I spent months planning my wedding to celebrate it in as many of the traditional Indian Hindi ways as possible. I did this because I was trying to reconnect with my Indian identity and make some sense out of my life as an intercountry adoptee. I also want to give my children a stable sense of belonging and hope they can feel more rooted with their Indian background than I did growing up in white Swedish society. I love the idea of my children being a part of how we celebrate Indian traditions.
A wedding is a huge experience in every person’s life and I chose to do it in the Indian way. By celebrating my wedding in this way, I can control one part of my destiny as an adopted person. As an adoptee, I feel I lost the ability to be intrinsically Indian. My language, culture, and traditions were stolen the moment I left India for Sweden. Now I felt it was time I reclaimed as much of my Indian self as possible! I wanted to do this for myself, my children and for our following generations!
Adoption no longer stops me from being Indian. For me, being Indian means to take pride in my country and culture and all that is beautiful and graceful about Indian women. Hindi weddings are famous for being amazingly beautiful!
I was heartbroken when India left me via my adoption to Sweden. Somehow, I never recovered and my soul was torn into pieces!
Adoption is a trauma and I have lived my life grieving which seems to have no end. I had no story, no dreaming from that day – the 13th of February 1982.
The day I left my homeland via adoption, is my day of mourning.
By celebrating and embracing my true Indian identity, I internally have a strong desire to reach out and somehow find my Indian family. It will give me so much peace to be able to mend my family tree and meet my true family which I have wanted for such a long time!
I’ve been visiting India regularly and in doing so, I slowly start to mend some of the disconnect. The extraordinary connection with the land and the people is starting to occur. I get anxiety just knowing that I’m not going to India every year.
I do ask for some guidance in this fog of identity from my Indian people and friends! How do I wash this whiteness off? How do I mix my two halves – the white Swedish part with the brown Indian part? My internal self starts to grow and comfortable emotions are in place that show I am coming to terms with finally being my true self.
I am Indian! I love to wear unique clothes that are only worn by Indian women in an extra stylish way! Brown people in each and every corner are divine, strikingly glowing with their inner and outer beauty.
My children are a constant reminder of the India who still lives in me. The first chapter of India has just begun and the story of Maharashtra will never die. Every time I look into my children’s eyes, I know India is not far away.
My wedding was not so much about my husband and our love. It was more about my being Indian and for the first time coming out to the world and society to reclaim my Indian identity. For me, my love for India is expressed in a grand way, through a huge Hindi wedding! I am entitled to it by birth and so are my children. It has a wonderful wedding culture with bold and bright colours, flowers and all kinds of over the top detailed decorations.
It’s has been a huge dream of mine to have an Indian wedding. Thanks to help from others and my fellow Indians, my burden of silence is broken and ends here. No more shame and guilt about my Indian origins.
Long live India!