To want dh's family to acknowledge Dewali?

(156 Posts)
nesticles Mon 30-Sep-13 02:19:32

I am Hindu and dh is english not religious. For 3 years I have willingly hosted ils for christmas dinner, cooking a turkey even though I am a strict vegetarian. I always make a huge effort with presents (that normally get returned even if it was on the list ils gave me) and making everything from scratch (helps that I love cooking) cos I know it is important to ils and dh.
I have a bit of history with ils (not aproving of me because I am indian). They kicked up a huge fuss around indian wedding etc.
I have been with dh almost 10 years and we have a 7 month old ds. My religion is quite important to me and we want to bring ds up knowing and selebrating both Christmas and dewali in the traditional way. The last 3/4 years ils have completely ignored Dewali and not tried to understand me or what I believe. DH and I weren't living together before that and I was studying abroad and at uni so didn't expect it. I guess I just thaught as I have become part of their family they might've wanted to acknowledge who I am. I don't want ds to see this dismissal of my beliefs and am wondering. Am I expecting too much? Am I just cross because of the history? Am I angry because even after dropping hints about dewali with dates they have still ignored it? Am I just simply expecting too much for something that is just not their festival? Am I really upset because I go to so much effort for something I don't believe in but respect and they can't give me the same respect? I wouldn't expect mil to cook a curry (she would never do! can't stand foreign food) just a "happy Dewali" phone call will do. I would even understand if she called me up in the summer and asked me when Dewali was (dates change every year) even though it's easy to just do a Google search. Please tell me am I just asking too much?Or am I really cross because my parents by tree, decorate house, give presents to dh and ils and generally make a huge fuss over Christmas even though we never did it growing up? They feel dh is part of the family and we need to respect everyone's veliefs and selebrate them. Dh understands but doesn't know how we can make a change. I can't understand why I can't just let this one go as I do with so much else when it comes to ils. Thank you for reading my nightime ramble.

IamboredandwanttoseehowlongIca Mon 30-Sep-13 02:36:03

No I don't think you are being unreasonable in what you describe you would appreciate, however I may be biased as this is my families way and how I was raised.

Im sure you are hurt because of the history surrounding your relationship, and things like this may bring up those past feelings and hurt, even if you feel you have let them go.

Could you try and invite them to be part of your celebrations? Involve them in learning about the festival (maybe with their Grandchildren leading the learning, like a play or something).

nesticles Mon 30-Sep-13 02:50:21

Thank you Iam, You are probably right that the history makes this sting a little. I've offered to talk to them about what I believe but I get met with a cold dismissive but polite response. Maybe it means more to me now as I have ds and he would grow up seeing this? I don't know.

"Dh understands but doesn't know how we can make a change."
Could I suggest that he has a quiet word with his parents and tells them to stop being so fucking rude to his wife?

And to maybe help you feel less resentful, put less effort into their presents. Or leave them to your husband, he can choose/buy for his family. I get the impression that you feel you have to tolerate their behaviour without complaint. You really don't you know. YOu don't have to tolerate it, and if you choose to do so, you don't have to do so without complaining. Let them know that you are finding them rude over this. Maybe insinuate you'd rather not invite them for Christmas this year too.

ButterMyArse Mon 30-Sep-13 03:19:48

I'm guessing it's just totally off their radar - I mean, if they won't even entertain the thought of a curry I imagine the thought of an actual celebration is a bit out of their comfort zone. Maybe they don't know that the protocol is to call someone up to wish them happy Dewali?

Can you invite them round for a Dewali evening, emphasising how important this is for you and explaining that this will be a big event for their grandson each year? Although if they don't like curry this may be difficult!

Amy106 Mon 30-Sep-13 04:12:11

You are not being unreasonable at all. This is important to you and should be a time of great celebration and happiness for you and your family. Your dh needs to make this clear to his family. Maybe an invitation to help celebrate with their grandchild will help educate them to what it is all about.

ILoveMakeUp Mon 30-Sep-13 04:18:15

Maybe they just don't know what to do, how to acknowledge it. Also they might feel a bit awkward. I am only saying this because I work in an office almost exclusively Indian (I live abroad) and always feel a bit stupid saying "Happy Diwali!" or whatever. Like I'm trying to gatecrash their celebration. Does that make sense?

However, maybe you could try inviting them over for a Diwali celebration. Just some food and traditional stuff that you think they might like.

I do understand your resentment, though.

StupidFlanders Mon 30-Sep-13 04:22:45

I think I'd live the opportunity to experience dewali but realise if his parents are old and set in their ways they may have no idea what you expect from them.

I have no idea how Dewali works but I'd suggest a formal invitation saying when, where, what is happening and being eaten and why and invite other close friends if you have no family who will embrace the spirit of what you hope to achieve.

I'm suggesting inviting others as it may help if there are a few others who are new to the occasion so no one feels uncomfortable and they will be unable to act rude and aloof.

As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, Eid and Hanukkah every year with various friends and family, YANBU. It's nice that you and your Mum and Dad make the effort. I'm sure that will affect your DS much more than mean-spiritedness.

I do think your DH could do more, however. He could tell them the dates, encourage them to call and say Happy Dewali (which I always thought was Diwali - is it spelled different ways?), take part in the traditions.

jchocchip Mon 30-Sep-13 05:14:46

Make your plans for Dewali. Write it all down so dh knows exactly what is happenning and can invite tell his parents what time they are going to arrive, what would be appropriate to bring/wear. I've a feeling this will get easier as ds gets older and can help you with enthusing his gps.

SatinSandals Mon 30-Sep-13 05:23:51

YANBU. This year your son is old enough to enjoy it and so it is a good time to start making it equal to Christmas. Get your husband to explain and invite them round, with other people is a good suggestion.

sashh Mon 30-Sep-13 06:07:57

Organise your own celebration and invite inlaws.

They may be totally ignorant, or they may, just, want to enjoy he celebration without learning anything about your culture/religion.

Families create their own traditions, you have a son so it is time you started making your own traditions for your family.

All families have their own traditions, you may think everyone celebrates Christmas in the same way but every family has 'rules' about when the tree goes up, stocking or pillowcases, presents opened 24th, 25th, 26th December or 6th Jan.

Your family (you dh and son and any future children) now celebrate Dewali, anyone who wants to join is welcome and will be invited.

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 07:45:54

We're not religious but our previous neighbours were Hindu and we managed find time to look up Diwali when they brought us in some party food as they were celebrating when we first moved in.

Every year after we made an effort to acknowledge the same way they gave us a Christmas card.

If neighbours can do that I don't see why your family can't do a lot more to make you feel welcomed by acknowledging your traditions!

Start your own anyway and if they don't want to be included you can still celebrate in your own house.


Dont invite them for christmas this year when they are being so ungrateful and rude. DO however invite them to a Dewali celebration (I just stopped making my autocorrect change dewali into sidewall. hmm Seems it is not just your inlaws who are unable to embrace a global world)

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:03:29

YABVU, sorry!

I don't even know what Dewali is. I wouldn't expect in a million years people to know when my country's specific holidays are. You are in the UK. Christmas is most celebrated. And YOU choose to do so, don't you?

When in Rome, do as the Romans. Fullstop.

In regards to your in-laws attitude to you personally, you have every right to be upset. Please do not project this on your religious holiday though.

Renniehorta Mon 30-Sep-13 08:12:43

How old are your ils? From your description they sound like they have the attitudes of some of my relatives in their 80s.

Considering that curry is one of the most eaten dishes in the UK, they strike me as unusually conservative food wise . Do they travel abroad? How open are they to other cultures?

I guess what I am getting at is are they generally little Englanders or is there attitude more pointedly directed towards you as an individual?

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:16:14

I don't even know what Dewali is

So what? It's not that hard to find out about something nowadays and if it's relevant to a family member it's no trouble to make a bit of effort.

Ironic that the Internet is such a useful resource yet some people go on it to declare how proud they are of their ignorance...

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 08:18:37

Surely they are not stopping you celebrate it. Why do they have to get involved.

BlackbeltinBS Mon 30-Sep-13 08:18:53

Do you live in a cave, Val? I thought everyone in the UK had at least heard of Dewali/Diwali - the Festival of Lights. They teach children about it in schools! And it's OP's religion, not her country. It's not like she's whinging on that everyone's forgotten it's a bank holiday in India or something - There are several hundred thousand more Hindus than Jews in the UK, would you say the same thing to a UK born Jew about Channukah, or have you not heard of that either?

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:15

Haha, ignorance!

The only one who declares their ignorance are you, pianodoodle. No man on this planet knows EVERYTING, get it?

Plus noone wishes to know everything. People live in their own world and are mainly interested in things that concern them.

I agree that the inlaws are careless in regards to OP personally, but here in this thread, she is commenting mostly on her religious holiday. Hence, my reply directly to this question: not everyone is bothered about this, OP. I personally I am not bothered about Christmas AT ALL. And I am baptised Christian by my parents. SO WHAT?

