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.

mitchsta Wed 13-Nov-13 16:11:35

Ooops! Should've RTFT. I think you should keep inviting ILs. I know you said DH gets annoyed, but the more times they celebrate with you, the less 'different' they'll think it all is in the long run.

mitchsta Wed 13-Nov-13 16:05:35

Re: Kicking up a fuss around your Indian wedding... please don't assume that, had you been a fair-haired English rose, your inlaws would've made life any easier for you. It's quite possible that they'd have found fault with anything you did - when it comes to weddings, ILs were made to whinge about napkins, cakes, cars, guests, etc... your Indian wedding was just too obvious for them to overlook if they're the whinging type. Quite possible that no woman out there would ever be good enough for their precious son either. Try not to see it as a personal attack on you - more of a reflection of them as ignorant moaners individuals.

Re: Christmas... I'm Catholic. I enjoy celebrating Christmas from both a religious perspective and naff-Christmas jumper/mulled wine perspective. However, I'm also a vegetarian. And as accommodating as I am to my OH's meat eating, there's no way I could bring myself to cook a Christmas turkey. Just no. It's great that you're trying, but TBH it sounds like you're trying too hard. A vegetarian shouldn't be expected to cook a turkey. You would be very much excused from this duty by most normal human beings if you didn't want to do it. Let DH do the turkey if that's what he wants.

Re: Dewali... Considering your inlaws "can't stand foreign food" I think you're going to have to accept that it'll take some explaining about why Dewali means so much to you - and how much it would mean if they would join you, DH and DS in celebrating. It's great that your son is so young, because you can teach IL's about Dewali as you teach him. Then (hopefully) they'll appreciate what it means to you all. I don't know much about traditional Dewali food, but isn't a lot of it snacks - picky things and sweets, kind of like bright buffet food? Maybe a little background on what you'll serve them might help - so they don't expect to be force-fed plates of curry.

I definitely think an invitation and a bit of an explanation about why you want to make a big deal of Dewali now your son is here would be a good start. Good luck xxx

nesticles Tue 12-Nov-13 23:37:52

Hi everyone, Just back for an update. We had the party and Fil got in to the spirit of the event but Mil was really rude and kept whispering in to dh's ear how different it all was...and what went wrong or how unorganised some things were. I didn't know this till later. I'm still glad we did it but dh has told me they can't come again because they just make him angry. Ds loved every second of it and the fireworks and food was all hoovered. I am glad we tried. Thanks for listening. x

Chopstheduck Sun 20-Oct-13 08:58:40

aww that is lovely! I am really pleased for you smile

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Fri 18-Oct-13 14:23:29

Oh, that's lovely of your FIL! Give em a Dewali to remember. (and I still want to come grin )

Chunderella Fri 18-Oct-13 07:42:50

That's great news OP! It will be brilliant for DS to have all the people he cares about sharing important occasions with him.

garlicvampire Fri 18-Oct-13 01:38:14

Oh, wow! I was all fired up to add to the chorus of "give up on them" but I'm so glad you didn't! Well done, that FIL!

Now you can start stressing about entertaining them grin

CanucksoontobeinLondon Fri 18-Oct-13 01:28:09

So glad to hear FIL made that phone call. Awesome news!

Speaking as someone who's in a multicultural marriage myself, sometimes the small gestures are a big deal.

zipzap Fri 18-Oct-13 01:12:44

If you want a veggie main course, a savoury galette can be very impressive. It's basically a stack of pancakes with filling between the different layers - think a big circular lasagne. You can put what you want between the layers - either go down the traditional veggie lasagne route and alternate a tasty tomato/veggie sauce with a cheese or White sauce and cheese on top. Or complimentary layers of different curries. Or Italian ricotta and spinach with a mushroom medley. Or chestnuts, chestnut purée and lentils and goats cheese. Or Stilton and broccoli. Or roasted mediterranean veg. Or whatever your family loves, adapt into two or three fillings and a topping...

You'll end up with a big cake that looks impressive and unexpected - as you expect cake to be pudding. Think about how it will look when you cut it, whether you alternate layers or have several different ones or a rainbow of colours or have a dramatic one in the middle for effect (beetroot? Black lentils?). And make sure there's enough moisture in the meal - whether it's sauce in the galette or extra sauce to pour over afterwards or something like cranberry relish or onion marmalade on the side.

A friend has said she has started to use the round tortillas from the supermarket instead of lasagne when making lasagne and that there's no difference, they taste great and are much easier. I haven't tried it yet but maybe you could also use tortillas instead of pancakes - if you find some that fit your cake tin you could build it up very quickly when your fillings are ready.

Glad to hear that you've had positive communication from your fil. And hope that you really enjoy Diwali and christmas whoever you celebrate them with!

Hulababy Thu 17-Oct-13 21:55:08

nesticles - Hopefully this means that your PILs have had long think over what has been said recently and what the consequences of their previous actions have now been. Or at leats it looks like fil has and has spoken to MIL and putting things into gear now. I hope this positive move continues for you ll.

It is really important for your DS to have both sets of grandparents taking an interest in both sets of festivities for him.

I cant understand why people wouldn't try to learn more about a close family members festivities and cultures. Surely it would be odd not to try and educate yourself a little bit, know more about them and what they believe and celebrate. A card or a message wishing them a good day on the relevant occasion is hardly a big ask!

