It was my mother who introduced me to my future husband.Introductions by elders are practically unheard of in my culture, but, I discovered, are common practice in Ravi's tradition.
Before our first date, I started recounting what I knew about India and Indian people.
I remembered a slogan popular at some point in my Soviet history: "Hindu, Russi, bhai-bhai" ("Hindus and Russians are brothers"), but I did not know then what it meant.
Thus, I had difficulty understanding why Ravi wanted to hold on to his culture. I was pleasantly surprised when his family expressed no reservations about Ravi's marrying someone that was not their own.
As Ravi told me later, his parents and siblings were content that he was about to marry a non-Indian girl as long as it would make him happy.
That is why I had to consider carefully whether I could live with him doing all those things.
I, on the other hand, foresaw our future union to be a sort of a cultural middle ground with no one's culture prevailing in the household.I was happy to be engaged, but new thoughts were nagging in the back of my mind: "Would I lose my own individuality and culture by marrying Ravi?Have I come to America to suddenly be submerged into another foreign culture that I know nothing about and that has nothing to do with the land I have chosen to live in?When I told Ravi's mother through a translator that I did not know how to wear a sari, she said that my mom would show me.She assumed that moms of every culture knew how to wear a sari.I knew of the capital of India, Delhi, and a few major cities—Bombay, Calcutta and Madras that sounded as exotic as India's ancient past.