To want dh's family to acknowledge Dewali?

(156 Posts)
nesticles Mon 30-Sep-13 02:19:32

I am Hindu and dh is english not religious. For 3 years I have willingly hosted ils for christmas dinner, cooking a turkey even though I am a strict vegetarian. I always make a huge effort with presents (that normally get returned even if it was on the list ils gave me) and making everything from scratch (helps that I love cooking) cos I know it is important to ils and dh.
I have a bit of history with ils (not aproving of me because I am indian). They kicked up a huge fuss around indian wedding etc.
I have been with dh almost 10 years and we have a 7 month old ds. My religion is quite important to me and we want to bring ds up knowing and selebrating both Christmas and dewali in the traditional way. The last 3/4 years ils have completely ignored Dewali and not tried to understand me or what I believe. DH and I weren't living together before that and I was studying abroad and at uni so didn't expect it. I guess I just thaught as I have become part of their family they might've wanted to acknowledge who I am. I don't want ds to see this dismissal of my beliefs and am wondering. Am I expecting too much? Am I just cross because of the history? Am I angry because even after dropping hints about dewali with dates they have still ignored it? Am I just simply expecting too much for something that is just not their festival? Am I really upset because I go to so much effort for something I don't believe in but respect and they can't give me the same respect? I wouldn't expect mil to cook a curry (she would never do! can't stand foreign food) just a "happy Dewali" phone call will do. I would even understand if she called me up in the summer and asked me when Dewali was (dates change every year) even though it's easy to just do a Google search. Please tell me am I just asking too much?Or am I really cross because my parents by tree, decorate house, give presents to dh and ils and generally make a huge fuss over Christmas even though we never did it growing up? They feel dh is part of the family and we need to respect everyone's veliefs and selebrate them. Dh understands but doesn't know how we can make a change. I can't understand why I can't just let this one go as I do with so much else when it comes to ils. Thank you for reading my nightime ramble.

IamboredandwanttoseehowlongIca Mon 30-Sep-13 02:36:03

No I don't think you are being unreasonable in what you describe you would appreciate, however I may be biased as this is my families way and how I was raised.

Im sure you are hurt because of the history surrounding your relationship, and things like this may bring up those past feelings and hurt, even if you feel you have let them go.

Could you try and invite them to be part of your celebrations? Involve them in learning about the festival (maybe with their Grandchildren leading the learning, like a play or something).

nesticles Mon 30-Sep-13 02:50:21

Thank you Iam, You are probably right that the history makes this sting a little. I've offered to talk to them about what I believe but I get met with a cold dismissive but polite response. Maybe it means more to me now as I have ds and he would grow up seeing this? I don't know.

"Dh understands but doesn't know how we can make a change."
Could I suggest that he has a quiet word with his parents and tells them to stop being so fucking rude to his wife?

And to maybe help you feel less resentful, put less effort into their presents. Or leave them to your husband, he can choose/buy for his family. I get the impression that you feel you have to tolerate their behaviour without complaint. You really don't you know. YOu don't have to tolerate it, and if you choose to do so, you don't have to do so without complaining. Let them know that you are finding them rude over this. Maybe insinuate you'd rather not invite them for Christmas this year too.

ButterMyArse Mon 30-Sep-13 03:19:48

I'm guessing it's just totally off their radar - I mean, if they won't even entertain the thought of a curry I imagine the thought of an actual celebration is a bit out of their comfort zone. Maybe they don't know that the protocol is to call someone up to wish them happy Dewali?

Can you invite them round for a Dewali evening, emphasising how important this is for you and explaining that this will be a big event for their grandson each year? Although if they don't like curry this may be difficult!

Amy106 Mon 30-Sep-13 04:12:11

You are not being unreasonable at all. This is important to you and should be a time of great celebration and happiness for you and your family. Your dh needs to make this clear to his family. Maybe an invitation to help celebrate with their grandchild will help educate them to what it is all about.

ILoveMakeUp Mon 30-Sep-13 04:18:15

Maybe they just don't know what to do, how to acknowledge it. Also they might feel a bit awkward. I am only saying this because I work in an office almost exclusively Indian (I live abroad) and always feel a bit stupid saying "Happy Diwali!" or whatever. Like I'm trying to gatecrash their celebration. Does that make sense?

However, maybe you could try inviting them over for a Diwali celebration. Just some food and traditional stuff that you think they might like.

I do understand your resentment, though.

StupidFlanders Mon 30-Sep-13 04:22:45

I think I'd live the opportunity to experience dewali but realise if his parents are old and set in their ways they may have no idea what you expect from them.

I have no idea how Dewali works but I'd suggest a formal invitation saying when, where, what is happening and being eaten and why and invite other close friends if you have no family who will embrace the spirit of what you hope to achieve.

I'm suggesting inviting others as it may help if there are a few others who are new to the occasion so no one feels uncomfortable and they will be unable to act rude and aloof.

As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, Eid and Hanukkah every year with various friends and family, YANBU. It's nice that you and your Mum and Dad make the effort. I'm sure that will affect your DS much more than mean-spiritedness.

I do think your DH could do more, however. He could tell them the dates, encourage them to call and say Happy Dewali (which I always thought was Diwali - is it spelled different ways?), take part in the traditions.

jchocchip Mon 30-Sep-13 05:14:46

Make your plans for Dewali. Write it all down so dh knows exactly what is happenning and can invite tell his parents what time they are going to arrive, what would be appropriate to bring/wear. I've a feeling this will get easier as ds gets older and can help you with enthusing his gps.