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:29

It is your choice to host Christmas but why are you so keen for your il to observe your religious festival. Uabu to expect other people to observe religious festivals
It is a great shame you don't have a good relationship with your il but you have made an effort to fit in it isn't automatic you can expect them to do things you want in return for you hosting Christmas
You say your dh is not religious but are his parents religious

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:33:05

Honestly, I cannot see what your problem is.
Some people are not religious and not bothered about these holidays. Like me. I don't celebrate Christmas every year. And I am Christian. So no offence to other religions, I am just not interested. I presume I am not the only person in the world like this.

Maybe I live in a box, not having heard about this Indian holiday, but I cannot know everything about every single religious holiday of people living in the UK.

Chunderella Mon 30-Sep-13 08:36:42

Yanbu, it wouldn't kill them to phone or send you a card on what is a very big day for you. That's really quite hurtful. I could understand it if it was some moral objection to the teaching or practice behind a particular religious festival, but wouldn't have thought that would be the case for Dewali?

Having said that, I wonder if they'll start getting a bit more involved once they realise their grandson will be celebrating it and it's going to be an important part of his life. I bet they'll want to see any photos you take of him at your Dewali celebration, maybe in a cute new outfit and looking entranced at all the lights (I can sense the adorable from here). If so, maybe it will go from there. Wrt to Christmas, I can understand why other posters are saying don't invite them this year, but don't think that's the road to go down. It's important for DS to experience the family Christmas too- he'll need to be able to participate in the traditions of both sides. It sounds like you're pretty sensible about that already.

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:36:46

The only one who declares their ignorance are you, pianodoodle. No man on this planet knows EVERYTING, get it?

Er... well quite. Very eloquently put too grin

No one needs to know everything but there are times when it's useful to find things out. Your not knowing what Diwali is has no bearing on whether or not the OP is being unreasonable in these circumstances.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 30-Sep-13 08:39:52


If either of my children was in a relationship with a person from a different culture I would try my hardest. I would want to know this huge part of my grandchildren as well.

I don't know much about dewali apart from its a festival of light. So I would buy a candle gift set

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:40:03

If something is an important part of your family culture you want your children to know about that too.

Of course both sides of family culture should be celebrated and if you have made the effort with their traditions they should do the same.

Val007 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:42:27


Please, pianodoodle, do not confuse sarcasm with intelligence.

Since OP has asked, I reply - she is unreasonable to expect people to celebrate whatever she is celebrating, aware or not of it. Noone can make anyone else do what they want. If she is hurt, it is because she chooses to feel that way. She should lower her expectations in regards to inlaws to avoid disappointment and not go out of her way if she will then expect something people do not wish to give in return. Simple as this.

PMSL at val with her "when in Rome" rage. People in this country have rich backgrounds and a variety of traditions. No harm in learning a little. It doesn't mean you're being forced to celebrate, it's just about being polite.

OP, don't let them get to you. Celebrate it, have fun. They can jog on.

CocacolaMum Mon 30-Sep-13 08:43:42

This is not really about Diwali tho is it? This is about your Il's expecting you to do all of the bending with seemingly no desire to meet you in the middle on anything. I think YADNBU in wanting to raise your dc to appreciate and embrace both sides of his culture.

Invite them over for Diwali instead of Christmas this year, let them know what its all about and that it is something you celebrate. If they then choose to disregard it there isn't much you can do but don't make excuses for your husband, he knows as well we all do that he COULD have a word on your behalf.

I celebrate Christmas every year but I also make puppets and lanterns with my children to celebrate Diwali too.. I am not religious at all but I do love a good story and the one about Rama and Sita is a cracker! My kids love it.

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 08:52:21

Please, pianodoodle, do not confuse sarcasm with intelligence

They're not mutually exclusive smile

yanbu but unfortunately they are narrow minded racists and you are unlikely to get very far

Beastofburden Mon 30-Sep-13 09:07:00

My guess is that your ILs don't know, care or understand what Diwali is or how it is celebrated. I wouldn't know to send a happy Diwali card unless a kind friend told me the score.

That said, there is clearly history with them resenting your race and your culture which is very sad and unpleasant in a family.

I would suggest you have a broader theme now that you have DS. I suspect that your childhood culture has led you to be overly respectful of your MIL and her demands. Actually, there is no reason why they should dominate your family in this way.

I would start regular family celebrations of Diwali, and other Hindu festivals. I would consider making sure DS grows up bilingual. If your ILs raise the issue, I would say that your DS is lucky enough to be part of two great world cultures and it is going to be lovely teaching him about all the things you did as a child.

Do invite them along, and it would be kind to provide something not very curried for them to eat, but there is no reason to include meat.

The advent of a son is a great opportunity to tame your MIL. She will be only too aware that the mother controls access to the grandchildren. It is time to stop being the dutiful daughter in law and start being the matriarch of your own family.

pinkdelight Mon 30-Sep-13 09:26:02

beast speaks a lot of sense. You are guaranteed disappointment if you make your ILs' involvement key to your enjoyment of Dewali (I thought it was Diwali?). Yes, some people are curious and open-minded and keen to engage with other people's cultures. Others take much much longer to get there, if they ever do. Sounds like your ILs are in the latter group and to hope that they'll make an effort, however small, to acknowledge your religion is sadly too much to expect at this stage. Just enjoy the celebration with your immediate family, friends, neighbours etc and don't expect any satisfaction from your ILs on this score. Comparing the efforts your parents make is pointless. People are different. Many feel they can't change. Play the long game, enjoy raising your DC in both cultures, and don't look for reasons to get upset.

brass Mon 30-Sep-13 09:31:50

hang on Diwali is the least of your problems here.

You say they return gifts? That is the height of bad manners in most cultures. Why do they do this?

Why are you hosting Christmas and cooking a turkey if you are a vegetarian and if they are ungracious towards your efforts? You have been in their son's life for 10 years and they are still refusing to accept you?

Time to lay some ground rules for the sake of your DS. Do not invite them to anything if they do not know how to be polite and gracious. Your DH needs to make clear you are a family and they either need to step up or stay out.

Unless you respect yourself no one else will. Stop being a doormat.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 09:34:15

Surely disinterest in other people's festivals doesn't make you a racist

lunar1 Mon 30-Sep-13 09:37:03

My dh is Hindu and we celebrate Christmas, Diwali and Durga pooja which starts soon. My mum and dad always make an effort, they have been and bought new clothes for our children as that is the traditional gift. My inlaws have posted pooja gifts for the boys plus there are Christmas gifts too.

I do think its important for your dh to help them understand the importance though.

Amrapaali Mon 30-Sep-13 09:41:30

YANBU. But I guess they are very set in their ways, and that is nOt going to change any time soon. And there seems to be a combination of fear or wariness of the "forrin" and the resentment of YOU as a daughter in law.

You have dropped subtle hints, but they are still not acknowledging it? Short of wading in all guns blazing, I dont see how you can resolve this. But i am pretty sure neither you, nor they want that kind of a feud.

Rise above it. You are part of your own family unit now. Celebrate with DH and your son. Make sure your little one grows up seeing both the beauty of Diwali and the joy of Christmas.

MrsFlorrick Mon 30-Sep-13 09:42:56

It's very unkind of your DH not to celebrate it with you!

Can't understand why. Dewali is a lovely celebration!

I don't believe you have to subscribe to a particular religion to celebrate its festivals.

I am not Hindu but have celebrated Dewali several times in Singapore. Lovely.

I wish I had more advice rather than just handholding.

IamboredandwanttoseehowlongIca Mon 30-Sep-13 09:43:01

Nope, but read the whole post, especially the first paragraph. I would assume its that which has led people to say about racism.

I actually think you need to be looking at your dh more. Why is he not organising festivities and cooking of that's what you do for him and his.

ParvatiTheWitch Mon 30-Sep-13 09:50:02

What someone wise up thread said: this isn't about Diwali. Stop being a door mat.
If they can't see past their own sense of superiority to be nice to their son's wife and DGSs mother, then any effort you make with them will be wasted. They will never like and accept you when they know you will bend over backwards however they choose to behave. Funnily enough, if you are cold but polite and do not make and don't host Christmas this year, they will either have it out, or really pull their socks up.
Fuck them; they sound shit. You sound really nice and tolerant. This is about you and something that is important to you. They should love you as family after 10 years and at least make a token effort to show they care. The fact is they don't care OP. stop trying so hard please.

HarderToKidnap Mon 30-Sep-13 09:52:26

Dnt ascribe malice where there may be none. Diwali probably isn't on their radar at all and if it is then they probably think of that as your festival which presumably you celebrate with DH and your family, as Christmas is DHs festival which he celebrates with you and his family. No malice intended, just not being aware of what you want from them. I can actually imagine a similar OP where the poster might complain that the in laws were trying to crash her religious festival despite having no connection to the religion!

My uncle's wife is Muslim and its never crossed my mind to wish her happy eid or whatever, it's her thing. I would be thrilled to be invited to a celebration for eid though, so maybe invite the ILs round for Diwali this year and involve them in the celebrations? They'll soon get the idea that you want to celebrate with them and I'm sure it will take off organically from there.

SpiceAddict Mon 30-Sep-13 09:54:16

I think it would be a good idea to invite them for Diwali this year so that they can understand what it is. If they refuse to come....well don't be upset but tell your husband that YOUR parents will not be making an effort for christmas either.