For example. This week has been Eid. I have a number of children at my school who have been celebrating on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, many missing 1-2 days of school for this reason. A couple of members of staff too. I have said "Eid Mubarak" to them. It didn't feel strange or odd hmm - it just felt like the right think to say. Just like, come December, many will give me a Christmas card even though they don't really celebrate Christmas at home.

Donkeyok Thu 17-Oct-13 21:33:57

My goodness, well you must have sent some positive thoughts out there. I'm so pleased I hope you get them to bring all your favourite goodies as it seems you have a chance of sharing Diwali now.
So happy for you all - result smile

Strumpetron Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:27

and yay great result!

Strumpetron Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:11

You made all that effort on Christmas and they can't even wish you happy Diwali?

Well OP from me, I hope you have a lovely 'un!

IHaveA Thu 17-Oct-13 20:39:49

That is great.

...and I know you will welcome them to the celebrations with good grace because you sound lovely unlike your MIL

Result! grin

nesticles Thu 17-Oct-13 19:19:48

Thank you everyone. I am quite shocked. fil (who is lovely and open away from mil) called me up just now and told me that he was sorry about mil's response and that they would love to except our invitation and what is traditional to bring to a Diwali party? and what could they get ds as a Diwali present? I am for the first time quite at a loss as to what to say. wow!

Blu Sat 12-Oct-13 08:20:59

Wrt the cultural status of Diwali, it depends where you are. It has a massive cultural presence beyond the religious, the London sky is lit with fireworks from many directions, there have been huge Diwali festivals in Trafalgar Sq with mass attendance in the same way that Chinese New Year pulls in a mixed following, DP's Muslim cousins went to Trafalgar Sq just because Diwali is a major cultural festival in their country of origin. It isn't a quit spiritual moment observed only by the devout.

But obviously it isn't on many people's radar, or apparent in their area, and it makes no difference because the OP's ILs are small minded ungracious idiots!

Caitlin17 Sat 12-Oct-13 01:15:31

Christmas is a mass cultural event in the UK with almost universal closing of shops and offices and in which most of the population get involved. Diwali may be of great spiritual relevance to those who celebrate it but it is not a mass event in the UK. That is why it is not comparable.

I don't see the point of fretting about the fact people who don't like you and who you don't much like don't want to get involved. Build up your own family celebrations with family and friends who want to be there.

I suppose I don't think of my inlaws as family. I've never much cared what any of them think of me, although it's political rather than cultural differences for me.

Tash28 Sat 12-Oct-13 00:23:40

Yes, but I fail to see how this phone call will make them (ils or op) happy or accepting.

Donkeyok Sat 12-Oct-13 00:16:59

Thanks OP for the offer of real Indian sweets I used to live in London but are harder to find ontop of a hill in the Peak District but have been directed to a great shop by Chopstheduck.

I think we live in HOPE that we will all have a happy accepting family and
endeavour to make it so Tash and Morris.

MorrisZapp Fri 11-Oct-13 23:42:33

Absolutely what Tash said. Given the nature of your relationship, why focus on this?

Tash28 Fri 11-Oct-13 23:32:45

I didn't find Caitlin's post arrogant. I interpreted it as saying it's not comparable because Christmas has evolved from a religious celebration to a cultural one. Culture and religion are 2 different things and therefore not comparable, not because Diwali is not equal to Christmas. Although to be frank in a western country for the most part it's not going to be.

Nesticles, I think yabu. Even a phone call, why would it occur to them to do it? They don't celebrate it and so why take offence if they don't understand/know how to celebrate it? In your original post they had done much worse yet you seem to be focussing on this. I'm mixed, my family, dh and ds will celebrate
an additional holiday. My ils don't celebrate it and therefore it has no meaning to them, they don't stop us from celebrating it and I take no offence that they aren't bothered by it because there is no reason for them to be.

To me it seems a bit like you are trying to force it upon them and I don't really understand why if dh is supporting you.

I think the sooner you let this issue go the more content you will be.

MorrisZapp Fri 11-Oct-13 23:24:48

Why do you want a happy Dewali phonecall from a racist person you can't stand? Genuine question.

Why not just treat them as most people do with their inlaws, ie polite chit chat that neither side investing much in it?

I had no idea people expected so much from the inlaw relationship until I came to MN. I have lovely inlaws, but I've got naff all in common with them. I see them a few times a year.

SanityClause Fri 11-Oct-13 23:16:00

Wow, Caitlin! That's an arrogant post!

shock

nesticles Fri 11-Oct-13 23:09:14

Caitlin! I am not asking anyone to selebrate anything they don't bloody believe in...I just am asking for a happy Diwali phone call that isn't selebrating is it? and yes Eiwali is comperable to Christmas to me...so what you are saying is that I should go through the motions at Christmas because its what you do and put up and shut up about something as important for me? Donkey if you were near London my mum and dad have an indian sweet shop I would've given you some. Chops it's amazing what ds will eat...in a word everything, phajias, Curry and pickles. he gets in to a huge mess but loves it. mil is apalled at blw and curry eating. The sh*t has hit the fan regarding vegie Christmas. I wouldn't've done it I don't think if I'd felt more respected. They are threatening not coming and dh has told them that they can stay at home if they feel so strongly! Ooh God!

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