Aishwarya Rai (who was then residing with her folks) was once asked by David Letterman if it was common in India for older children to live with their parents. She was being interviewed in his show and the snippy comment wasn’t lost on her. She simply fired back saying, “It’s fine to live with your parents because it is also common in India that we don’t have to take an appointment with our parents to meet for dinner.”

It is a Desi tradition, to eventually reside with your parents after you have completed your education and are working. Most Indians don’t even move out while they are pursuing their undergraduate degrees, and some stay with their parents even after the children are married. This might sound strange to anyone from the Western region of the world, but living with your parents is not really that big a deal.

Sociologically speaking, kinship and family were constructs created to enable companionship among men and women. Nuclear families evolved with the passage of time, due to industrialization and the capitalization of goods and services, and extended families have dissipated with time. Now, joint families are hugely common in the Indian subcontinent. There are sisters and brothers and uncles and aunts all living and cooking under the same roof.

The fact that it is so looked down upon in the United States is very depressing. It almost seems to be more foreign and scary than Kanye West running for the presidency. The fact that Americans disregard and shame anybody who chooses to live with their parents is juvenile. Why are American adults so ashamed to be linked with their families? The fact that they choose not to associate themselves with their parents makes them rather conceited. The overbearing nature to prove yourself to be independent beings is honestly tiring. You can be independent without having to live alone. I do it, everyone in my locality does it as well.

Family is a basic building block of Indian culture. Now, as an Indian it is easy to notice the similarities and the differences between the east and west, predominantly noticing the varied range of cereals available in the West and how people are judged if they live with their parents.

I live in a 3 bedroom apartment with four people and I don’t have to pay rent. That’s how it works. You stay with your family and you are loved and surrounded by people who unconditionally love you. You don’t need to be estranged in order to feel like an adult; coursing through the difficulties of life is being “adult” enough. Having homely comfort would only be a step in helping you deal with it properly.

I respect everybody’s choices in how they wish to live their lives. However, judging someone just because they live with two people who brought them up is unnecessary. Whoever served as your guardian, it is your duty to help them anyway whatsoever. They have brought you up, clothed you, sheltered you, and gave you a happy (albeit emotionally scarring for some) life. You owe it to them to be considerate towards them as they are growing older and do what they have done for you.

You cannot measure your success and worth just by whether you have moved out or not. This millennial tradition needs to be booed away because living with your parents doesn’t make you pathetic or a loser. Rather, it makes you kind and considerate and saves you a lot of money (because I know you are broke). It has nothing to do with pride, they have taken care of you when you have had diarrhea. Don;t forget that.

  • Deboparna Poddar

    Deboparna Poddar is a student majoring in Economics and an unequivocal feminist and socialist. She is a writer and extremely passionate about her causes, is determined and loves to read.