Then you could celebrate christmas with ILs and Diwali with your family (if they are in the UK).

There is a much wider problem here though. You say they can't stand foreign food & weren't happy about the Indian wedding...they haven't really accepted you yet, have they?

It will be their loss in the end (((hugs)))

For all those in the "I've-never-heard-of-Dewali-and-when-in-Rome" camp, would you make an exception if a close family member married into that religion? Because that's the situation here. OP doesn't expect everybody in the UK to research and observe Dewali, but she would like her husband's parents to show a tiny bit of interest in an important part of their own grandson's cultural heritage.

I can sort if see both sides - in some ways you probably mainly celebrate Christmas because of where you live, as you probably don't see a religious need to, so if they were living in India then there may be more of an emphasis on them to be involved. I know that you said that dh isn't religious but are they practising Christians? If they go to church regularly then they may feel that they should not be celebrating or joining in with another religion's practises. Some branches of Christianity can be very strict on this and I am afraid that it might be unlikely that they will ever join in with your celebrations. Even if they aren't now practising - if they were raised in this way their beliefs may be deep seated.

If it is not a religious objection then I would consider doing as others have suggested and have a small party - maybe just close family, possibly separate from other celebrations and have a mixture of English and Indian food. And pull out the best bits.

I should also have said that they don't sound particularly nice and whether you actually want to encourage closer links with them is another matter.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Mon 30-Sep-13 10:01:21

Yabu to just drop hints. If you want them to acknowledge it tell them, get your dc to make a card for them, invite them to celebrate with you. Just don't expect them to pick up on hints, they might not even realise that's what you are doing.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Sep-13 10:01:43

Don't cook a traditional Christmas meal if you don't want to. Celebrate Christmas with your DH and DCs in the way you'd like (a huge Indian feast? I'd LOVE that at Christmas, personally).

Tell your DH to tell them not to return presents. Or stop giving them. If they mention it, say you were clearly never able to get it right so you thought it best not to spend the money/make the effort any more.

Rather than getting steamed up about expecting them to phone at Dewali, organise your own Dewali celebrations and invite them, along with other family and friends. If they don't want to come, sod em. Can I come, though? grin

Chopstheduck Mon 30-Sep-13 10:02:51

the joy of mixed race relationships, hey!

They probably don't know much about your culture at all, they may have various misconceptions, they don't like your food, and I'd be willing to bet it all makes them feel highly uncomfortable! Indian weddings are so different, I expect they probably didn't enjoy it very much. I am white, dh is Indian, and my parents had huge misgivings about our relationship at first, simply based on so many misconceptions from lack of knowledge. Same as dh's family did of me, and it took many years to get past that.

I'd agree that to invite them over would be a good idea. You could do some fireworks, do the lights, buy sweets (maybe indian and english), and show them some of what your culture is about and give them the chance to appreciate it. If they still don't, sod it!

Also, I'd lay on a spread, and do non curry if they don't like spices, but I would draw the line at serving meat on Diwali. tbh, if it was me, I'd think sod it and stick at making it special for my immediate family.

How does your dh deal with it all? Does he support you in all of this?

forehead Mon 30-Sep-13 10:03:11

This has nothing to do with Diwali. OP is upset, because she believes that her inlaws refuse to make the effort with her, because she is Indian.
Ils do not like the OP, and the sending back of presents, is just a way of displaying this, albeit in a passive aggressive manner.
I believe that the op's dh is at fault. His dw is making a huge effort with HIS family and HIS culture, but he cannot be bothered to do the same. I bet if his OP, decided that she didn't want to celebrate Christmas this year her dh would have something to say about it. I would invite the ils to celebrate Diwali with you and see what happens.
BTW OP, you sound like a thoroughly nice person and i hope my ds is fortunate enough to marry a lady like you
Make sure that you bring up your ds to be billingual.

Chopstheduck Mon 30-Sep-13 10:03:58

I've done both the huge indian feast and the english feasts at Xmas grin One year I did veggie and we had dh family over, other years we've had it on our own and done goose with all the trimmings. Dh isn't veggie, but his family is.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 30-Sep-13 10:06:04

My SIL is Hindu, I don't make a particular effort with Diwali mainly because she doesn't either. If she did, like you do, I would.

In your circumstances I don't think you are being unreasonable, at all. I do, however, think you are pinning a lot of resentment on one festival. There is a multitude, of events that have taken place (returning of gifts, cooking of turkey, not approving of you because of your heritage) and I think that Diwali maybe the "straw that broke the camels back"

Invite them to your Diwali celebrations, if they decline, are rude etc your DH needs to raise it with them.

noblegiraffe Mon 30-Sep-13 10:07:49

Your DH isn't religious but celebrates Christmas - it is a cultural not a religious festival for him, and for many in the UK. Dewali is, for you, a religious thing, as you mention in your OP that your religion is very important to you.

I would feel very odd about joining in the celebration of a religious festival of a different religion. Like if my DH were Muslim and my mum and dad decided to start observing Ramadan to join in, it would be weird and probably inappropriate. So to expect them to just start celebrating Dewali with no input from you, or demonstration of how you would do it is too much to expect. If you want them to join in, you need to invite them, make them part of the celebrations and show them what is ok for them to do.

Then if they turn down invites and continue to snub you, you'll know it's because they're not very nice (which is possible, from reading your OP) and not simply because they don't know what you want them to do.

Quangle Mon 30-Sep-13 10:11:16

It might be a bit easier for you as you are here and one can hardly miss Christmas but Dewali would pass me by despite having Indian inlaws (they don't celebrate it). And as someone else said, I'd be a bit anxious about ringing someone up to say "happy Dewali" in case it was the same as saying "Happy Yom Kippur" or "Happy Good Friday"!

I think if you want this, you need to help them find a way to acknowledge your celebration - perhaps around the DCs? I'm not really sure from your post what would be a good outcome for you and what it is you want to include them in. A meal? An exchange of gifts?

I think don't make this about beliefs - that's always very personal. Make it about a shared family event - if that's what you want (although they don't sound very nice so perhaps you would do better to build your family traditions with your DH and DS).

Teapigging Mon 30-Sep-13 10:11:24

Gosh, I didn't grow up in a country where Diwali was celebrated visibly at all, but since I've lived in the UK and have Hindu and Jain friends, I've read up on its meaning, always go to celebrate with them, eat wonderful food, give presents, set off fireworks etc etc.

I agree that this year, invite ILs to Diwali, not Christmas, and stop bending over backwards to try to minimise their perception of your 'otherness'. I'm vegetarian, and wouldn't dream of cooking turkey for meat eaters. Stop dropping hints and hoping they are going to change, show and tell them your traditions unapologetically, especially as regards your baby's enjoyment of them. And your husband needs to back you up. You've shot yourself in the foot by being too generous and accommodating.

Happy Diwali when it comes!

Quangle Mon 30-Sep-13 10:12:07

noblegiraffe said it much better than me

BranchingOut Mon 30-Sep-13 10:20:19

I think that you have been expecting them to do something and they would not know where to begin.

Our mass media culture does not give equal representation to all faiths and while images of Christmas are everywhere, for you to pick up what is 'usual' or 'expected' on 25th December, it is not possible to say the same for Diwali. This is even more true if you live in an area with no strong Indian community - less of an excuse if you live just off Southall Broadway! I am not saying that this is right - I am married to an Asian man myself - but I think that it is undeniably the case.

So you need to take the initative and invite them to celebrate Diwali with you, if you are ever to get them on board with this then I think you need to make the first move.

Teapigging Mon 30-Sep-13 10:22:10

Noble, there's a bit of a difference between observing a 40-day fast and just showing up with some ladoo and a few fireworks to eat nice food and give the baby a new outfit, though!

Beastofburden Mon 30-Sep-13 10:29:26

The returning presents thing is just weird, though, isn't it? I mean, who returns presents? I think we have to recognise that at best it's dismissive and disrespectful, and at worst it is a calculated insult.

Stand up for yourself, OP, and be the strong women in charge of ehr own family, not the meek dutiful daughter in law. Seriously, with DS yuo will never get a better opportunity to show your MIl who is boss.

All those correcting the spelling of Diwali- I am guessing the OP knows how to spell it in Hindi just fine grin. Let's not forget that it's been transcribed to a different alphabet so we non-Hindi speakers can read it- Diwali may be more common, but Dewali sounds the same so I guess it is just as good.

DeWe Mon 30-Sep-13 10:29:27

I know a little about Dewali, but I didn't know it's the sort of thing you would wish "Happy Dewali"-do you get cards and presents too?

What I'd suggest is rather than making hints (if you "hinted" by telling me the date then I wouldn't get what you were hinting) make it a family occasion. Set up the day, send them an invite, and show them what it means to you. Wish them happy Dewali-they won't necessarily wish it back, but maybe they'll thank you for a lovely day, and it will bring them closer to understanding your feelings.

And the person who said they feel a bit like a gatecrasher, really expressed how I would feel. If I didn't really do a festival, it would seem strange to me to wish people "happy festival" because it would feel quite empty-words without meaning.

I don't think your ds will see it as a slight on you or your religion. Just one side doesn't do it. My ILs do things differently to my side, and the dc all accept that.

