First off I want to say that some people are having trouble leaving comments and I am working on fixing that! I want everyone to be able to comment, but I hope to do that without turning off the comment moderation.
There have been some new comments on old posts that I wanted the chance to address. I don't mean to pick on you, alnguyen, and this isn't criticism at all, just want to open up the discussion.
I want to address the problem of caste. It's not politically correct to recommend this but for a western woman I think the solution is to marry a Hindu man. When you marry a Hindu man you marry into his caste. Since you embrace the Hindu way of life I'm sure his family will embrace you as a real Hindu. I'm in the software engineering field. I have many Indian buddies with gori wives and these ladies are integrated into the Hindu communities of their husbands. To me the Hindu way is not primarily an individual religion. It's primarily a communal religion. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of the Hindu way join a Hindu family and community through marriage. Why not? You can have a dharmic life together, enjoy artha and kama, and raise a family.
This is a good thought, and one that I've had myself. I'm still in the process of figuring out what I hope future marriage will do for me, and until I can decide that, I can't decide whether to marry purely for the social benefits.
I have concerns about marrying someone purely for his race, which I've written about before. Part of it is that I don't like the idea of people assuming that I became a Hindu for my (hypothetical) husband. It bothers me that people would see me as an extension of his Hinduism and not my own experience of the religion. This might be an esoteric and stupid concern, but it is something I think about.
My dear you will always be perceived as an outsider unless you marry into an Indian Hindu family. Generally speaking if you marry into a Hindu family the community will see you as one of their own.
Generally indeed. I've seen cases where gori wives are accepted and other cases where they are not, it depends a lot on the family and the actual individuals one encounters. We've seen from some of Mrs. BBBB's posts that marrying into Hinduism doesn't always get you instant acceptance.
However, as time has gone on in the writing of this blog, I have felt a lot of acceptance from the Indians that I know. I think my feelings of being an outsider and not wanted stemmed a lot from my own fears and inner thoughts, and not from reality. I'm pretty comfortable at this point with who I am and how I interact with the world. I no longer feel like I need to prove that I am a Hindu.
[In response to my post about why I don't just marry an Indian man]:
With all respect I think you're making a big mistake. Within the Hindu religion marriage is two people following the path of dharma and enjoying artha and kama together. That sharing of a way of life you're going to miss out on. You'll never know the joy of it. Furthermore, you will never be fully accepted into an Indian Hindu community if you marry a white guy. You will always be an outsider. If you're not fully a part of a Hindu community what's the point of trying to be a Hindu? You'll find it empty and void within a few years. Don't make a mistake you're going to regret. You're a very pretty woman. You can get a nice Indian man if you really want to.
Not to be vain, but I do think that I'm beautiful and could land an Indian husband if I tried hard at it. I'm not sure, though, if that's what I want. There are some other factors that come into play that are not related to race and complicate my life, so I'm not sure yet and I'm not going to pursue a husband until I am sure. I don't think that would be fair to the (hypothetical) man. It may end up that it would be better for me to remove myself from family life, that remains to be seen and it is an issue that I'm not comfortable discussing here.
I disagree that lack of acceptance into a Hindu community makes being a Hindu pointless or empty or void and I disagree that I would lose interest.
If you separate Hindu philosophy and beliefs from Indian culture and social tradition, then I've been a follower of Hinduism for 29 years. Most of those years were without a comfortable connection to a Hindu community.
Hinduism is my heart and my soul and it will be whether I am in a community (as I do love to be) or all alone. An ascetic might go into the mountains to meditate alone for years-- though he is not a part of a community, he is still a Hindu.
If you marry a non-Hindu man you will give up much that you could have. I encourage you not to follow the advice of people leading you down that path. Having been in software engineering a long time I've known many Indian Hindu men with white wives. You can get a good Hindu man. No problem. btw - what does your mother think about the possibility of you marrying into a Hindu family?
I wrote a comment in response to this:
"My family would like for me to marry an Indian man, I think. I believe they see it as the same solution that you do, to give me legitimacy.
However, I am a Hindu whether I'm married to an Indian or not.
I don't need to prove myself that way."
I know that everyone here wants to help me to feel happy and safe and fulfilled in my life, and it's so lovely to have people care so much that they write comments and give advice. I appreciate you all! I will continue to take all opinions under consideration and ponder whether they feel right for my circumstances or not.
I'm happy to report that for the last several months I have felt comfortable with my religious and cultural behaviors and the sense of being an outsider is mostly faded. I know I'm a bit of an odd duck, and people still look at me like an exhibit in a zoo, but it's all in the fun of the game.