| Rashmi Rani. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Rashmi Rani has been trying to teach Indian origin youths settled in US the culture and values of their motherland.
Settled in the western country for a decade, Patna-born Rani has been a mentor to the youths in Anderson, South Carolina, for the past six years.
Among the things she teaches the youths, some are to not address their fathers by name and to greet elders with a “namaste”.
Rani said: “The culture of United States is very different from that in India. Hence, when parents ask their wards to not drink in front of them, the youths reply saying that they do have the liberty to do so since US is a free country.” She advises parents to send their kids to her so that they can learn Indian culture and values.
Rani also advises the youths to address their relatives and neighbours as ‘uncle’ or ‘aunty’.
“I tell them that addressing someone as ‘uncle’ or ‘aunt’ makes them feel closer. I also taught them to greet people with a ‘namaste’ instead of hugging them.”
However, Rani admits that the youths are very disciplined.
She teaches the youths the Bhagvad Gita, The Bible, mantras and bhajans in English. “We don’t follow religion but a way of life,” she said.
Rani has been teaching the youths for free. Around 50 Indian families living in Anderson send their kids to her place on Saturdays and Sundays, so that they can get acquainted with Indian culture and values.
She is trying to teach them Hindi. Rashmi, however, appreciates the strong bond shared between the grandparents and grandchildren of US.