When we were in India, our neighbours brought us Sugar cane and sweets for Dewali. Can you maybe drop of some festive sweets for your inlaws?

"If I didn't really do a festival, it would seem strange to me to wish people "happy festival" "

I have no problem saying this to Jewish friends for example, they know I dont share their belief, but they know I am thinking of them for their celebration. They wish me a merry Christmas too.

No sonly , not observing Diwali doesn't make them racist.

This not aproving of me because I am indian makes them racist.

Why are people making ridiculous excuses like "they may not know what the right greeting is"? Gods sake, it's not hard to find out what an appropriate greeting would be. 2 seconds on the internet, or ask their son if they gave a shit!

When you say 'returning presents' do you mean that they give them back to you or that they take them back to the store for a refund and buy something else? To me they would have a different meaning. If a person returned a present to me then I would see it as a snub/ rejection. If I found out that they had returned it to a store for a refund and bought something else then I would assume that I had just got their size/colour/taste wrong. E.g. I had bought plain black slippers and they had in mind big fluffy pink ones. I wouldn't be offended in that situation - I would rather that they had a present which they enjoyed.

AdventureTed Mon 30-Sep-13 11:31:40

It's your inlaws' choice whether they acknowledge diwali or not, but I would not let them cast a miserable shadow over it for you and your little one. It's about your Inner Light - shine by example, tactfully tell them how you feel and get your husband to meet you half way.

redexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 11:39:53

I think they don't realise a. that it means so much to you and b. that they are being so rude. I think it is up to DH to spell it out for them. If he has to threaten them with no Christmas then so be it, then they will understand how you feel.

If DH goes in all guns blazing then they will get defensive. He hsould probably be a bit more exploratory in his questions. Why don't you come over for Diwali? Is there something we could do to make you more comfortable?

I have an idea (but not realy a proper understanding) of what you're going through. FIL was NOT pleased when SIL started dating a muslim. They broke up after a few months, but I'm sure with some firm words from MIL he would have come around and celebrated Eid.

Pigsmummy Mon 30-Sep-13 11:53:21

I wouldn't expect people/family members that don't practice my religion to celebrate our festivals? Why would they if they don't practise that religion?

You chose to do Christmas, they don't have to choose to celebrate Dewali. This doesn't stop you celebrating however you want, tell them when and what are going to do this year to celebrate Dewali and invite them along. It's up to them if they want to attend.


nesticles Mon 30-Sep-13 12:14:16

Thank you everyone for your lovely responses.
Lol I know how to spell Diwali. I have never expected them to know how to selevrate it but just an acknowledgement of it would've nice. They are early 60s and not at all religious. I made such an effort for the last 3 years as dh's nana (96) came to hours with ils. she claimed I cooked a Christmas meal better than her daughter lol...didn't go down very well with mil. They were fine with me till we got engaged. she even told me that she "didn't want me to turn dh Indian". She is very volatile and tears and tantrums happen in an often daily basis. They use very dated language such "coloured" and I overheard her tell a friend that dh had married "an indian". I know i go to too much effort with them, but dh is in the middle and I don't ever want him to feel pressure from me. He always sticks up for me even though he gets loads of emotional blackmail in return. When i said return I mean they return everything to the shop. for the last few years I started asking for a list with specific links to things they wanted but as soon as the shops opened back it all went. Now that I have ds I have decided to have a vegie christmas this year as we are not having meat in the house as I want ds to be vegie...not sure how thats going to go down. I think i would be more understanding if they were religious. to the poster with Muslim aunt maybe for next Eid just send an Eid card she might really appreciate it. I know I would. Lady yu are wellcome to come and selebrate with us. we are raising ds bilingual and that went down like a S**t sandwiche lol x

Beastofburden Mon 30-Sep-13 12:19:56

Well on the presents thing OP next year you can give them some seriously shit very sweet homemade calendars that DS has made and printed with his ickle hand, or with photos, one for each month (YES including one of him celebrating Diwali). how can they complain? (evil chuckle).

They probably are a bit stupid and ignorant, and have stayed racist long after most of their generation got it together. Never mind, you sail your own boat and the moaning will die down now they have a lovely DGS. Trust me, my own MIL was a total witch until I sprogged. I was the right race, but a big disappointment to her, as I expected him to spend time with me and even my own family sometimes, and not every second weekend at their place...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Sep-13 12:34:34

Your DH's nana sounds brilliant, OP!

Good on you for having a veggie Christmas. It's your family, you do what you want.

I take your point about your DH being in the middle, but perhaps you could step back from making all the effort and, if he wants to continue doing it, he can take on more of the work?

I would LOVE to be invited to celebrate Diwali and would feel hugely honoured. It's your PILs' loss.

MNHQ, can we have a fireworks emoticon for Diwali?

pianodoodle Mon 30-Sep-13 12:39:18

Aw they just sound vile, going on your follow up posts.

I doubt if they were religious it would make any difference unfortunately some people are just horrible! their age or being set in their ways is no excuse either. Vile is vile.

As long as your husband supports you that's the main thing. Carry on as you would without a thought for them I say. I wouldn't value their opinions at all.

You've really gone out of your way and been far more patient than I ever could be! They should feel happy their DIL makes such an effort instead of being miserable and throwing it back in your face.

Viviennemary Mon 30-Sep-13 12:41:12

It is nice when other people join in the celebrations but I don't think forcing it is a good idea. I consider myself a Christian but wouldn't bother with Christmas if it was left up to me. It is far too commercialised and has lost its meaning. I agree that some people are just not interested.

enormouse Mon 30-Sep-13 12:58:34

I too would love to celebrate diwali with you OP. I'm Indian (Sikh though) and DP is Irish. I'm planning on hosting a little get together for it. So if youre in northern Ireland please drop by. smile

fackinell Mon 30-Sep-13 22:37:34

YANBU, how rude!! You make an effort to celebrate what is important to them, they should make an effort to understand Dewali and acknowledge it. They don't like curry? What, ANY type of curry? There isn't just one type! They sound pathetic, OP. I'd plan a celebration, tell them how important it is to welcome them to be part of your beliefs as you do for them and if they don't make an effort then I'd not bother having them over for Christmas.

kali110 Mon 30-Sep-13 22:40:05

Yanbu but i dont think i would bother being upset over them if theyre not going to change.
I think its lovely that you make an celebration for both op you sound lovely and your pil should count themselves lucky.

defineme Mon 30-Sep-13 22:46:25

I'm not sure why you have to host Christmas?
Just have a lovely family celebration with the 3 of you and see relatives on boxing day-loads of people do that, or go to their house and let them cook turkey.
If they return gifts then just get them're really being a bit silly going to so much effort...and I don't understand why you'd be present choosing when your dh could do it?
I think your inlaws are horrible bigoted people, but I think you need to stop pandering to them and your dh...his priority is you and your ds.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Mon 30-Sep-13 22:47:33

Jeez I wouldn't want them to visit ever let alone to come over when you are celebrating a lovely family holiday. I would keep quiet about it.

You should also stop catering for them at Christmas time. Do what you want but no more. I can't believe you cook them turkey shock

Donkeyok Mon 30-Sep-13 23:16:42

I 've just come home from Brownies tonight, we were making Diwali shadow puppets and put on great little play. We are preparing the girls for their culture badge and have decided to do many activities ( we made bangles and rangoli patterns last week, learning to wear saris and make sweets) leading up to the our Diwali party. We decided not to do Bonfire/Halloween this year and have the Diwali with fireworks instead.
Every one is so excited I think we will make it a permanent feature. It is such a lovely celebration why would anyone get po faced and not want to have a joyous celebration. Invite your ds friends and your family/friends to make your party numbers up. You have tried and don't need party poopers. Personally I wouldn't cook the turkey if your veggy. You have been overly generous but despite more uk people coming to Diwali celebrations your ILs are rejecting something important to you. Their loss. Yanbu to want them to share your passions and for them to respect your religion. But they don't - Why would they want to miss out on an Indian wedding? How fabulous darhlink smile. They live in a narrow minded small world. Have a fabulous time . I love the idea of the calendar with ds at Diwali photos in it and presents of sweets. (dont waste any more money or thought on the returned presents). They've used up their chances - get on and be happy. If you don't fuss over Christmas but do for Diwali they might swap over? confused

steppemum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:31:45

my dh is dutch and every year we do Sinter Klaas on 5th December.

My mum and dad still don't quite 'get it' really, but if they are there (not always) they make a point of joining in and being very positive about it all to dcs. My brothers don't even notice it is there and would be very surprised to be expected to do something for it.
But actually we wouldn't expect them to.

my Dutch IL do Christmas, but they do it completely differently and it doesn't include presents. It would never occur to them to do presents, just because we do. They do christmas differently.

It is hard balance to walk, sometimes I get upset on behalf of my dcs, when they seem to be the ones missing out. But then I remember that I was the one who made the choice to be different.

I think your dh is being a bit head in the sand ish. he has it both ways at the moment. You do diwali and christmas for him. When is he going to be more involved in inviting his family over, explaining to them what it means and what would be nice to do etc. he is the bridge and it is up to him to be more pro-active in being that bridge.

