Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let Me Tell You 'Bout My Best Friend

Relationships between boys and girls are considerably different in India than in Western countries. Schools and activities are strictly segregated so unless they have siblings, girls grow up associating only with other girls and boys grow up hanging out with other boys. Dating is non-existent, but longed for, and the young single adults in our branch (we have a lot of them) dream about how wonderful American church dances must be - not only do you get to talk with a girl/boy but you get to touch their hand! One of our YSA girls actually went on a "date" with a visiting returned missionary this week. They met at KFC and had a fast food dinner (very little talking and definitely no hand touching) that sent the entire branch into wild marriage speculations, massive amounts of grinning, and knowing head-wagging. She will never be able to talk about anything else!

So the stigma of boy/girl association is quite prevalent, but nonexistent when it comes to guys hanging out with guys. One of the bigger surprises for me were the shear number of guys who ride on motorcycles together. It's so common that when you don't see two guys riding together, you're surprised and hope they are on their way to pick up a friend.

It's also fairly common to see three guys scrunched together on a motorcycle.

What really shocked me into asking piles of questions, were the frequent sightings of guys holding hands. It turns out that holding hands or walking with an arm on another's shoulder indicates a relationship so close that you would trust your life to that person. It's a sign of a bond stronger than brotherhood and it's envied by those who don't have it. Indian men are proud of their friendships.


Normally on a Sunday, we have a substitute driver so Sabby can spend the day with his family and at his own church. This particular Sunday, though, Sabby decided to drive us. He had never seen Ty in a suit before and was very impressed. As we got out of the car, Sabby had a favor to ask, "Sir, could I have a photo with you? And will you put your right hand on my right shoulder - just like this - and hold your brief case in the other hand? Very nice, Sir. You are looking very smart. This is most excellent, Sir. My friends will not believe that this is me!" 

And that is how Ty got his new best friend. Sabby, who I'm certain would lay down his life for Ty, never gets tired of telling me how wonderful 'Sir' is and how blessed he feels by God to work for him and just yesterday he texted me, "I will also be by Sir's side. I'm very happy to be at his service." It would be ridiculous if it wasn't so sweet. There isn't a moment where Sabby doesn't jump to Ty's defense and extol all his virtues. No wonder Indians are proud of their relationships - they have this friend thing perfected.

1 comment:

  1. I'm quite happy that Sabby's there as well. He's definitely a keeper!!