[Assam] What about the telegu language ?
cmahanta at charter.net
Thu Oct 6 22:42:10 EDT 2005
Thanks for your kind words.
But I don't want you to get the wrong idea that somehow I imply your
identity is more important to your children than their father's.
So is that an un-resolvable conflict? No, it is not. The trick is in
categorizing what is the most important identity.
My formula: I am a human being first. Everything else is secondary. I
am sure it would work for you, your husband and your children.
Best to all of you.
At 5:22 PM +0000 10/6/05, sumita sarma wrote:
>Hello C da,
>It was a wonderful reply. And yes, your broad minded ness is to be
>appreciated. In fact, courtsey my claims, my elder daughetr (7 yrs)
>already identifies herself as an assamese and not telugu. But you
>know, a parent has really to teach a child a language if the same is
>not being frequently spoken in their vicinity - else becomes very
>difficult especially the south indian languages.
>Yes, for you people living in the usa/uk, children should learn
>english first for obvious reasons.
>Anyway, will be away to guwahati for 2 weeks where the net may not
>be as accessible as here. But hoping to hear more from you.
>A very happy durga puja to you and all the assam netters,
>On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 Chan Mahanta wrote :
>>I am quite ignorant about pre-natal development of infants and its
>>relationship to language skills/identity of the grown child. Also I
>>am not familiar with Abhimanyu's pre-natal education or martial
>>skill learning. See Sumita, I am deprived of many of the Indian
>>mythology, even though I read 'Xixur Mahabharat', at around Class
>>But it is a scientifically proven fact that hatchlings of certain
>>birds; geese and ducks to be precise, learn by the process of
>>IMPRINTing. Imprinting here means taking on the characteristics and
>>responding to what the hatchling is exposed to right after birth.
>>So if a human feeds and takes care of the duckling during the first
>>few days of its life, it will always think of the human as its
>>mother, something that could not be un-learnt.
>>I would be willing to bet a rupee, that a mother's influences on
>>her child are similar even though it might not register as strongly
>>as IMPRINTing would.
>>>What is the mother tongue of cross lingual marriages ?
>>*** I used the term 'mother-tongue' in a generic way, even though
>>the etymology of the word obviously was literally so. Way back
>>when, a child used to learn language skills from the mother, thus
>>the terminology. The father merely taught how to grunt, groan or
>>holler. But in today's world it is different. Not just in
>>cross-lingual parentage, but also in case of folks like us living
>>in an adopted land where the predominant language is different from
>>mother-tongue/s. My guess would be, in your case, that your
>>children's mother tongues would be Oxomiya and Telegu, both, unless
>>you choose to do otherwise.
>>In our case, our special circumstances required us to raise our
>>first-born as a single language user, English. Our second child
>>followed suit, even though it was not a requirement.
>>The attitude of dictating that the father's language alone be the
>>mother-tongue is nothing less than an egregious display of
>>male-centricism, quite out of place in today's world and out of
>>pace with contemporary life. I agree, the affliction is widespread
>>in India and all other patriarchal societies. But your generation
>>does not have to capitulate to it, even though I know it is easier
>>said than done, more so in a setting where the previous generation
>>is near at hand to dictate. We are personally aware of a situation
>>involving a cross-cultural couple in which the mother is Oxomiya
>>and given to liberal, non-traditional outlooks, in which such
>>patriarchal cultural/language domineering was leading to almost
>>My own perspective on it is this: IF the children are capable of,
>>the more languages they learn, the richer would their lives be. But
>>it is not a given that all children are capable of learning or all
>>parents are capable of teaching. Often some of our friends miss
>>that and assume, in a simpleminded way, that expatriate children
>>who do not learn their mother-tongue/s is a fault of the parents,
>>and hold it as nothing less than treason to their cultural/ethnic
>>identity and obligations. It will be interesting to see how they
>>would respond to the kind of scenario you are describing.
>>>Its me who feel awkward when i am in an all-telegu group !
>>*** If I were you, I won't at all feel awkward. If for no other
>>reason than for the fact that I owe it to no one to know anything,
>>much less their language or their cultural traits. Being the
>>assertive person as I am, I would expect them to know about mine
>>first. Even though I am curious as a cat about others'
>>cultures/languages and I like to learn, my circumstances are
>>unique; just like yours and every other individual on earth. And if
>>someone is incapable of recognizing and respecting that in this
>>day and age, I'd say tough.
>>Defiantly as always in asserting my freedom of choices,
>>:-) :-) :-)
>>At 5:00 AM +0000 10/6/05, sumita sarma wrote:
>>>Hello CM da,
>>>Thanks for your comments. In fact, my hubby is not at all
>>>interested that i learn his mother tongue! Its me who feel awkward
>>>when i am in an all-telegu group !! And yes, my hubby is unable to
>>>pronounce 'xo' properly.
>>>But you know, the problem arises with the question of 'mother
>>>tongue'. What is the mother tongue of cross lingual marriages ? In
>>>schools etc, mother tongue is the one spoken by the father ! But,
>>>I think the correct definition for mother tongue would be the
>>>language heard by the unborn child (while in the mother's womb).
>>>Didnt Abhimanyu learn many of the skills while in the womb? But,
>>>we Indians do not want to see it that way.
>>>And no, I do not always make the fiery telugu dishes. Yes, in
>>>front of those hot dishes, our assamese dishes become quite
>>>Will be waiting for your comments.
>>>On Wed, 05 Oct 2005 Chan Mahanta wrote :
>>>>Welcome to assam net. Good to hear from you.
>>>>My comments had nothing to do with your question and concerns
>>>>however. It was in reference to Umesh's crusade.
>>>>Personally, I see nothing out of the ordinary here for you. I
>>>>would have the same problem. Similarly for your Telegu speaking
>>>>husband. If he makes you feel 'odd', if I were you, I would make
>>>>it even by asking him to pronounce the 'xo' sound, as in Oxomiya.
>>>>That should teach him a lesson. And if that is not enough ,
>>>>remind him of how a rolling tekeli-full of pebbles ( an
>>>>earthenware pot with a handful of pebbles) sound, when he wants
>>>>for you to speak 'proper-sounding' Telegu, and ask why anyone
>>>>would want to sound like that while talking.
>>>>But I don't have any reason to believe that your Telegu husband
>>>>would ever make you feel bad about your lack of proficiency in
>>>>his mother-tongue and similarly, you would not make him feel
>>>>BTW, I hope he is not making you cook all those fiery Telegu
>>>>meals, tasty as they are, that could singe most Oxomiya palates
>>>>beyond repair. That would be far more painful than rolling those
>>>>Best wishes to you and your husband.
>>>>:-) :-) :-)
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