LessMissAbs Mon 30-Sep-13 23:56:55

YABU - it is entirely voluntary to celebrate any festival and unfair to impose a choice on your inlaws. You haven't married them, you married the man your DH is. So if you want to celebrate Dewali, do so, invite them and show them how important it is to you. Only if they show disrespect towards your choice would I object, but I wouldn't impose a choice of religious festival upon anyone.

For instance, I am part Dutch. I would not expect my inlaws to celebrate Zwaarte Pieter. That would be a ridiculous expectation on my part.

Tash28 Tue 01-Oct-13 00:13:57

Read the op and a little way down into the comments. Thought i would add my 2 cents in.

I am from a mixed parentage. We celebrated Christmas from my atheist English mums side and my dad foreign new year (equivalent to Christmas). We celebrated Christmas with those who also celebrated it and foreign new year with those who wanted to. My mums side never got involved with the foreign stuff. Do I consider them rude? No! This was a mixing of 2 cultures and I am the result of that mix, not my gps or aunts or uncles and my dad wouldn't expect them to anyway. It was important to him so his family (being us, the immediates) celebrated but he didn't get offended when people who had no knowledge/understanding or (quite reasonably in my opinion) any desire to get involved didn't. Just because you believe in something does not mean that they have to celebrate it with you.

Re Christmas, you have a dh who celebrates christmas therefore I would expect that you would to just as he should with Diwali.

In relation to the issue of Diwali, yabu.

If you were in India with dh then I would expect that Diwali would be the bigger deal over Xmas.

If you don't want to do christmas dinner then don't.

It is yours and dh responsibility to ensure that dc celebrates both and not the gps.

With regard to the history and previous issues I would be fuming. That, in my opinion, is where the line was crossed. If they don't accept or are rude to you then don't entertain them. It's as simple as that for me.

thebody Tue 01-Oct-13 00:30:39

what a Shame op, we arnt religious really but I would hope that if any of my 4 marry a religious person then we would respect them and support them.

mind you we love a celebration in our house. the more the merrier. from the little I know if divali it sounds lovely.

the returning of presents is rude and hurtful.

raisah Tue 01-Oct-13 01:11:54

I think you should stop hosting Christmas and going ott in accommodating your in laws. I think you are looking at it from an Indian cultural angle (I am asian) where inlaws mix more than they do here. My pils (now deceased) were on good terms with my dps & socialised without my dh & I.

Celebrate xmas for your dp & dc but not for your inlaws, they barely tolerate you so its not fair on you to be in the company of people like that. It is a form of indirect very subtle racism and they are using you because you are being the accommodating dil. They wouldnt have got away with treating you like this if you were white British.

Why not celebrate Christmas by yourself this year without pils & establish your own traditions? Pop in to see dh family to exchange gifts but dont go out of your way to be so accommodating.

Could you host a diwali party for friends & family and invite them along? If they turn up then good but if they dont then you have your own network and you dont need them.

Remember that you don't need them but they need you more than they realise.

Mimishimi Tue 01-Oct-13 05:11:44

I think you are possibly expecting too much. I'd say it's more a generational thing than an active dismissal of you and your background. My DH is Hindu and my parents have never shown much, if any, interest in Diwali. They would never send a card for it. My parents are quite religious and it would probably make them uncomfortable as they would associate it with supporting idol worship. If your in-laws are not religious, perhaps they don't show much interest in Xmas either (especially if they are letting their non-Christian DIL do all the work!)? My brothers have shown quite a bit more interest in the cultural side of Diwali, making it a point to turn up for the sweets and the celebrations in our suburb each year. grin That being said, my side of the family would not be expecting my DH to go to great lengths with their religious celebrations/presents either. Why don't you encourage your in-laws to host?

I do find the attitude in India is quite different too - everybody celebrates everybody else's festivals all the time. I think that's lovely and I really enjoy being invited over for Eid, Christmas or Nowruz parties from neighbouring houses. However that is not really the prevailing cultural attitude in Western countries - probably something to do with the exclusive attitudes of the religions (or the clergy) and their historical development in the West. Everyone tends to keep it all a bit to themselves and those who are religious tend not to be as relaxed about theological diversity. I think as long as your DH is not dismissive of your traditions (I love lighting the diyas and think it can easily be related to many religious teachings from Abrahamic derived religions regarding light within us), you should try not to let it bother you.

wannaBe Tue 01-Oct-13 11:03:23

Yabu. Religion is very personal, and to expect someone to embrace your religion which they A, may know nothing about, and B, may not agree with is unreasonable.

When you enter into a relationship with someone who is of a different faith than you then you do IMO owe it to them to embrace their religion and acknowledge the celebrations which come with that, e.g. you acknowledging your dh’s need to celebrate Christmas and his acknowledgement of your faith and need to celebrate dewali. A mixed cultural relationship can only work if each is accepting and embracing of the other’s beliefs, even if they do not share them there is at least a need to acknowledge them.

However the extended family do not choose to enter into a relationship with someone who is of such a different faith to them, and while I agree that they should be respectful of the fact that your beliefs are different to theirs, I do not agree that they should enter into your religious celebrations. Those celebrations/holidays are personal to that religion, and if they do not believe in or accept that religion then that should be their choice.

While your hosting Christmas for your ILs may seem wrong to you by contrast, what you need to remember is that you are hosting Christmas for your dh, and that his family come as part of that. It’s no different to you expecting your dh to be a part of dewali for your family, or indeed to have been a part of your traditional Indian wedding, because he is your dh and has made a conscious choice to marry you, iyswim.

And whoever said that rejecting someone’s religion makes them a racist is being ridiculous. Plenty of people don’t agree with religion, even the religion they have grown up in. Chooseing to follow a particular religion is and should always be a choice not an expectation.

Preciousbane Tue 01-Oct-13 11:23:02

I am a mixed race so parents had two very different belief sets.

Everyone should be able to practice their religious belief system as long as that system does not harm others. I actually don't think people should be made to celebrate a religious festival if they don't subscribe to that religion if they don't want to.

I think the real problem is they don't like you and you don't like them. Maybe their dislike is racist, very possibly.

frogspoon Tue 01-Oct-13 11:27:36

YABU to expect them to acknowledge your religious festival when from what you have said they don't particularly like you or approve of you anyway. I wouldn't expect too much of them, they don't sound very nice.

If you normally got on well and had a good relationship, I would have expected them to wish you a happy Diwali or something, but seeing as you don't have a close relationship, I think you are expecting too much of them.

weaselish Tue 01-Oct-13 11:30:10

I think you are possibly expecting a little too much here. I am English and my husband is Hindu.

We celebrate Christmas with my family, and Diwali with his family - both are great, and my DD gets the best of both worlds. I don't expect my mother to embrace Diwali - why should she, it's not her religion? Equally I am not in the least bothered that my PILs don't send Christmas cards, do presents or put a tree up.

It is mine and my husband's responsibility to ensure that DD learns about both aspects of her culture, not my mother's or PILs, although they are of course instrumental in sharing each individual aspect with her. My mother is of course welcome at Diwali, just as my PILs are welcome at Christmas time - but there is no expectation or obligation and certainly no bad feelings.

Similar to your PILs, my mother (73) would not really want to eat indian food - and my PILs equally wouldn't really know what to do with a roast turkey dinner. This doesn't make them disrespectful to other cultures.

I think you possibly need to lower your expectations a bit, and also not try so hard to bend over backwards for them as well. Why can't they host you for Christmas, instead of you having to do it all, and as a vegetarian, having to cook a turkey?

Bonsoir Tue 01-Oct-13 11:32:15

I think that when there are two religions in a couple it is probably best for each one to celebrate their own culture. You are probably over involved in celebrating Christmas.

workhouse Tue 01-Oct-13 11:48:24

I don't think that this has anything to do with religion at all it is simply manners. If I had an Indian DIL, especially one who was lovely enough to embrace Christmas and cook and give me a lovely time, I would have the MANNERS to at least wish her a Happy Diwali.

Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 11:49:36


I think weaselish has said what I think.

There is no reason why the two sides of your family can't celebrate their separate religions with you/DH/DS.

It's great to include your in laws in your Christmas arrangements, and generous of you, but Christmas is the celebration they will have grown up with and is ingrained in them. It is normality to them.

If my DSes married someone from a different culture I would do my utmost to learn all about it and become involved, but I would imagine the majority of older people are too set in their ways to do that, especially as in your case, unfortunately they didn't exactly welcome you into the family on the first place.

Doubtfuldaphne Tue 01-Oct-13 14:55:29

Just throw a dewali party and invite your friends. Your son will love it and hopefully the IL's will make the effort or at least your dh will.
My dh is from a Hindu family and I love getting involved in Hindu celebrations.
invite them and hope they come. If they don't it's their loss. The ILs aren't the be all and end all of a marriage anyway smile

nesticles Wed 02-Oct-13 17:15:23

Dear all, thank you for taking the time to respond. Never hav I said in my posts that I want the ILS to selebrate Diwali, just an acknowledgement of in my first post starting the thread. So no I'm not asking them to selebrate in something they don't believe in. I simply would like them to remember really? is that too much to ask? a little bit of respect? How would you respond if my mil posted that my Hindu dil just ignores christmas?

frogwatcher42 Wed 02-Oct-13 17:25:38

Nesticles - I think it would be fine if your mil posted that her hindu dil just ignored christmas. She would get told to recognize that her dil was hindu and therefore christmas wouldn't mean anything to her.

