Editor’s Note: We got this interesting guest post from Nikita Gupta who is an African American woman married to an Indian man from North India.
The surname Gupta, गुप्ता is one of the most prevalent in the Indian community. It is a surname that I, Nikita Gupta have become accustomed to owning for the last 7.5 years of my life. I would say it is one that I have grown to love. Hence, the lifestyle blog Growing up Gupta was birthed. Growing up Gupta was created as a means for my husband and I to talk about our unique family. It’s not everyday that you hear of an African-American woman marrying an Indian man (whose parents are originally from Northern India). However, we have been blissfully married for 7.5 years and have 1 child (Amaya) who is now 2.5 years old. Our lifestyle blog is dedicated to uncovering the joys and hurdles of interracial dating and marriage, parenting a biracial/half Indian child, career hacks, and the funny unpredictability of life.
My husband passed me the telephone and my mother in-law transitioned from Hindi to English. “Hi, Nikita how are you, it’s going to be Karwa Chauth in 3 day’s time. Are you going to keep Karwa Chauth for your husband?” “Karwa Chauth”, I muttered, like a deer in headlights. I had never heard those words before. I quickly gave my husband the side eye, what is that look. My mother-in law continued on, ” You will have to fast for him from sunrise to moon rise.” “It is a fast to keep him safe and for him to have a long-life; it is a fast that married women do for their husbands in our culture.” Looking head on at my husband I said yes. My mother in-law was over the moon and it was then that I felt this overriding sense of acceptance as an African-American/Non-Indian woman.
Acceptance and even inclusion perhaps to do something that was an expression of my love for her son. She then said, “it is not going to be easy.” I in turn responded, “I know, mom!” and passed the telephone back to my husband so that I could promptly GOOGLE everything about Karwa Chauth online.
Here is what I found.
Karwa Chauth occurs in October. It is of huge significance for an Indian woman after she gets married. This fast takes place from sunrise to moon rise. “A newly married woman is given the utmost importance by relatives and immediate family members when she observes her first fast for the well-being, prosperity and longevity of her husband. She is showered with blessings of blissful married life and loads of Karwa Chauth gifts especially by her mother-in-law.” Source: http://www.
Hence, I decided to keep Karwa Chauth for my husband because although I am Christian, I understand the purpose of fasting and praying. And why wouldn’t I do something so simple and worthwhile for my husband. Is it easy? heck no! If you have fasted before then you know your body yearns for sustenance , you feel weak, and just want to sleep. Nonetheless, if you are mentally prepared and focused then it isn’t as difficult on you. As the saying goes, those things most worth having in life are the hardest to obtain/take the most work and dedication.
What benefits did I/do I see from keeping Karwa Chauth for my husband?
- As you may remember in the ultimate guide to meeting the parents, praying keeps my husband and I on one accord.
- It makes me feel apart of his culture since this is a particular day that wives keep for their husbands.
- It is a sacrificial display of the love that I have for the man I decided to commit myself to in marriage.
- I feel as if I attain a reliability relationship bonus point with my mother-in law.
- My husband looks on at me lovingly and prepares a feast for us to devour together in my honor.
Do you have some benefits of Karwa Chauth that you want to share? Are you an Indian woman or Non-Indian woman like myself that keeps Karwa Chauth for your husband? What have you learned in doing so? Post a comment and please share.
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Image credits: From Nikita’s blog