None of us are strangers to hand me downs, which come in all sizes, shapes, emotions and traditions. Some of these legacies are the ones that inspire you to continually improve whereas others bog you down and it is not easy to pick and choose. I am sure many of you now catch yourselves aping some of your parents’ mannerisms that you hated while growing up! That is legacy, hand-me downs and genes.
Growing up I never had to use hand-me down clothes because of the age difference between me and my sibling, but I did get handed down the sense of responsibility for your words, action and money. My sister has been better at accepting that legacy than me and I have tried to learn from her. Here are some of the major legacies which continue to influence me, mould me and continuously evolve me.
- Cooking: I never liked cooking growing up, and would only bother with the kitchen during meal times. But when I started living on my own, I realized the extent of my mother’s and sister’s influence on my cooking style and tastes and what more, I started enjoying it. Even though I didn’t formally learn recipes from my mother until later, so much of my cooking style was already my mom’s! My love for cooking and the idea that you could throw 5 different things together in a pan and come up with an awesome dinner is my hand-down from my mom. Cooking and family recipes are a great way to pass on your family legacy and I am proud of what I have learnt and continue to learn from my family!
- Traditions: Indians are big on traditions and I didn’t realize the influence of these traditions on me until I moved out of India. I was brought up in a traditional Hindu family, taught to have respect and a healthy fear for the millions of gods and goddesses. Every major public holiday in India is to celebrate the birth of a god/goddess or the triumph of good vs evil. Even though I am not a very traditional person, these traditions have defined me for as long as I remember. Until I left home, I didn’t realize how much these traditions which are sometimes comforting and sometimes stifling, are a part of my identity and proud legacy.
The one thing that I can say I haven’t received in legacy is prejudice. I am sure every adult has their set of prejudices, obtained from their parents or developed on their own. But, all my prejudices are my own! Fortunately or unfortunately instead of catching on to the ones that my parents have, I found some of my own!