My multi cultural experience started right from my childhood . Since my native was a small town bordering Kerala , I was introduced to Tamilian and Malayali (Ta-Ma) culture . So alongside Pongal , we also celebrated vishu and onam with zest !
The next exposure to new culture came when i set my foot in Bangalore. Bangalore being a truly cosmopolitan city introduced me to Bengali navratri celebration , Gujrati dandiya , Laxmi puja of kanadigas , Islamic eid celebrations and Xmas cakes ! One of a Muslim colleague used to get veg biryani especially for me during Ramadan ! I used to relish the special bhaingan curry he used to bring along ! My cousin married a mangalorean and i chanced to know a bit of mangalorean culture !
Life train chugged along. God has different scheme of things for everyone. So he had a special plan for me to ! I married a North Indian ! So a man born in the farthest south of India married a gal from the ganges belt !
Tamil met Hindi through English !
Life became much more interesting with this cultural melting pot ! Every day is an experience ! We come to know new practices , new words , new thoughts , new way of living , new cuisines , new beliefs , new way of thinking , new culture and lots more . Since we both had our hearts , eyes and senses open to new experience we enjoy the wave of differences and braces it with warmth and love ! I discovered that this is a very vital secret for happy living .
Ok on a funnier side , this is something that am pondering of-late.
Am a Tamilian by birth. My wife is a Hindi speaking North Indian.
My Mother tongue is Tamil . Hers is Hindi.
So when we have our children , will they be identified as Tamilian or North Indian ? Ok going by the common norm of identifying with paternal root , the kid shall be Tamilian.
But …. what will be his/her mother tongue ? Obviously , when we say mother tongue , it should be Hindi !!!
So we have a strange combination of Hindi Speaking Tamilian by birth !!!!
Apart from this there is this another interesting scene that i witness every day! Its between saas and bahu ! Am not talking about the infamous TV soap operas that every channel feeds on us but Saas bahu of my home. My mother knows only Tamil and Malayalam. My wife knows either of this two language. Still , my mom keeps talking to her in the language she knows best ! My wife understands it seemingly with ease whatever she says !
This taught me yet another important point : The real language is the language of love & understanding and its communicated with ease across the hearts even through words which we may not know.