Find out just how far you’ve strayed from the motherland.
1. What describes your response when someone asks when you’re getting married?
A) “I’ve sent my biodata to Sima Aunty from Mumbai and given my birth details to 50 astrologers. My mom has set up numerous pujas to remove any obstacles I’ve acquired in my past lives and to pray for a good match.”
B) “I’m open to meeting someone outside Sukhumvit. Maybe a good family from Udon Thani or Chiang Rai. At the very least, I’ll look over the river.”
C) “Well, the last person I met on Tinder wasn’t interested in marriage but I’m sure I’ll find a hottie at the bar tonight.”
2. How do you take your tea?
A) However my maid makes it so I can complain how watery it tastes while I share samosas with Sonia over a side of who’s not married yet.
B) In a plastic bag with ice and condensed milk.
C) As a chai tea latte in my trendy to-go coffee cup.
3. Where would we find you at a sangeet?
A) On the stage leading the choreographed dance number so aunties will say, “That’s the kind of person we want our son/daughter to marry.”
B) Standing by the door in your itchy outfit that you got stitched in Pahurat, waiting to leave to meet your friends in Ari instead of hanging with these society Indians.
C) In the corner with your shoes and bindi missing, not sure why you agreed to let the bartender pour vodka in your mouth.
4. What do you do when you see an Indian?
A) Stare intensely at them and judge their clothing, who they are with, what shop they own in Sampheng, which region they are from in India and how many spoons of sugar they take with their tea.
B) Ask them which hotel they own and if they can provide a discount.
5. What’s a typical breakfast for you?
A) Dosa, a haldi/ginger drink, peeled almonds (badaam) that have been soaked in water overnight.
B) Khao tom, patongko, iced cocoa.
C) Scrambled eggs, bacon, black coffee.
6. What do you think when you see a belly button?
A) So shameless, is she so poor she can’t afford a shirt that covers her stomach?
B) Thailand is so hot, it makes sense that we must lift our shirts up to cool down.
C) That belly button would look better if it was pierced and had a tattoo around it.
7. What’s the most likely reason your mom calls you?
A) To remind you that there’s an eclipse and to stay indoors during this time and cover your bed with basil (tulsi) leaves.
B) To ask if you’re eating dinner at home so she can tell the maid what to make.
C) To gossip about the latest Hollywood celebrity couples.
8. How did your parents give you “the talk”?
A) They said if you hold hands or talk to a boy/girl before marriage you will get an incurable disease and your life will be shamed forever.
B) They didn’t say anything, you learned about the facts of life through TV and movies.
C) With detailed health books that explained how babies are made.
IF YOU ANSWERED…
MOSTLY A’s: Namaste! You’re as Indian as they come. You understand the traditions of our desi culture and proudly live by it. When a relative gives you an envelope you know you need to refuse it 20 times before eventually taking it. You listen to your elders, can fold a perfect samosa and are the first to volunteer to dance at your cousin’s wedding. Things may not always be fair but that doesn’t matter as long as your skin is.
MOSTLY B’s: Sawasdee Thai-Indian! You’ve shed the roots of our motherland and become one with the people of Siam. Your good name sounds something like Amanchai or Amornthep. You know all the best restaurants and waiters run when they see you coming because you modify all the dishes on the menu. But you always look good as you have your professional hair, makeup and waxing team booked for any event, whether it’s a birthday party or to pick up food delivery from the lobby of your condo.
MOSTLY C’s: Can you even locate India on a map you non-Indian?! You’ve left behind the conservative beliefs and choose to eat yogurt instead of putting it on your face. You need subtitles to watch a Bollywood movie due to attending an international school. You have caused your parents many sleepless nights and sometimes feel like an outcast, but you don’t apologise because you’re the only one who needs to understand you.
An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.