This week I am talking about our decision to not find out the gender of the baby. The most interesting, and possibly stereotypical, reaction I received was from the fearless, opinion sharing, knower of all things- the Indian Aunties . Top to bottom, when an Indian Aunty who saw me heard that I was having a baby they would take one look at me and say “I think it’s a boy.”
Boys were the cherished gender in traditional Indian culture (and in many other cultures across the world). The desire for a boy came from a very practical place. In many countries, the transfer of land could only go to a son. Before the era of the retirement homes (which were virtually unheard of in India until recently), it was a son and his new family who would care for parents into their old age. Girls, while loved, were considered burdensome because someday they would need to be married and would move far away from the family. Not to mention that in many parts of India to marry a daughter required a substantial dowry.
While Indian culture has come a very long way and many of the boy/girl stereotypes have largely disappeared, there is still something lingering in the culture that wants or esteems boys. It is deeply rooted and it comes from an honestly good place.
So when I hear the Indian Aunties tell me it will be a boy, I just take it as a pre-arrival blessing for a healthy, happy baby that will be a wonderful addition to our family (even though I am secretly rooting for a girl).