As you speak, so you become...

Are you a Punjabi?

My mom-in-law asked one of the kids’ friends.

No, I am English.

No way, my mil insisted, tell me what language your parents speak in when they are at home.

Oh, they speak English and Hindi. They speak in Punjabi only with my grandmother.

There, I told you-this means you are a Punjabi.

The five year old clarified furiously:

No, It means my Biji is a Punjabi, I am English and my parents are Hindi, English and Punjabi!

My daughters speak Hindi (tinged with Punjabisms) with their “North-Indian” friends, English in school and with all other friends, and Bengali with grandparents. With us, they use all three.

They also sprinkle their sentences with quite a few Tamil expressions, learnt from the “day-care aunty”, Telegu words gleaned from the maid who works there, and a lot of Kannada absorbed from all around.

I wonder what they are…


  1. I know it sends cliched,but I guess just Indian!

  2. That we anyway are-and yes,it is cliched.
    Actually I enjoy the medley of languages-wonder what they'll learn next!

  3. First time here.

    Its actually gr8 that ur kids r learning so many languages :) Well expressed!

  4. Thank you.
    I guess will be adding Malayalam next :)

  5. Oh wow! That is seriously amazing! I would love my daughter to pick up as many languages :)I was lucky enough to grow up with several languages around me - and I hope my daughter does too :)

  6. Hi Smitha-Thanks for visting. I hope that too. More than the language it is the familiarity with different cultures that is a rich experience for a kid.........for us too.


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