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Chitra Divakaruni - The idea of privacy, of individualism, is a very American idea in many ways. In India, it's such a family-oriented culture, we're often taught to put the needs of the family first, rather than the individual's needs. There's both a good side and a bad side to this. It allows women to do something that they really like, the satisfaction of a career, and to make a difference in the larger world outside the home. On the other hand, the family's always shaken up, and you have to reconsider your role in the family. If the woman isn't there, then who's going to pick up the slack?

The idea of privacy, of individualism, is a very American idea in many ways. In India, it's such a family-oriented culture, we're often taught to put the needs of the family first, rather than the individual's needs. There's both a good side and a bad side to this. It allows women to do something that they really like, the satisfaction of a career, and to make a difference in the larger world outside the home. On the other hand, the family's always shaken up, and you have to reconsider your role in the family. If the woman isn't there, then who's going to pick up the slack?

Chitra Divakaruni
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