Perfect wives and imperfect marriages discussed in book

CULTURE clashes are always much more powerful when you throw some inter-generational argy-bargy into the mix.

Thousands of years of tradition, the weight of expectation and a litany of accepted standards collide with the petulance and arrogance of youth, questioning minds and a newfound sense of freedom away from the mother country.

The Indians seem to suffer this conflict more than most.

Or maybe there are just more TV shows, movies and books about this particular culture than others (the Kumars at No. 42, Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham).

The Age journalist and British Indian migrant Sushi Das nestles her memoir in this comfy theme as she explores arranged marriage, true love, growing up in 1970s London, feminism and shattering family honour.

She recounts many stories from her childhood where precisely this clash of old and new plays out, and most of them are full of self-deprecating humour.

Das migrated to Australia in 1991 - making her burst for freedom and turning her back on Indian tradition.

She examines why the concept of the perfect Indian wife is just an ideal and why East and West have so much to learn about each other.

This is a very funny and touching read that gives a frank insight into one of the planet's most fascinating cultures.

 

DERANGED MARRIAGE

Author: Sushi Das

Publisher: Bantam, RRP $34.95

Reviewer: Rebecca Marshall

 

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