South Asian parents tend to agree that teenagers should not be dating—especially girls. Sure they’re allowed to have friends that are boys, but no ‘boyfriends’. Parents comfort themselves in the thought that by allowing this small freedom they have bridged a generation gap, and might even be classified as ‘cool.’
But what do the teenagers think? One of our ‘young’ reporters decided to enter the world of seven South Asian teenage girls in London (aged 15-18) and talk to them in their preferred language—an online chat group.
We share snippets of their conversation, and let parents take a peak.
SAP: Can you talk to your parents about boyfriends, dating, relationships, etc?
Angel93: I think it’s fine but like a bit awkward because they’re very like ‘Oh our culture says no’ kinda thing and they say we would want you to tell us but if you tell them then they would probz (probably) be like break up with him
SoNa: My dad can’t really bring that up with him but with my mum i can be open with her. its just awkward and culturally i have to be with the right guy from the same religion but otherwise i can tell her about guys and stuff
Nish: its something i wouldn’t want to talk to them about because i don’t think they would approve of it totally. If i had to though i feel i can relate more to my mum than my dad
SAP: If talking about it is awkward, how do you know what they expect from you?
Pri: ‘cos (because) its like everyone in my family is married to a specific type of Indian and person? so it’s expected for them to expect the same from me.
SoNa: you can tell…they are sneaky and like sort of drop hints..its the subtleties that are more obvious than the straightforward statements
SAP: Are there any expectations they’ve stated to you clearly?
Angel93: mum and dad have said it doesn’t matter, just preferably not black and no Muslims but they would much, much rather it was an Indian
*Mish*: ye (yeah) my mum told me like no blacks, Muslims, or white people
SAP: How do you feel about that?
SoNa: they’re stereotyping
Pri: its just that racial element that’s wrong. It’s like they always teach us morals and right and wrongs, and one thing that they all do wrong is categorize skin colors and religions which is SO wrong