you are growing up, dating is a NO-NO, once you are at the marriageable age, they will taunt you for not dating – Till I was 27-28 years old, my parents would just be so suspicious of all my guy friends and make it known that at no cost was I to be ‘dating’ anyone or be seen alone with any guy (ok, I’m exaggerating) but thereafter, they have taunted me SO many times for not having found someone. The hypocrisy!!!! Now every time I go meet a guy friend – my mum will ask me hopefully – are you dating him? *EYE ROLL*
  5. Hoarding and finding it difficult to give things away – There is a drawer filled with wires whose function my parents don’t know but they aren’t ready to give/throw them out either. Most brown families are hoarders – if they buy a new appliance, they’ll still keep the old just incase the new one breaks down. We first visited IKEA way back in 2006 and my mum bought a bunch of stuff then that she still hasn’t used but refuses to give away too. :/
  6. Having a cabinet in the kitchen filled with takeaway containers – In continuation with point no.5, you will always find a cabinet in every brown household filled with washed and cleaned takeout containers. Brown families are huge fans of sending food over to friends and relatives and find it useful to reuse takeout containers. (Who knew brown mothers were sustainable in their own ways, reusing things multiples times before discarding?)
  7. They find it extremely difficult to understand mental health issues – In most brown families, the main thing they teach you is to power through anything that happens or comes your way. . Though with passing time, I have seen that a lot of brown families are slowly understanding mental health issues, my own included.
  8. Comparisons – There is a running gag amongst brown kids about ‘Sharma Ji’s son’. To understand that joke better – brown parents always compare their own kid’s success with those of their friends, family and neighbours. So if you got an A on an exam, you’d come home to hear your mum say “Sharma Ji’s son got an A+ why did you only get an A”? (Sharma is a fairly common last name in India) This goes on well into your adult life!

When I started writing this blog, I had 2-3 points in my mind but as I write it I realize there are SO many aspects of brown families that are unique and hilarious. What are some unique aspects of families from your culture? Do you relate with any of these points? Share and enlighten us all! 🙂

If you haven’t already, check out my other recent posts –

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Haha had fun going through this totally relatable blog.

    1. When you are giving any gift/box to any relative/friend bring back the bag with you since it is the typical shopping/grocery bag.
    2. Going out for dinner without informing a day before is a Crime since all the food goes waste.
    3. You cannot throw a toothpaste/soap until it is utilised to its core.

    Ohhhhhh I can go on like you on this 😂😂😂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Saumya B says:

    Is it just me or this really was the most relatable post ever? 😹

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Divi says:

    This is so relatable haha 😂😂
    My mom always stores carry bags and zip-lock bags as if she can never buy them from the store, to throw the trash mostly. Garbage bags don’t exist. But in a way, that’s more sustainable.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wow this is eye opening. Definitely all families in the states, white families for sure, do #6 but that’s the only relatable one. Oh gosh I would’ve had such trouble with the door closed one! When I was a hormonal angst filled teen, ALL I wanted to do was be in my room and daydream about boys. I did that for HOURS! hm I’m not sure I can share since US is a melting pot of diff cultures so I’m not sure there’s an American thing only that everyone does. Or even a white people thing since white people here all come from all over too. Or maybe I’m just ignorant to my race, that’s 💯 possible. Hmm 🧐 I have to think. This was so interesting and thank u for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nehal Jain says:

      Daydream about boys 🤣🤣.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was constant 💖🤣😬

        Liked by 1 person

  5. bosssybabe says:

    I grew up with my grandparents. This is fairly common in my part of the world too.

    When I lived at home, the constant barrage of questions really got to me as well… Who are you going out with, why, are you dating them, how much does your job pay, why are you mopey all the time lol.. I just wanted to scream “ahh let me have a minute to myself!”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nehal Jain says:

    There are all so accurate, lmao. Especially the last point 🤣. In my family, it’s my mother who usually compares us with any family who sleeps early, around 10. She’s always fed up that we sleep so late. And the dating thing is so true, lol. Like, I can’t even tell my mom if I ever want a boyfriend because then she would start suspecting every thing I do 😂😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nehal Jain says:

      And I won’t be “innocent” anymore 🙂.

      Like

  7. Tsingram says:

    Black families share similar experiences although for my family everybody has stayed with grandma! Lol even the grandkids have lived with her. The door privacy is accurate, there is none. Rubber ware from take out for sure. Lol I love seeing other bloggers of color talk about their culture. ❤️ it makes me so happy 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lol it was so relatable 🤣 I’m gonna share it with my friends they’ll love it for sure 😂❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Funny post. We spent 8 months in India and 2 in Sri Lanka so have seen parts of what you are saying so its relatable. I have a question. Is that why many Indians staying in hotels keep their doors open? We found it very strange since it’s a hotel not a home, and it made it very noisy in our room. A completely different custom than we’re used to. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have no idea how accurate this post is🙈😂. Thank you for posting it.🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I thought Brown Kids/Families is something only my kid said, but now I know how relatable and commonly used term this is :)) Raising 2 sons in US – I have now learned to understand and adapt for how quirky or not I can be. I actually am so happy that my boys get to have their own rooms and they keep it closed – for the lack of privacy and boundaries really bothered me growing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. akshita1776 says:

    I relate to this so much🤣
    Sharmaji ka beta is soo truuee
    And the last point😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hilary Tan says:

    4 and 8 apply to my family (we are white). I hate that my mom compares me to people. And to this day I question whether Gen X really understands mental health…. It seems like the older folks don’t really “get it.” They all tell me to “get over it” and both my mom and MIL can be very insensitive.

    5 and 6 apply to my husband’s family (they are Asian). My husband insists on adding water to empty shampoo bottles to get “every last drop.” But by then, it’s just water with a hint of shampoo.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have lived with my parents just for a few years as an adult, and luckily it was quite a relaxing experience, in the sense that I did not need to clean the house or cook or buy groceries, as they were thinking at everything while I was working 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Silver Stone says:

    This was by far one of the most relatable posts to ever exist. I can’t even begin to describe how accurate this one is (especially 1, 5 and 6). The last point is also on a whole ‘nother level 🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lol. I felt as if I read the story of every Indian 😀 Totally relatable Moksha 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. mterrazas32 says:

    #3 if i shut my door to my room, I will for sure hear it from my dog. So my door is always open. My room is my dog safe zone cause she know no one will go in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anisha says:

    I didn’t know these are so common in many households. Totally relatable! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hahaha, oh, this! Pakistani family things.. can relate!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pooja G says:

    I’m moving back in with my family after so long and this is the exact stuff I’ve been thinking about 😂

    Like

  21. Well written. I can relate.😅 And while you posted you must thought of more points. It can be an endless list if we start a discussion.

    Like

  22. I could relate with every point here.

    I can attest and say today I binge read your blog❤❤❤

    Like

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