- By Sam George
- Published 12/14/2007
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The young adult population in America is postponing marriage. The census report that almost three-quarters of men and almost two-thirds of women in their 20s in 2006 said they had never been married. This shows a sharp increase in never-married twentysomethings in America between 2000 and 2006. See the report in USA Today.
The old trend of marrying your high school sweetheart or meeting someone at college and get married soon after graduation, isn’t the way to go these days. People are longer in school, working through many jobs, try to pay up your college debt and not to mention that challenge of finding the right person.
Some of this is true of Indian American community as well. The Coconut Generation is getting married later in life. Just this week, I heard of someone who finally met her soulmate and is getting married in her late 30s. Women pursued more studies than men and stayed in colleges longer, gender imbalance in the community and finding compatible mates is harder for any second generation ethnic communities.
Some socio-economic factors that contributes to this trend are increasing numbers of cohabiting couples, rise of singlehood and homosexuality, highly educated women who have fewer highly educated men of comparable age to partner with, and more choices open to women than in decades past etc.
Educated women no longer live with their parents and feel less pressure to get married. They also have greater say in matters of their own wedding and are less likely to run into potential mates. The place where you meet your mater has shifted from school to college to now workplace.