Touching the Feet of Elders 36


Forgive me for the awful video quality (I had to use a webcam, which made me look blue!), forgive me for my awkwardness and goofiness (I was nervous), and forgive me for my accent (which I am often told is very difficult to understand?).

In this video I talk about my ‘touching the feet of elders’ experience. I hope someone, somewhere will find it helpful! I think when someone finds themselves in a new culture, it is always good to try to understand the culture’s customs, but it’s also important to remember that people will understand these customs are new to you. So, it’s unlikely you are going to upset or offend anyone if you cannot do them correctly, try not to get too anxious about it (difficult, I know)!

Humans are generally an understanding bunch, just try your best and smile! You will learn with time and everyone will be so happy that you’ve made the effort.


About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


36 thoughts on “Touching the Feet of Elders

  • Hidden Passions

    Now this is interesting. Touching feet is something I have always questioned? and I was told – it is a form of showing respect to elders or younger’s depending on your relationship with them. I feel very uncomfortable when people try to touch my feet and I start running away. I get pretty nervous to touch the floor or feet with my knees down specially if the area or feet are bit dirty ..*Sigh*

      • Hidden Passions

        hahaa…. aunty and uncle is “The Word” that will make anyone feel older even though they really aren’t. Not sure how to tell them.. my cousins address any married or married with kids as “Aunty’s” and “Uncles” even though they fall under their age group ..*Sigh*. I hope you call them back aunty or uncle even though it might sound rude..:)

  • Nicola

    Lauren, this is a great development! So pleased for you. 🙂
    And you do not seem remotely goofy or awkward, quite the opposite, you come across as very relaxed and natural.
    ….Things seem to be really coming together for you now: the voluntary work, better relationship with MIL, getting out and about and getting to know people, playing your part in festivals etc… (I must say I was one of the ones who was anxious for you when you chucked in your job before finishing your training in order to go to India sooner, and I was concerned about how things would pan out for you, once the initial euphoria had passed, the novelty had worn off, and the excitement of planning the wedding had been and gone. But it’s looking pretty fine now! Yay!!)
    Any idea roughly how regularly you intend to post a video?
    Love and hugs to our new YouTube star!
    Nicola xxxx

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you soooo much, Nicola!! So kind of you!!! <3
      I will be posting a video with Out and About in Asia once a month.
      I might also start my own channel along side, not too sure yet!! Thank you ever so much for your support!!
      Lots of love and hugs xxx

      • Nicola

        I would definitely want to encourage you to start your own channel, as you come across really well on camera. Your manner is very endearing. I’ve watched your video a few times, and it spreads a warm smile across my face each time. Go girl!!!! We’re all behind you. 🙂
        Looking forward to the next video of yours on ‘Out and About in Asia’. 🙂
        xxxx

        • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

          Thank you so much, Nicola!! I am going to look for some ideas and see what happens 😛
          Yay! I am looking forward to my next video too, because at the moment I have no idea what I am going to post! 😀
          Lots of love xxx

          • Nicola

            I think pretty much anything, in your location, could make a video that is of interest to others. Simple things like taking us along on your morning walk with Alfonso, with you narrating, or a ride through Nagpur on the back of your husband’s motorbike. It’s very interesting for viewers outside India to simply see what it is that you see and encounter.
            …I don’t know if they would be happy to appear in your vlogs, but it would be great to see your husband and members of his family in the vlogs as well. Even if they didn’t want to talk on camera, just having them there in the background.
            I know I would be very interested to see a vlog showing us the blind school, as well.
            I think the possibilities are endless. Practically everything that you have blogged about could also make a good vlog post. I think the Q and A vlogs work well, also, with viewers sending you questions for you to answer.

            But as I said before, you are very engaging on video, and the viewer gets a real feel for who you are as person. Your honest and open manner (as opposed to someone who is showcasing themselves) makes people feel a connection with you. As this is the case, you are onto a winner!
            Anyway, I’m sure that all your regular readers will enjoy any video that you make, no matter what it’s about, just because it’s you! We’ve become very fond of you as we have followed your journey. And it makes me so happy that after all the trials and tribulations along the way, you are now at a stage where you are happier than ever before. You are a lovely young woman, and it is wonderful to see you embracing everything that India has to offer.
            We love you loads!
            Nicola xxxx

          • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

            Hey Nicola,
            A Q&A blog is a fantastic idea!! I will write a post in the coming weeks asking for questions!
            I really cannot thank you enough for your encouragement, especially in the last couple of days. I have been attacked for being ‘too positive’ by several people (I think they are in the same friendship group) and to hear your support is really encouraging.

