I’m so removed from Pakistani culture that it’s always a bit awkward being around my Dad’s family. For one, there’s an “auntie” who’s married to..someone in my family…who doesn’t know I’m not Muslim. It’s kind of funny, but not. I don’t know why I don’t just tell her, but it’s much easier to just go along with it. My little cousin tells me she fasted for 16 days..she asks “How many days did you fast? The whole 30..?” I was just like, uh, none. I don’t practice. She was very surprised.
Of course you always have family members who tell you what career you should be going into. “Graphic Design is good..but you also need to study healthcare. Combine those.” I just sat there and smiled. The biggest thing is feeling like I just don’t get it. When everyone’s cracking up at a joke in Urdu and I have no idea what was said. I don’t even make an effort, really. I say hello and goodbye, opting out of the traditional greetings because I wasn’t raised that way and I still don’t feel comfortable with the words.
There’s this culture that’s half of me but no one ever bothered to embrace me until a few years ago.