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What is ABCD ?  It is the acronym for " American Born Confused Desi" "Desh" is the Hindi word for country. "Desi" is countryman. 

Americans of Indian origin have been named ABCD's for a long time now. Many of them seem "MUCH MORE SURE" of themselves than "CONFUSED" as parents of these children seek to educate them in Indian culture and values much more seriously than their Indians (from India) counterparts. 

Did you know that January 20th is ABCD day.

SUNDAY SCHOOLS IN THE US  : Today in many cities across the US the Indian communities get together on Sundays for "Sunday School".  These are held either in the Hindu Temples, community centers or at peoples homes. Besides teaching about religion, practices and beliefs the kids are taught about India. Kids learn and recite many common Indian prayers, and sholkas. 

The Sunday School program at The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago is designed to provide children an opportunity to learn the many facets of Indian religion and History of India. There  is also a  graduation ceremony.  

Still walking the fine line between what is acceptable to their friends here in the US and what is acceptable behavior at home for the parents is a huge responsibility that rests on their young shoulders. 

As cultures "collide" and "melt" in the US the new generation  of the kids with Indian heritage enjoy a well rounded view and in a way, the best of both worlds. There is always knowledge, traditions, cultural practices and "what's in" to be exchanged between kids growing up here and in India. 

Did you know that there is a movie by the name "American Born Confused Desi"........whose name was shortened to "American Desi

Click here for more detailed story and to go to the movie websiteKris Reddy (Katdare) is a young man born in America and out of touch with his Indian heritage. But when he meets the captivating Nina Shah (Bedi), his world is turned upside-down as he struggles to come to terms with his culture in order to get the girl, who is deeply connected to her Eastern roots. Along the way, Reddy discovers the colorful Indian-American lifestyle full of wild parties and funky music.'

Views Of A 10 year old ABCD

Growing up an ABCD :  People say that growing up Indian in the USA, isn't it confusing ?  

I think it is pretty simple and not confusing. My parents are very open and teach us Indian traditions as well as take pride in being American citizens. We enjoy and celebrate the 4th of July and sing the US national anthem with pride. At the same time, we are taught about India and Indian culture through the day to day activities. 

Like my mom always says, "If you can make chappaties (Indian bread) for your kids you have successfully carried on one part of the Indian culture into your life" After all what you have grown up eating is where you are from........ ...that's what I think !  Anyway, we can only learn so much, with the world growing small and so many cultures coming together here in the USA it will be nice if we could learn a little bit from each culture.......Just like they show on Sesame Street !!


Mom, Why do we offer a coconut when we visit an Indian temple?

In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut. It is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. It is offered in the sacrificial fire whilst performing homa. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasaad.

Did you know that the fiber covering of the dried coconut is removed except for a tuft on the top. The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The coconut is broken, symbolizing the breaking of the human ego. The juice within, representing the inner tendencies (vaasanas) is offered along with the white kernel - the mind, to the Lord.  The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.

The coconut also symbolizes "selfless service". Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc. Is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc. It takes in even salty water from the earth and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to sick people. It is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and in other alternative medicinal systems.

Mom, Why do we wear the bindi or as many of my friends call it the "dot" ? Being Indian is really nice. I really like it when my mom does the puja in the house and I get to wear all the Indian jewelery and clothes. It's a nice feeling. 

Well dear this is what I know about why we wear a bindi on the forehead? The spot between the eyebrows, is known to be the seat of memory and thinking. The tilak or bindi is put here. In the olden days, the bindi was in the form of a powder or liquid and both men as well as women wore it. They say, that the entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak or bindi helps to cool the forehead, protects us and prevents energy loss. Sometimes, people apply "chandan" or "bhasma" over the entire forehead. Nowadays plastic and bindi's are available in many shapes, colors and sizes to match your outfits.  Using plastic reusable "stick bindis" is not very beneficial, although it serves the fashion point of view.

Mom, Why is it that we do we not touch books and people with our feet?

Its out of respect to things and people that give us knowledge that we apologize or do "namaste" if we step on the books or step on another persons foot. Knowledge is sacred and divine. So it should be given respect at all times. This is also the reason why we worship books, vehicles and instruments once a year on Saraswathi Pooja day. "Saraswati" is the Goddess of Learning. 

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