Religion in the societies
In India, it is important to choose your building well… And its inhabitants!! Because what they call “society” will not let you free… All the bored people (the retired ones, the housewives, the servants, the watchmen) will find your life worthy of being watched…
This is how, in Pune, I had a hard-time finding a “society” that would accept a non-married French-Indian couple. The landlords were cool about it. But they had to ask the permission of the “society”!!
Then, once I arrived in Mumbai, I moved into a Sindhi “society” – Sindhis are the Hindus who came from Pakistan after the partition. Nothing special to say apart from the fact they all were Sindhis.
And then, when I shifted to my new building, I was very happy to discover a catholic “society” - I thought that they would be a little less “conservative” that the others but well, not really. In short, in my building, there are only Rodriguez, Pereira, Rebello etc. families and this makes me laugh every time I see the board with all the names! And then, one fine day, I get a note from my “society” stating that the annual meeting took place and in introduction: “after praying, we started the meeting…” Would be interesting to try that in France!
We are also regularly invited for masses (for birthdays, deaths etc) in our small garden. At least this brings people together...
The most constraining “societies” might be the Muslim ones, from what I heard. A French friend was accepted in one of them only because her husband was Muslim. And in another one, the French guy promised not to bring in alcohol nor pork.
No judgment here. It is just a little surprising, at the beginning.