Majority of the times Desi aka South Asian women, HAVE to move to the US, because umm you don’t have a choice. I mean sure, you can do a long-distance marriage, as our previous generation did. But, do you really wanna stay away from your spouse for 11 outta 12 months? So one of us has to move. Now, if the spouse lands a job in the US, you’re either going to be in the States for a short term or long term.
In lesser words, wives move miles away from their home country to be their spouse and if its USA, then be it! And if there’s one thing you should know about Desi families – their ultimate dream is for their kids to move to the West.
Some of the common reasons are for work, for marriage, for higher studies or for family immigration.
So let’s say Juhi – a banking professional from Lahore, Pakistan finds herself moving to Deleware, US thanks to Ali – her husband she met through the Arranged Marriage system. She speaks fluent Urdu but she gets super tensed speaking to a local American in decent English. She shops for groceries only from the Indian store and constantly looks for ways to spend less and save more. Her qualifications from India were not quite valid, so she finds the courage to enroll in an online course to sharpen her skills. She helps out her husband with his Motel family business in the meantime. She gets excited every time it snows and finds comfort talking to her parents back in Pakistan.
Let’s call this girl Vedika from Nepal -an IT professional who was in a long term relationship with her boyfriend and now husband – Vikas. She moves to the US immediately after her marriage to join her husband who studied at Cincinnati university and now works at a leading IT services company. She found it difficult to land a job in her field because of visa/sponsorship requirements. She is in a dilemma to apply for an MS or start entry-level in a different field. On weekends they meet up with Vikas’s friends for game nights and pot lucks.
A career-driven girl -Alia from Mumbai, India meets Sam from Minneapolis, through an online matrimonial site initiated by their parents. They chat, meet, video call, text and fall in love. A year later Alia joins Sam in Atlanta to start their married life together. Despite having 4 years of work experience, Alia finds it difficult to land a job and after months of struggle, ultimately settles for an entry-level marketing position at a startup. She finally feels back on her feet being financially independent and picked up basic life skills like driving, cooking, doing the laundry, etc.
An event planner and new mom – Firoza from a small town in Bangladesh, moves to Chicago with her husband Atul when his company sends him to manage a huge project at the Headquarters. Firoza feels overwhelmed with this drastic change in her life, raising her infant with no family support. She was nervous traveling alone with her baby and the big city culture frightened her. She eventually meets other new moms in the area and finds friendships that made it easy for her to ride this change. She is happy being a stay at home mom and gives painting lessons to school kids.
Ever wondered why the universities in the US see such an influx of international students? You know it’s time to take that MS course when you can’t imagine working for 12 hour/day as a corporate slave, commuting for 4 hours and get paid peanuts to live for the weekend. Also, when your parents hover around you with profiles of “suitable young men” and want to get you married off asap, you’re like [insert meme I gotta get outta here] And the golden solution is to crack that GRE, take the damn student loans, pack your life and fly to the US. If there is one solution to avoid 2 problems – you’re gona say hell yeah!
Nisha from Malaysia dreamed about going to the US to finish her Masters in Public health. She was so excited to move to Boston and live the dorm life and make new friends. What she wasn’t prepared for was to do every little thing all by herself. From shopping for furniture items, moving stuff to the third floor, having ramen noodles for dinner on her own. Soon she was broke and got her first job in the US working at Subway. It’s lonely when you’re new in the city but she made a couple of good friends to support and she worked hard!
I can’t tell you how many Desis pray every day for a miracle so that their employer sends them to the US on a project or apply to transfer for a position at the American headquarters.
Lissie, a registered nurse practitioner from Kerala, India applied for a work visa and got to work at a remote hospital in Alabama. After a year she gets married to a guy from her community and he moves in with her on a spousal visa. This is one of those rare cases when the husband is cool working from home (in Alabama) on his business operation back in India. Lissie struggles to live in a remote location – basically farmland and feels like a complete outsider being brown-skinned in a small town.
Which scenario do you relate the most to?