Our Grandson Shreyas is American!!
Me and my wife are strongly native and Indian inside out. This Indianness made us overly conscious of the way children are brought up in America. The care starts in the hospital itself. Children are treated with utmost caution. Whenever a child is being wheeled past the hospital elevator, there comes an alarm and the doors do not open!
It is however intersting to know that while the Indian and chinese cultures actually dictate that new moms do not leave the house for about a month after child birth, the americans opine that this may develop a case of cabin fever! The fear of swine flu is however keeping infants from being taken out.
I know that in certain Asian and African cultures babies are not put in disposable diapers. Whenever a baby awakens, or the parent notices certain cues, the parent places the baby at a designated area to pee or poop. Social norms in America forbid it. Diapers, diaper changing stations, diaper disposal genies and the associated literature etc. constitute an industry which is perhaps worth billions of dollars.
Such variations- to name a few- in infant management practices surely worried us a bit initially. However we have adopted the practices prevalent here and have started understanding the convinience therein.
Moreover the appreciative way in which Shreyas reacts to chants like 'Narayana kavacham','RamaRaksha stotram' or 'Balamukunda ashtakam' is very heartening.
He seems to be telling us that 'I am an american by birth, phir bhi dil hai hindustani'!!
Shreyas thus has the best of both the worlds...