The ups and downs of South Asian culture
Illustration by Ayush Kalra
Check out more of Ayush’s work on her Instagram: https://instagram.com/ayushkalra
South Asian culture like anything pretty much everything in the world, has its upsides and downsides too. Despite my projects such as ஒருதீவிலிருந்துஒருநகரம் meaning “A city away from an Island” and மரபுகள் meaning “Traditions”, constantly reflecting the rich and vibrant beauty of an aspect of South Asian/ Tamil culture, it doesn’t mean that’s all there is to it. There’s many customs and expectations that are strong part of South Asian culture, something that tends to be enforced on most of us at a young age and something we are expected to follow and pass down.
Expectations such as achieving the best grades in an academic subject, even the expectation to do something academic as a degree and a career. Traditional beliefs such as sex after marriage; no dating until after university but then being expected to get married at around the ages of 23-25. Having tattoos being frowned upon and judged, despite them being on your body; something I know from personal experience. Even how the treatment and expectations of South Asian women and men differ, something I struggle to get my head around. I’m sure there so many other aspects that other South Asians have faced when rebelling against them.
I’m aware that this mind set is something that is hard to change, especially when having parents who have grown up and lived half of their adult lives back home. But a part me feels that they might struggle to understand us and our mindset, which is of course is more open, liberal and westernised. However this doesn’t excuse these judgemental beliefs apart of South Asian culture, something that I hope will change with time and our generation.