YABU imo as you are expecting too much. Most people celebrating chrismas are doing so for a party reason, break from work, presents etc. Not for religious reasons - rightly or wrongly! Your inlaws should never have to acknowledge or remember celebration days of a religion that they do not believe in.

Why on the earth do you do so much for Christmas if you don't want to? I can understand that for your dc you feel you have to as it is probably the main celebration in the UK. But you do not have to make it religious. Dewali, as I understand it, is still regarded very much as a religious festival and therefore your pil would be acknowledging something they don't believe in and shouldn't have to remember the date for.

harticus Wed 02-Oct-13 19:15:51

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all - I think they could make an effort to be polite at the very least.
But inlaws are strange beasts.
My ex was Jewish and my side of the family willingly mucked in with all manner of Jewish celebrations eventhough they are committed atheists. It is about respect and curiosity too - why don't people want to open themselves up to new experiences?

Anyway celebrate Dewali amongst your little family and forget about the ILs. The only person who really matters in all of this is your son. Don't let Dewali become a bone of contention in the family - it is a lovely festival.

SeaSickSal Wed 02-Oct-13 19:48:48

Considering that Dewali is quite a fun festival have you considered actually inviting them to celebrate it with you?

Explaining to them what it is and asking them to come enjoy the fun?

They can't ignore it if you specifically invite them and if they don't come and join in then you are definitely in the right and have the right to kick off about it.

pigletmania Wed 02-Oct-13 20:01:26

I agree beast, I don't think they care, they are still not accepting of you, by the way they act towards you, and return the presents. Stop trying to please them, don't host Christmas, and don't buy resents (that is unacceptable returning any present). Do your own celebrations at home f Christmas ad Dwali, and teach him about your culture and language.

Mimishimi Wed 02-Oct-13 21:27:24

It depends. I couldn't see my parents complaining (DH doesn't do anything for Christmas apart from show up with me and the kids) and, rightly, they would see that making other people follow/acknowledge/admire our respective religious traditions is not a core part of our beliefs. What sort of acknowledgement are you expecting?

Chunderella Thu 03-Oct-13 08:18:54

Exactly workhouse. While there's no obligation to celebrate, close family members ought to be aware of important dates and occasions in each other's lives and acknowledge them accordingly. So a card, text or phone call for Dewali would be appropriate, just as it would for a birthday.

SunshineMMum Thu 03-Oct-13 09:18:01

If they were Christian or another religion, it would explain why they wouldn't take part in the celebration, however they should acknowledge it as a matter of respect for you.

nesticles Fri 04-Oct-13 18:45:58

Hi all,
Sorry for taking ages rl is getting to demanding. I don't expect them to selebrate, I don't expect presents or any partaking of the festivities just a phone call wishing me happy Diwali. Am I really asking too much? I feel sad for my ds that he might grow up his gps derespecting his mother's beliefs. But perhaps I am unreasonable! Hmmmm!

Loving "shit sandwich" grin
Ignore the miserable gits, you sound fab and if I were your MIL I would be thanking all my gods that you married my son.

nesticles Mon 07-Oct-13 15:24:59

Thank you Katie. We have done what others have suggested and invited them to our Diwali party. They have politely refused. Oh well I will have an amazing time with DH our friends and family with fireworks, food and prezies. Yay!

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Mon 07-Oct-13 15:33:54

Have a lovely party, OP! It's their loss.

forehead Mon 07-Oct-13 15:37:54

Have a great time OP.
BTW, i think that you should 'politely' choose not to do Christmas this year.
I actually pity your pil, they are missing out on so much.

ZZZenagain Mon 07-Oct-13 15:48:27

I think they will never come round to calling you to wish you a happy diwali. Best try to let go off that, it will just keep hurting you if you expect something that never comes. Invite them every year and don't expect them to come.

Generally though YANBU to be unhappy with their rejection of you and your Background. This is a hard one to have to deal with. Sorry it has been like this for you so far

nesticles Tue 08-Oct-13 10:37:49

Thank you. I think I've just been flogging a dead horse if I'm really being honest with myself. How two people raised my kind, caring and open minded dh I'll never understand. I think cos they were fine with me till we got engaged I've found the last 3 years or so a hard adjustment and it feels so personal. I will do Christmas for dh and ds as they've done nothing wrong but I'll do it my'll be vegie, I'll invite some friends who I know for a fact have no family in the UK and it will be all about the kids. stands a bit taller and cancils the turkey crown

Scarifying Tue 08-Oct-13 10:41:12

You go girl! grin

Nutroasts all round.

Milkjug Tue 08-Oct-13 10:56:06

Good for you, OP. And have a lovely Diwali. I'm Catholic, and I'm definitely going to be celebrating with friends!

nesticles Tue 08-Oct-13 13:15:04

Thanks, I sent the email to mil about vegie Christmas and am just waiting for the outrage. dh is completely behind this and is happy to try something new. Anyone have any good vegie Christmas dinner recipes? I'm done caring and trying and hoping. I have now also decided to start pulling mil and fil up on words like coloured and halfcast. I am done trying to keep the peace and playing nice. Thanks to all the posters who read my post and understood that I wasn't asking for pils to selebrate anything they didn't believe in just to acknowledge. I hope ds grows up to be open minded and interested in other people's beliefs and customs.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Tue 08-Oct-13 13:40:57

Good on you, OP! We're all here for you if any shit hits fans grin

As for Christmas dinner, what would you cook for any special meal? Just make the things you love and love sharing with people. That's what celebratory food is all about IMO.

Donkeyok Tue 08-Oct-13 21:14:34

Glad to hear your going to have a wonderful Diwali. Can you recommend Indian sweets for brownies (not Indian to try for first time at their party don't know any suppliers near Stockport?)

Donkeyok Tue 08-Oct-13 21:16:34

Glad to hear your going to have a wonderful Diwali. Can you recommend Indian sweets for brownies (not Indian to try for first time at their party don't know any suppliers near Stockport?)

Donkeyok Tue 08-Oct-13 21:17:13

whoops blush

Blu Tue 08-Oct-13 21:44:42

nesticles, I think you are doing brilliantly in a very difficult situation, given the horrible attitudes of your ILs.

My DP is a 'cultural Hindu' - that is to say his family celebrate Diwali wholeheartedly in a cultural sense but are not really religious. And my family, non-religious, cultural English, are invited to a Diwali dinner, fireworks, mithai etc and everyone has a great time. This works very well for DS, and ideally in a multi-cultural family it is a positive thing if people are enthusiastically reciprocal and treat each culture equally, and I can see why you would like that for your child. 'When in Rome' and 'my house my rules' are such mean-minded reductive ways of thinking, IMO!

However, your ILs might be at a loss, or worried about 'doing it wrong', it's hard to know the exact date to acknowledge Diwali, and they sound as if they are inflexible, and unadventurous and set in their ways. Just invite them over and hope they have a good time. And if they are snotty about it, next year invite them to Holi and don't warn them grin.

Blu Tue 08-Oct-13 21:46:55

Oh, sorry, I missed your post that says they have declined the Diwali invitation.

Their loss!

Such a shame that they will understand so little of half their grandchild's life.

Mimishimi Wed 09-Oct-13 05:53:31

And happy Navratri OP smile

Mimishimi Wed 09-Oct-13 06:08:46

I have a really good semi-vegetarian (it has eggs) Christmas recipe with sweet potato which everyone, non-vegetarians included, loved a couple of years ago when the in-laws were over and we invited sone friends as well. It was a bit tricky to make the roulade base (I'm hopeless with eggwhites) but worked out very well when they were beaten in a plastic bowl instead of a metal one.

Just tried to find the link but it doesn't show up at the top for me to copy directly so go to and type in sweet potato and leek roulade in the recipe search box. You don't need to be a member or buy the magazine (yet). It was awesome with their cranberry relish recipe ( one by Alison Adams).

2 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks
170g pkt craisins (dried cranberries)
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) red wine
125ml (1/2 cup) water
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 dried bay leaf
a pinch of ground cinnamon.

nesticles Wed 09-Oct-13 12:43:54

Oh gosh! I can not imagine ils at Holi. I wanna do it and hope they come for the commedy value. Thanks for the recipe...are eggs a big part of the recipe or can I leave them out or swap for an egg replacer? I'm near London so am not sure about Stock Port but if you go in to an indian restaurant they might be able to point you in the right dirrection. I do feel sad for ds that he won't grow up seeing gps take part in that half of him but hopefully if I don't make a big deal of it it won't matter. However mean my ils are to me I don't want ds to think badly of them. I wouldn't have my lovely dh if it wasn't for them so I should be greatful for that.

Chopstheduck Wed 09-Oct-13 15:15:03

grin at in laws at Holi, you should so do it! Purely for the benefit of your little one of course...grin

I would go with whatever is special to your family at Christmas. We did a huge indian feast one year, full works with bhajia starters, lots of different currys, all veggie. You could even do homemade shrikhand for dessert! The only thing that was annoying was spending an hour in the kitchen making roti for eleven people.

