Friends ask me, how do you blend your family with two religions and cultures? As children, we want to feel safe & accepted, so how do you make children feel unique instead of just being different? I tell them I believe it’s better to go outside of the box and make your own path. Well, that’s what we’vedone. Our blended family is called HinJew and this is how it’s going…so far.
I’m from Toronto, Ontario and I loved growing up there (although I don’t remember defrosting snow off our car). My family moved to Southern California when I was starting high school. In my twenties, I moved to San Francisco and lived there for 8 years. My husband was born in India and then his family settled in Marin, California when he was a child. He moved back and forth between Southern and Northern California for school and was lucky to travel the world.
We both became American citizen's and learned how to fit in. I had to change my Canadian accent, learn how to pay for health care and had to remove my Canadian flag from my backpack. My honey also adapted to this country, while still honoring and learning about his culture at home.
Over the years, I’ve been amazed at how both of our religions are similar. They are both warm, centered around food (different kinds of food) and gather families & friends around our tables. But I remember at our weddings seeing how different our colors were. Our Hindu wedding was filled with the brightest oranges, pinks, purples and golds while our Jewish wedding was filled with blush flowers, champagne bridesmaid dresses and silver.
Sometimes those colors don’t translate or speak to one another. So, we concentrated on showing our family & friends that our union was about love, friendship and combining our two religions.
Once we had our young Bella keeping her happy and healthy was the most important thing to us.Then we started to teach her and celebrate both of our religions. She is being taught on one side of her family about her Hindu culture/religion and we have introduced her to the Jewish religion with books, prayers, trips to the local JCC and celebrating both of our holidays together. Ultimately we are asking Bella to attend A LOT of holidays, parties, learning different prayers, so Bella feels connected to both Canada, India and America.
“Jewish makes me happy and Hindu helps me. God helps me sleep at night and I love when I trust my heart. I love when I wear dresses/sarees and at Hanukkah time I light the candles.” from young Bella age 4.11
Are there other HinJew’s out there…yes and I would love to find them. Let’s revisit this post again in a couple of years to see how it’s all going. Have you ever thought about going outside of the box lovely? Which picture is your favorite?