            Actually, you will get a chance to see my husband and MIL speak soon because a couple of weeks ago BBC WORLD news came to record a bit for online and BBC WORLD news channel! I don’t know when it will be released, I guess these things take time… will let you know when it comes out (I was VERY awkward during that filming so who knows if they will show it at all haha!). The piece for the BBC includes the blind school, temple, shopping etc.

            Thank you sooo much again!!!

            Lots of lovee,
            Lauren xxx

          • Nicola

            Back in Sept 2014, when you posted your first video, you said that you would be posting one with Out and About in Asia once a month… but after that first one there was never another. I know you’ve been very busy, and life gets in the way etc.., but do you still plan on making more at all?

          • Nicola

            Shame.
            You did say at the time that you might start your own channel. Is that still something that you are interested in doing?

  • friend

    @Lauren

    I guess Indians are so used to touching feet that most probably the hygiene part never comes to our mind. I don’t mind when children touch my feet but get panicky when a women younger to me touch my feet, I guess my conservative Indian upbringing kicks in. I suddenly feel older than my age. I think this a natural reaction of many people when somebody touch their feet. They feel older, respected, mature and perhaps more responsible. Sometimes you are reminded of your age. “Did somebody touch my feet?? gosh I am getting old!!!” or “No, I am not that old that somebody touches my feet, nooooo…… , I am myself touching the feet of elders, so I am not old, plain and simple”.

    If somebody touch your feet, your hand invariably rises to bless him/her. This is the most beautiful thing about this tradition. Touching of feet is an action, and blessing is the reward. It also dissolves any misgivings in the hearts, not all but most of them.

    The common blessing are “may you have long life”. Most women get this blessing “May you bath in milk and give birth to sons” (India you see, so preference for boys). Basically everyone gets blessed. Since you are newly married, you will definitely get more of these “giving birth” type of blessings. Being Indians, whenever we see a happy couple we desire them to have a child soon. Natural instinct I guess, can’t help it. BTW, you look more beautiful in flesh and blood.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hey Friend,

      You’re right, if you grow up with it then it’s rare to question it. It is just a transition every Hindu person has to go through I guess, the day when you’re old enough to have adults touching your feet. A distant cousin only months younger than me called me aunty twice, I was really upset.

      I am already getting a little bit hassled about children hehe.

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliment!!
      lots of loveee xxx

  • Mani (A New Life Wandering)

    I like the idea of the youtube channel. All four girls sound interesting and you are all so cute too! I like that they feature different countries and their experiences. It’s a cool thing you are part of it. And you did great in your video btw 😉

  • Courtleen Jensen

    Great video Lauren! Its nice to match a voice with a face! Your accent is delightful and its not too difficult for this 56 yr old American woman to understand. 🙂

  • mydesilove

    Lauren – great video and I feel like I know you a bit better now, hearing your voice 🙂 I had exactly the same anxieties but after meeting MJ’s parents I have no doubt it is: 1. massive sign of respect 2. My ranking went up 10000 times after the first time I touched their feet 3. It’s kind of less awkward than the 3 kisses on the cheek as it’s customary in Poland (which cheek you go for first?) xxxx

  • stockdalewolfe

    Oh, it was so good meeting you in a video!! It was splendid and terribly charming. You look radiantly happy with your new life. I am so glad things are really falling into place with your life, your blog, your in-laws and India. Also I applaud you on this new series you have made spotlighting others, who like you, have married India. And your volunteer work. Bravo!!! Much love, Ellen

  • Priyahaf

    Before I visited my Aunt & Uncle in July, I told them that I’d touch their feet, & briefed them by text as to how & why.

    On arrival, I alighted from thIe train, walked along the platform to where they waited, put down my luggage, & went to touch their feet. I expected them to either wave their hands to show it wasn’t necessary, or after doing so bless me on the head with their hands.

    So I bent down & placed my hands on their feet, but no hand waving or blessing resulted. Instead, on standing up, I was embraced with cwtch a sws / hugs & kisses.

    A welcome of two traditions: one Hindu & one of Gogledd Cymru / North Wales.

    Needless to say, I had a great time “ki Meera Aunty Ji aur Meera Uncle Ji”.

    Yn garu, Priyahaf

  • margaret prasanna

    I don’t think your accent is difficult to understand at all. I was very nervous the first time I touched my in-laws feet. I had no idea what I was doing and just watched my husband!

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Thank you so much, Margaret!!
      It is so nervewreacking the first time, it’s so “alien” to us, but slowly you get used to it 😀
      I hope you are well,
      Take care, Lauren xx

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