Donkeyok - I found this, that is a chain, not brilliant sweets, but perfectly adequate.

227 Wilmslow Road
Manchester M14 5AG

it's 5 miles from Stockport. For kids def try the jalebi (pronounced more like gell-oh-bee) and chocolate burfi. (bur-fee) Both words with emphasis on the first syllabel. You could also get some gathia (gart-ee--ah). which my boys absolutely love. It's a deep fried savoury snack.

RunRabbit Wed 09-Oct-13 15:59:53

I don't think this has anything to do with their not acknowledging a Religious holiday TBH.

Afraid of turning your H Indian, referring to people as coloured, not approving of you because you're Indian.... They sound racist.

I would definitely not be bending over backwards to please them.

Accept that they may never approve of you and move on and live your life with your family.

amicissimma Wed 09-Oct-13 19:14:51

As I Christian I was wincing at your description of Christmas. It is primarily a celebration of love. There's nothing loving about returning presents. And did you really say "lists"??? I know Jesus was the son of God, but the Bible doesn't suggest he was up to spelling frankincense and myrrh by the time the kings reached him. The tree and turkey and even cards are Victorian conventions.

I'd be inclined to keep on inviting the ILs to Dewali, regardless of their response, and to have the sort of Christmas that you and your DH want your DS to experience. I guess it would keep you on the moral highground to wish your ILs happy Christmas and invite them to you on your terms. But let them have their materialistic Christmas on their own!

I really hope that you, your DH and DS enjoy celebrating the festivals you want to celebrate, including whoever you want, and leave other people to do their own thing.

Donkeyok Wed 09-Oct-13 21:04:26

Thank you chopstheduck I will definitely get there. Thanks so much for the suggestions. Its great to be authentic flowers

goingmadinthecountry Wed 09-Oct-13 22:21:42

My outlaws don't talk to me anyway, but if they did I'd expect them to join in any celebrations that came from me/my side of family. Hey, they are racist old school "British" so I could whistle all year.

Personally I love the idea of merging family celebrations and marking new stuff. That's how we evolve as humans. Happy Diwali.

howrudeforme Wed 09-Oct-13 22:26:37

Oh dunno -really don't - grew up in an Hindu/Christian household and I'm old. Yet it wasn't really christian or hindu if I'm honest because they weren't particularly devout in either of their faiths.

I don't ever remember english gran at big hindu funerals or diwali or any other indian getogether just like my indian gran had no concept of christmas etc. Didn't compromise me at all because I was not brought up in a religious tug of war - rather these events were merely about CULTURE and the various facets of my family. It was actually fun.

And that's where you probably feel aggrieved - that you're trying to keep your roots in an environment that is not default yours.

I'm at the stage where my friends call to say happy diwali and i repond 'bloody hell - better phone my mum'. I phone my mum with greetings and she's 'bloody hell - is it? I'd better phone the family with greetings etc'. The only reason I know christmas because it's pretty big on the calendar and a public holiday. I struggle with it.

But I get you in this way - these days people are really into diversity (in the UK at least) and so I'm totally miffed that my italian in laws instisted on serving beef at my bloody wedding even after I explained I wanted to invite my mum's family who are veggie!And that they bemoan the fact that their grandkid is not yet baptised. The fact their grandchild is part asian is unmentionable. So it's about culture in my view.

We want our upbringings validated.

My mum made the christian festival effort because she came to live in a christian country (makes her no less hindu). I make the effort in Italy because it's a catholic country but I don't in the UK. My dad made the effort in Brazil as it's a catholic country but he doesn't in the UK.

So, I'm sort of on the fence. Get what you're saying but it's about culture really IMO and my experience.

nesticles Thu 10-Oct-13 16:51:02

Thanks...I've found it really interesting listening to someone who grow up in a hindu and christian household. My parents are quite religious so my faith is a big part of my life. I get the wedding and mixing cultures mil caused such an awful fight that her and my relationship will never be the same. I just think the complete regection of me and what I believe in is a bit hard. When ds was born and we told people the name she was like "thank god it isn't an indian name" I in my painkiller state said "Thank god your just his grandma and won't be able to fill his ears full of such racist crap on a da daily basis...and don't forget mil he is half indian so will probably get browner as he gets older! Now kindly leave as I want to bond with my ds without you spoiling it!" felt so good!

howrudeforme Thu 10-Oct-13 20:35:52

Oh I see... They have previous. My english gran was not like that - she was a little innocent who saw people as individuals - but she wouldn't have know what diwali was. She never gave my mum meat but I do remember clearly that she gave me bacon sarnies when she looked after me which I loved when I was in primary school. Mum had no problem with it. Gran died in the early '90s and I still miss her.

I now think it's really less about your faith but rather trying to get your culture a tiny bit of affirmation from ils who are cold and disapproving and racist.

Dunno what you do but I think you expecting a phone call just not worth it. A lip service phone call at diwali isn't affirmation. They need to start treating you as a valid individual.

Can I also say my dh has never once given me a diwali greeting - he knows perfectly well when it is. I go along with christmas because it's all around us and it's nice (I'm not religious btw). He's from a culture that's very dismissive of other cultures.

I hope your dh can support you in this like my df was with mum.

But mum didn't do a veggie household as she was in the UK and wanted me to mix with the general population who ate meat. She grew up veggie - does eat meat (never beef) but has a meat eating culture (although she doesn't seem to eat it herself. I know lots of people who are veggie (animal rights) and also vegan but don't do it for their kids.

The name thing - ok -well my ds has an italian surname so I ensured there was a first name that was english and also Italian. Harder with Indian names, I know. I got around it by using middle names which were grandads' first names - to placate.

I'd suggest that if you need to host christmas you have both a vegetarian and the old traditional whatever ils like (turkey?) and if you struggle to be involved with meat, your dh can cook it. HOWEVER, the deal is that if they host christmas lunch they ensure there is a decent vegetarian option - it's called inclusive. It's not hard.

I cater for veggies and also non pork and it's really very very easy.

I've celebrated christmas with my mum's family and mum made both meat and veggie.

Best of luck. You're doing your best and they are still difficult - acknowlegment of your faith celebrations is of zero importance imo when right now you need acknowledgement that you are the mother of their dgrandkids.

You should accomodate their meat eating (at christmas etc) and they must understand you are a vegetarian and cater for it.

If, as a household you go vegetarian - understand that they'll think their ds is doing it for your religious reasons. Have you planned for this?

Can you live somewhere very far away from them?

I live near Leicester, and it's can be a really good atmosphere around Diwali with all the festivities.

When we had Hindu neighbours we were offered Indian party foods which were lovely. I'm atheist but still wished them a Happy Diwali. And I remember when a Muslim brought in some gorgeous sweets his wife had prepared to celebrate Eid. It would have been rude to refuse, and why be rude to people just because you can be?

If either of my children were to have a partner who came from another culture, race, etc, I would make the effort to understand, because that other culture, race, religion would be a large part of the DC's life. Even if they didn't celebrate themselves, their partner might do, so I would want to be able to understand the things important to a future DIL/Son in law.

Caitlin17 Thu 10-Oct-13 23:08:36

I think you are being unreasonable. Your religion is important to you, not to your inlaws. Why do you want them to be involved in a religious celebration which means nothing to them, their absence doesn't stop you and your family celebrating it. If anything I'd have thought the less than willing participation of people for whom it has no meaning would cheapen the event. Diwali is not comparable to Christmas, Christmas is so universal the religious element can almost be ignored. For me it's more of a celebration of the end of another year.

If they are otherwise nice to you, remember your birthday and things like that, that's enough. If they're not otherwise nice to you that is another matter.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 10-Oct-13 23:39:37

Yanbu. You sound lovely and very generous of spirit.

Donkeyok Fri 11-Oct-13 19:43:12

Caitlin did you read the last post about MIL previous racism!

nesticles Fri 11-Oct-13 23:09:14

Caitlin! I am not asking anyone to selebrate anything they don't bloody believe in...I just am asking for a happy Diwali phone call that isn't selebrating is it? and yes Eiwali is comperable to Christmas to what you are saying is that I should go through the motions at Christmas because its what you do and put up and shut up about something as important for me? Donkey if you were near London my mum and dad have an indian sweet shop I would've given you some. Chops it's amazing what ds will a word everything, phajias, Curry and pickles. he gets in to a huge mess but loves it. mil is apalled at blw and curry eating. The sh*t has hit the fan regarding vegie Christmas. I wouldn't've done it I don't think if I'd felt more respected. They are threatening not coming and dh has told them that they can stay at home if they feel so strongly! Ooh God!

SanityClause Fri 11-Oct-13 23:16:00

Wow, Caitlin! That's an arrogant post!


MorrisZapp Fri 11-Oct-13 23:24:48

Why do you want a happy Dewali phonecall from a racist person you can't stand? Genuine question.

Why not just treat them as most people do with their inlaws, ie polite chit chat that neither side investing much in it?

I had no idea people expected so much from the inlaw relationship until I came to MN. I have lovely inlaws, but I've got naff all in common with them. I see them a few times a year.

