US-India Global Review

were the respective answers, fair- ly easily resolved. But more ques- tions kept coming. Should Renee move in with Golla’s family and cook, clean and take care of all of them like a tra- ditional Indian wife? “The wife will move in with the husband and his whole family and is now the caretaker of him and his whole family. In the most tradi- tional senses she really can be more of a servant than an equal contributing member of the family,” Renee said. As a self-described “indepen- dent woman,” Renee wanted to live alone with her new husband and build an equal life together. Despite a vast culture gap, she and Golla saw eye-to-eye. The two agreed to live outside of Golla’s family’s village to remain involved there while still retaining their independence by living separately. Although Renee’s parents have never been able to meet Golla, they trust their daughter’s judg- ment and the affirmation of oth- ers. “After meeting him, I mean he’s great. I never doubted he’d be great, it’s just such a different cul- ture,” explained Casey Moore, Renee’s sister. Golla’s family was excited to have a foreigner come into their family. The couple was married on March 18, 2017. “It is very different here, she changed her life to come here. You can’t buy Coke. You can’t buy a cheese in our village,” said Abi Joseph, Golla’s cousin. “But she is apart of our life now.” Merging of American and Indian culture means changes on both sides. For Golla, it means departing from the expectation of an arranged marriage and moving his new wife into his parents home and living under their authority. “Before like they used to think for me, but now I have to think for myself and we have to think for ourselves,” said Golla. “That’s how we started our life.” Story contributed to by Kiana Cole. Anne Marie Hagerty is a freelance journalist based in the U.S. | Working through the UNC School of Media and Journalism. 39 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018

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