Posted by: janpierce | December 11, 2007

I am Like a Child in India

   Maybe your family was like mine.  When I was a little kid my parents and grandparents spoke in pig latin when they wanted to talk right by me but didn’t want “little ears” to hear.  It infuriated me at age 4 and it still makes me uncomfortable and a little irritated today. I’m speaking of the situation in India when English-speaking friends switch to Hindi or Telugu when they don’t want us to know what they are saying. They may just be telling someone to take out the garbage, but I always wonder if they are saying something like “The gringos are very unpleasant today.”  That is just one of the things that makes me feel like a little child when I’m in India.

  The other things that make me feel childlike are actually rather pleasant. First, I don’t really have any jobs to do.  Someone brings me tea, the beds are ready when I arrive, meals are served and we are summoned to the table when they are ready.  It is not acceptable to help in the kitchen in Indian culture. When it is time to go somewhere we are herded into a vehicle and someone drives us. Once we arrive somewhere we are greeted and seated in good spots. 

  Second there is a lot of spare time.  At home I don’t enjoy that because I like being busy and checking things off my endless lists.  But over there I usually can use the time to rest, listen and observe, read, write in my journal or venture out into the neighborhoods to do little chores like find a telephone or buy water, etc. It is like playing.  I am not in charge and that, for once, is okay. 

   I wonder what Jesus meant exactly when He talked about becoming like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven?  I know it is not about being physically cared for by others or having no responsibilities, but it probably is about not always being in control of all aspects of our lives.  Maybe it is also more about relaxing and soaking in the color of life and less about checking those tasks off my lists.  Hmmmm. I wonder.



  1. Nice post. I would like to venture a guess about what Jesus meant when He talked about being childlike…it is all those things you mentioned, plus being innocent, trusting, close to oneself and centered like children usually are.

    Great to read about your sojourn in India. I empathize with your feelings of irritation when someone switches languages midstream. Please dont feel too bad. I am from India and people have done that to me too! You may have realized that since there are so many languages spoken in India, I too, have been in situations where I dont speak the language of some and they have sometimes switched midstream. I know it is rude, but you are probably not being singled out. It is just the Indian way, I guess.

  2. Hi Spicymiss,
    I found you on alphainventions. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes. It all looks good. Leaving on Sunday for India. Will catch up with you in late February!

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