Cultural differences between India and Poland- Part II
In India parents raise their children in a closely knit web of relations.
For us having a close family means that the son, daughter would be able to take care of the parents when they are old. When we are 18 years old, we still don’t go out of her house to live alone. Parents provide us with food and take care of our expenses
When we finish school and enter college, parents finance our accommodation , tuition fees and all other expenses. They expect us to get a college degree and eventually become independent. Once they pass out from college and get a degree, and eventually get a job, they usually give parents some money or sponsor their vacation or eventually send a sum of money to their parent’s bank account. This is how we say thank You for the sacrifices our parents made for us. It is true for every child in India.
Parents don’t spend this money immediately that we send them. They save up this money in a savings account, and give them back to their children in the future. It gives them satisfaction, that their children are saving up for their future.
My parents expected me to send them money when i finished college. They have already spent a fortune for my studies in Poland and my accommodation here. Even though they were saying that they are self sufficient (my parents are very proud and generally don’t like to be dependent on others), i could understand how much help they needed because they spent a huge sum of money to help finance my studies. But there was a problem.
When i finished my studies in Poland, the situation with work was not very promising. Since the job situation in Poland was not highly promising 3-4 years back, i had to wait an year until i could land a decent paying job position. During this time my parents were hinting that i should start saving money back home. Since i didn’t have enough money to save, they were getting a little impatient. At one point they even thought that i was starving here(which was not the case). In india going abroad is automatically assumed with a higher financial status and better lifestyle. So it was tough to convince my parents to wait a little bit more until i could land a decent job. During that time they even hinted at me coming back home. I am so glad that period is over. I used to have tough conversations with my brother and father about this. I remember how my dad was not proud in the beginning of my stay in Poland, because i couldn’t send back any money home . It took me about 3-4 years until my dad would be proud of me and say to everyone that ‘ ah my son is in Poland and he has a good job and a decent life’. Nowadays when i get back to India, i can see that my dad is very welcoming and is talking all about his son in Poland. Each and every time we chat via Skype, he reminds me to send money back home. Lately i have told my dad that he should buy a new washing machine back home, since it is very old. He keeps promising me that he will buy it, but doesn’t want to because he still wants to keep this fund for my future.
After the legal age of 18 we still don’t work. There is no culture of earning Your own living when You are a teenager . I once remember asking my mom abut working while i was on vacation . I wanted to work as a paper boy. My mom laughed and didn’t want me to do it . I asked her why, and she said because the neighbours would laugh at us. In Poland on the other hand, to be independent and work to earn ones own bread is something very normal. Parents encourage it at a young age . They think of it as a point of maturity.