This Is What Life's Like Growing Up With Desi vs Non-Desi Parents

By Mehak Imtiaz | 1 Nov, 2016

Growing up with desi parents adds some extra spice to your life, whether it be phupho kay dramay or amma ki daant, or that literal spice in your biryani. But how different is it to grow up desi, as compared to being brought up in a non-desi environment?
Here are all the ways growing up desi was different from all those Hollywood movies and shows you grew up watching:

1. Marriage

Non-Desi: If you grew up in a non-desi household, chances are that you grew up believing that someday you will find someone who you’ll fall in love with and get married to and you have to wait for that perfect, fairy-tale moment to eventually come to life.

Desi: You knew you would be getting married to a person of dreams; your mother’s dreams, that is. Your ultimate future is your khala/mamu/phupho ki beti. 

Source: Wow! Reads

2. Being sick

Non-Desi parents: “You have a 99 degree fever, let’s take you to the doctor!”
Desi parents: “Panadol kha kay so jao araam say aur dramay band karo.
Source: Buzzpk
Source: Buzzpk
Even if your parents were super concerned about your health, trips to the doctor were very rare because your dadi had an arsenal of desi totkay to try and haldi is the solution to all of mankind’s health problems.

3. Baths

Non-Desi: Foreign kids take bubble baths in their bath tubs, with rubber duckies and proper loofah scrubbing.
Desi: Desi kids take baths in the open naalay. JK. We just take a shower and call it a bath. Or actually bathe ourselves, with a bucket of water, a mug, and our trusty desi soap.
Source: LUX

4. Baby food

Non-DesiInfants all over the world are fed mild food, and as they get older, they transition to slightly spicy food that their tongues and stomachs can handle.

Desi: Infants start off with their ever yummy cerelac and eventually ascend to eating mildly spicy food until their tongues and stomachs can start handling the hell-fire that is desi food with its lal mirchain, kali mirchain, sabaz mirchain, etc.


5. Bathrooms

Non-DesiThe most complicated thing non-desis have to check before using the bathroom at a new place is whether there is toilet paper or not.
Desi: You have to check whether there is running water, if there is a lota or a muslim shower present, and the major point: is it an Indian toilet or a western one?

6. Having babysitters 

Non-DesiYou saw the movies and only wished you would someday have a hot baby sitter to ogle over.
Desi: Desi households and baby sitters just don’t go together. As a child, you either went everywhere with mommy and daddy or stayed with one of their five siblings, or their parents. You always wished it would be with your nani because she would let you do whatever you wanted, and make you lots of yummy food, too. Otherwise, your kaam waali maasi was your babysitter.
Via: Fablefeed

7. Fashion

Non-Desi: Non-desi children were dressed up in nice, adorable little outfits accessorized with cute hair ties and bow ties.

Desi: Us desi kids had the best accessory of our own: eyes filled with surma. Alhumdulillah for our dadi’s surma spills in our eyes, or God forbid we might have had chinky eyes.

Source: BeautyHealthTips

8. After-school snacks 

Non-Desi: Peanut butter sandwiches, crackers, mac and cheese and everything your average Hollywood movie tells you.

DesiNo matter how horrible our school experiences may have been, growing up in Pakistan meant we had the best snacks to look forward to after school. The raet wali challi served by the challi wala pathan, the kulfis, gola, danay etc. The list of delicacies goes on. But every time you began to eat anything, your mommy’s voice reminding you to wash your hands rang in your head and even if you didn’t always obey it, you still felt guilty about eating all those germs without scrubbing your hands first.

Source: Funkari
Source: Funkari


9. Older siblings

Non-Desi: They may fight with you but they usually keep to their own, with their ears plugged with their music and their dabbing and hitting the quan.

DesiIf you were unfortunate enough to not be born the oldest child, you are forever doomed with an older bhai or baji, who has the power of making your like hell. They are like a second set of parents whom you have to listen to and respect, because that is the way you’ve been brought up. But hey, at least they’re there for you at the times when you need them most.

Via: The News Tribe


10. Getting presents during holidays

Non-Desi: Christmas day means waking up and finding all the latest presents you’ve been wanting that year under the tree in your living room.

DesiWaking up early on Eid day to get dressed up and spend the day with your relatives was all worth it when you raked in all that eidi money from everyone. Being your mamu/chachu’s favorite might have even entitled you to a little extra cash.

Source: Giphy


11. Motivational talks

Non-DesiMost parents reinforce in their children that they should do what pleases them in life and not to pay any heed to what other’s may say about them, trying to make them follow their dreams.

Desi: Our parents reinforce in their children to do what pleases society, like becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, because they are such respectful professions. Because if you choose something along the lines of a liberal arts education, beta phir log kya kahein gay?

Source: Wow! Reads
Source: Wow! Reads


12. Discipline 

Non-Desi: Foreign form of discipline includes various types of child care techniques and listening to the child’s point of view.

DesiDesi form of discipline includes ammi ki jooti.

Source: Buzzpk
Source: Buzzpk


13. Grades

Non-Desi parents: “Oh you improved that F into a C, we’re so proud of you!”
Desi parents: “If only you worked harder, that C could have been an A. Naak katva di hamari.”


When it comes to grades, you needed to be on your A game, literally. Your parents never took you seriously unless you got good grades and getting a good “position” in class was a must. “90% marks? Who cares. You still came 4th in your class, work harder next time.”



Parents, they love you, and you know it. Even if you don’t admit it.

Share This

More Recent Stories


Zero Lifestyle’s game-changing move: Brought Fawad Khan and Irfan Junejo together to bring forth Premium Designer ...

17 Apr, 2024

Reviving Traditions: 7Up’s Innovative Campaign Brings Communities Together

9 Apr, 2024

Unlock the Joy of Eid Shopping with the Ideas Festive Sale!

5 Apr, 2024

Unveiling the New Cola Next TVC with Hamza Ali Abbasi: Celebrating Pakistani Pride

26 Mar, 2024

Zero Lifestyle Levels Up: A Global Sensational Icon THE FAWAD KHAN Has Arrived for ZERO’S EARBUDS – ZBUDS!

10 Mar, 2024

JS Bank Invites Iconic Photographer to Document Pakistan’s Rich Cultural Tapestry

7 Mar, 2024