SatinSandals Mon 30-Sep-13 05:23:51

YANBU. This year your son is old enough to enjoy it and so it is a good time to start making it equal to Christmas. Get your husband to explain and invite them round, with other people is a good suggestion.

sashh Mon 30-Sep-13 06:07:57

Organise your own celebration and invite inlaws.

They may be totally ignorant, or they may, just, want to enjoy he celebration without learning anything about your culture/religion.

Families create their own traditions, you have a son so it is time you started making your own traditions for your family.

All families have their own traditions, you may think everyone celebrates Christmas in the same way but every family has 'rules' about when the tree goes up, stocking or pillowcases, presents opened 24th, 25th, 26th December or 6th Jan.

Your family (you dh and son and any future children) now celebrate Dewali, anyone who wants to join is welcome and will be invited.

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 07:45:54

We're not religious but our previous neighbours were Hindu and we managed find time to look up Diwali when they brought us in some party food as they were celebrating when we first moved in.

Every year after we made an effort to acknowledge the same way they gave us a Christmas card.

If neighbours can do that I don't see why your family can't do a lot more to make you feel welcomed by acknowledging your traditions!

Start your own anyway and if they don't want to be included you can still celebrate in your own house.

Yanbu.

Dont invite them for christmas this year when they are being so ungrateful and rude. DO however invite them to a Dewali celebration (I just stopped making my autocorrect change dewali into sidewall. hmm Seems it is not just your inlaws who are unable to embrace a global world)

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:03:29

YABVU, sorry!

I don't even know what Dewali is. I wouldn't expect in a million years people to know when my country's specific holidays are. You are in the UK. Christmas is most celebrated. And YOU choose to do so, don't you?

When in Rome, do as the Romans. Fullstop.

In regards to your in-laws attitude to you personally, you have every right to be upset. Please do not project this on your religious holiday though.

Renniehorta Mon 30-Sep-13 08:12:43

How old are your ils? From your description they sound like they have the attitudes of some of my relatives in their 80s.

Considering that curry is one of the most eaten dishes in the UK, they strike me as unusually conservative food wise . Do they travel abroad? How open are they to other cultures?

I guess what I am getting at is are they generally little Englanders or is there attitude more pointedly directed towards you as an individual?

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:16:14

I don't even know what Dewali is

So what? It's not that hard to find out about something nowadays and if it's relevant to a family member it's no trouble to make a bit of effort.

Ironic that the Internet is such a useful resource yet some people go on it to declare how proud they are of their ignorance...

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 08:18:37

Surely they are not stopping you celebrate it. Why do they have to get involved.

BlackbeltinBS Mon 30-Sep-13 08:18:53

Do you live in a cave, Val? I thought everyone in the UK had at least heard of Dewali/Diwali - the Festival of Lights. They teach children about it in schools! And it's OP's religion, not her country. It's not like she's whinging on that everyone's forgotten it's a bank holiday in India or something - There are several hundred thousand more Hindus than Jews in the UK, would you say the same thing to a UK born Jew about Channukah, or have you not heard of that either?

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:15

Haha, ignorance!

The only one who declares their ignorance are you, pianodoodle. No man on this planet knows EVERYTING, get it?

Plus noone wishes to know everything. People live in their own world and are mainly interested in things that concern them.

I agree that the inlaws are careless in regards to OP personally, but here in this thread, she is commenting mostly on her religious holiday. Hence, my reply directly to this question: not everyone is bothered about this, OP. I personally I am not bothered about Christmas AT ALL. And I am baptised Christian by my parents. SO WHAT?

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:29

It is your choice to host Christmas but why are you so keen for your il to observe your religious festival. Uabu to expect other people to observe religious festivals
It is a great shame you don't have a good relationship with your il but you have made an effort to fit in it isn't automatic you can expect them to do things you want in return for you hosting Christmas
You say your dh is not religious but are his parents religious

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:33:05

Honestly, I cannot see what your problem is.
Some people are not religious and not bothered about these holidays. Like me. I don't celebrate Christmas every year. And I am Christian. So no offence to other religions, I am just not interested. I presume I am not the only person in the world like this.

Maybe I live in a box, not having heard about this Indian holiday, but I cannot know everything about every single religious holiday of people living in the UK.

Chunderella Mon 30-Sep-13 08:36:42

Yanbu, it wouldn't kill them to phone or send you a card on what is a very big day for you. That's really quite hurtful. I could understand it if it was some moral objection to the teaching or practice behind a particular religious festival, but wouldn't have thought that would be the case for Dewali?

Having said that, I wonder if they'll start getting a bit more involved once they realise their grandson will be celebrating it and it's going to be an important part of his life. I bet they'll want to see any photos you take of him at your Dewali celebration, maybe in a cute new outfit and looking entranced at all the lights (I can sense the adorable from here). If so, maybe it will go from there. Wrt to Christmas, I can understand why other posters are saying don't invite them this year, but don't think that's the road to go down. It's important for DS to experience the family Christmas too- he'll need to be able to participate in the traditions of both sides. It sounds like you're pretty sensible about that already.

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:36:46

The only one who declares their ignorance are you, pianodoodle. No man on this planet knows EVERYTING, get it?

Er... well quite. Very eloquently put too grin

No one needs to know everything but there are times when it's useful to find things out. Your not knowing what Diwali is has no bearing on whether or not the OP is being unreasonable in these circumstances.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 30-Sep-13 08:39:52

Yanbu.

If either of my children was in a relationship with a person from a different culture I would try my hardest. I would want to know this huge part of my grandchildren as well.

I don't know much about dewali apart from its a festival of light. So I would buy a candle gift set

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