Mothers — with all their earnest, loving intentions — can often be entertaining, and their advice can be an interesting mix of serious, silly, insightful and mind-boggling (sometimes all rolled up into one zinger you can’t wait to share with your friends). In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve asked fellow Asian American writers and artists to share the funniest advice they’ve ever gotten from their mothers.
Indian moms seem to have a special brand of advice that can draw from specific cultural norms or arbitrary superstitions. They can be random and make no sense to a rational mind – - but still somehow stay with you.
For example, to this day, I can’t leave anywhere ever mentioning food or drink, as it has been ingrained in me that it’s bad luck, and if by some chance, I or someone I’m with does so, we must immediately drink a glass of water. Apologies in advance if you remember this and find yourself grabbing a cup just in case. All good. Just do it. Water’s good for you.
I am also not fond of bananas, as my Mom made me eat one with a glass of milk every day I came home from school. I know, I know, they are good for you. But thanks, I have had my fill.
But then there are ones I am grateful for — like coconut oil being wondrous for the hair, the joys of coupons, being able to eyeball the perfect quantity of spices when cooking, and being so versed in math that I don’t need to waste time with calculators. The “This is not how we did it in India” and “You ask too many questions” make me laugh, as I know I am destined to reiterate those wayward statements in my own way, to my own kids, in many akin moments of bona fide frustration.
I do appreciate the inevitable hi-jinx when mothers entangle in finding the perfect partner, but at the risk of indulging the cliché of marriage and kid advice, I will instead leave you with 2 of my favorites:
“Wear a life jacket when surfing.”
“You can still go to medical school.”
Check out more funny advice in our Mother’s Day series:
Celebrating Asian Mothers: Funniest Advice My Mother Has Ever Given Me