Tash28 Fri 11-Oct-13 23:32:45

I didn't find Caitlin's post arrogant. I interpreted it as saying it's not comparable because Christmas has evolved from a religious celebration to a cultural one. Culture and religion are 2 different things and therefore not comparable, not because Diwali is not equal to Christmas. Although to be frank in a western country for the most part it's not going to be.

Nesticles, I think yabu. Even a phone call, why would it occur to them to do it? They don't celebrate it and so why take offence if they don't understand/know how to celebrate it? In your original post they had done much worse yet you seem to be focussing on this. I'm mixed, my family, dh and ds will celebrate
an additional holiday. My ils don't celebrate it and therefore it has no meaning to them, they don't stop us from celebrating it and I take no offence that they aren't bothered by it because there is no reason for them to be.

To me it seems a bit like you are trying to force it upon them and I don't really understand why if dh is supporting you.

I think the sooner you let this issue go the more content you will be.

MorrisZapp Fri 11-Oct-13 23:42:33

Absolutely what Tash said. Given the nature of your relationship, why focus on this?

Donkeyok Sat 12-Oct-13 00:16:59

Thanks OP for the offer of real Indian sweets I used to live in London but are harder to find ontop of a hill in the Peak District but have been directed to a great shop by Chopstheduck.

I think we live in HOPE that we will all have a happy accepting family and
endeavour to make it so Tash and Morris.

Tash28 Sat 12-Oct-13 00:23:40

Yes, but I fail to see how this phone call will make them (ils or op) happy or accepting.

Caitlin17 Sat 12-Oct-13 01:15:31

Christmas is a mass cultural event in the UK with almost universal closing of shops and offices and in which most of the population get involved. Diwali may be of great spiritual relevance to those who celebrate it but it is not a mass event in the UK. That is why it is not comparable.

I don't see the point of fretting about the fact people who don't like you and who you don't much like don't want to get involved. Build up your own family celebrations with family and friends who want to be there.

I suppose I don't think of my inlaws as family. I've never much cared what any of them think of me, although it's political rather than cultural differences for me.

Blu Sat 12-Oct-13 08:20:59

Wrt the cultural status of Diwali, it depends where you are. It has a massive cultural presence beyond the religious, the London sky is lit with fireworks from many directions, there have been huge Diwali festivals in Trafalgar Sq with mass attendance in the same way that Chinese New Year pulls in a mixed following, DP's Muslim cousins went to Trafalgar Sq just because Diwali is a major cultural festival in their country of origin. It isn't a quit spiritual moment observed only by the devout.

But obviously it isn't on many people's radar, or apparent in their area, and it makes no difference because the OP's ILs are small minded ungracious idiots!

nesticles Thu 17-Oct-13 19:19:48

Thank you everyone. I am quite shocked. fil (who is lovely and open away from mil) called me up just now and told me that he was sorry about mil's response and that they would love to except our invitation and what is traditional to bring to a Diwali party? and what could they get ds as a Diwali present? I am for the first time quite at a loss as to what to say. wow!

Result! grin

IHaveA Thu 17-Oct-13 20:39:49

That is great.

...and I know you will welcome them to the celebrations with good grace because you sound lovely unlike your MIL

Strumpetron Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:11

You made all that effort on Christmas and they can't even wish you happy Diwali?

Well OP from me, I hope you have a lovely 'un!

Strumpetron Thu 17-Oct-13 21:25:27

and yay great result!

Donkeyok Thu 17-Oct-13 21:33:57

My goodness, well you must have sent some positive thoughts out there. I'm so pleased I hope you get them to bring all your favourite goodies as it seems you have a chance of sharing Diwali now.
So happy for you all - result smile

Hulababy Thu 17-Oct-13 21:55:08

nesticles - Hopefully this means that your PILs have had long think over what has been said recently and what the consequences of their previous actions have now been. Or at leats it looks like fil has and has spoken to MIL and putting things into gear now. I hope this positive move continues for you ll.

It is really important for your DS to have both sets of grandparents taking an interest in both sets of festivities for him.

I cant understand why people wouldn't try to learn more about a close family members festivities and cultures. Surely it would be odd not to try and educate yourself a little bit, know more about them and what they believe and celebrate. A card or a message wishing them a good day on the relevant occasion is hardly a big ask!

For example. This week has been Eid. I have a number of children at my school who have been celebrating on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, many missing 1-2 days of school for this reason. A couple of members of staff too. I have said "Eid Mubarak" to them. It didn't feel strange or odd hmm - it just felt like the right think to say. Just like, come December, many will give me a Christmas card even though they don't really celebrate Christmas at home.

zipzap Fri 18-Oct-13 01:12:44

If you want a veggie main course, a savoury galette can be very impressive. It's basically a stack of pancakes with filling between the different layers - think a big circular lasagne. You can put what you want between the layers - either go down the traditional veggie lasagne route and alternate a tasty tomato/veggie sauce with a cheese or White sauce and cheese on top. Or complimentary layers of different curries. Or Italian ricotta and spinach with a mushroom medley. Or chestnuts, chestnut purée and lentils and goats cheese. Or Stilton and broccoli. Or roasted mediterranean veg. Or whatever your family loves, adapt into two or three fillings and a topping...

You'll end up with a big cake that looks impressive and unexpected - as you expect cake to be pudding. Think about how it will look when you cut it, whether you alternate layers or have several different ones or a rainbow of colours or have a dramatic one in the middle for effect (beetroot? Black lentils?). And make sure there's enough moisture in the meal - whether it's sauce in the galette or extra sauce to pour over afterwards or something like cranberry relish or onion marmalade on the side.

A friend has said she has started to use the round tortillas from the supermarket instead of lasagne when making lasagne and that there's no difference, they taste great and are much easier. I haven't tried it yet but maybe you could also use tortillas instead of pancakes - if you find some that fit your cake tin you could build it up very quickly when your fillings are ready.

Glad to hear that you've had positive communication from your fil. And hope that you really enjoy Diwali and christmas whoever you celebrate them with!

CanucksoontobeinLondon Fri 18-Oct-13 01:28:09

So glad to hear FIL made that phone call. Awesome news!

Speaking as someone who's in a multicultural marriage myself, sometimes the small gestures are a big deal.

garlicvampire Fri 18-Oct-13 01:38:14

Oh, wow! I was all fired up to add to the chorus of "give up on them" but I'm so glad you didn't! Well done, that FIL!

Now you can start stressing about entertaining them grin

Chunderella Fri 18-Oct-13 07:42:50

That's great news OP! It will be brilliant for DS to have all the people he cares about sharing important occasions with him.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Fri 18-Oct-13 14:23:29

Oh, that's lovely of your FIL! Give em a Dewali to remember. (and I still want to come grin )

Chopstheduck Sun 20-Oct-13 08:58:40

aww that is lovely! I am really pleased for you smile

nesticles Tue 12-Nov-13 23:37:52

Hi everyone, Just back for an update. We had the party and Fil got in to the spirit of the event but Mil was really rude and kept whispering in to dh's ear how different it all was...and what went wrong or how unorganised some things were. I didn't know this till later. I'm still glad we did it but dh has told me they can't come again because they just make him angry. Ds loved every second of it and the fireworks and food was all hoovered. I am glad we tried. Thanks for listening. x

mitchsta Wed 13-Nov-13 16:05:35

Re: Kicking up a fuss around your Indian wedding... please don't assume that, had you been a fair-haired English rose, your inlaws would've made life any easier for you. It's quite possible that they'd have found fault with anything you did - when it comes to weddings, ILs were made to whinge about napkins, cakes, cars, guests, etc... your Indian wedding was just too obvious for them to overlook if they're the whinging type. Quite possible that no woman out there would ever be good enough for their precious son either. Try not to see it as a personal attack on you - more of a reflection of them as ignorant moaners individuals.

Re: Christmas... I'm Catholic. I enjoy celebrating Christmas from both a religious perspective and naff-Christmas jumper/mulled wine perspective. However, I'm also a vegetarian. And as accommodating as I am to my OH's meat eating, there's no way I could bring myself to cook a Christmas turkey. Just no. It's great that you're trying, but TBH it sounds like you're trying too hard. A vegetarian shouldn't be expected to cook a turkey. You would be very much excused from this duty by most normal human beings if you didn't want to do it. Let DH do the turkey if that's what he wants.

Re: Dewali... Considering your inlaws "can't stand foreign food" I think you're going to have to accept that it'll take some explaining about why Dewali means so much to you - and how much it would mean if they would join you, DH and DS in celebrating. It's great that your son is so young, because you can teach IL's about Dewali as you teach him. Then (hopefully) they'll appreciate what it means to you all. I don't know much about traditional Dewali food, but isn't a lot of it snacks - picky things and sweets, kind of like bright buffet food? Maybe a little background on what you'll serve them might help - so they don't expect to be force-fed plates of curry.

I definitely think an invitation and a bit of an explanation about why you want to make a big deal of Dewali now your son is here would be a good start. Good luck xxx

mitchsta Wed 13-Nov-13 16:11:35

Ooops! Should've RTFT. I think you should keep inviting ILs. I know you said DH gets annoyed, but the more times they celebrate with you, the less 'different' they'll think it all is in the long run.

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