They could approve of the family their daughter was marrying into.
Dating a sikh woman
Sometimes we find it difficult to explain to others what makes our individual backgrounds different, especially religiously, what we brought to our marriage that is actually similar and how it has all worked out.
One of the biggest differences between the cultures in which we were raised is the matter of personal choice and freedom.
In much of Asia today, including the tradition in which Kamla was born, a parent is expected to choose potential partners for the child and the child is expected to make a choice only from among that group.
Since Kamla's father had taken a job on a remote Pacific island where hers was the only Indian family, there were no opportunities at hand to find traditional partners for the children.
My father's only stipulation was that we have a Jewish ceremony, which we had on a Friday night at the single Reform temple in Hawaii, Temple Emanuel, followed by a small Sikh ceremony on Saturday morning.
Rabbi Julius Nodel (may he rest in peace) was about to retire at the time, and did not appear to have any reservations concerning officiating at our marriage. People often assume that "Eastern" religions, such as Sikhism, tend to be polytheistic, versus "Western" religions, which are monotheistic.
Kamla's parents, who were both raised in a traditional Sikh tradition, saw that my two brothers belonged to a tradition that was similar in many ways to their own.
They observed that the two young men were devoted to each other and their family, and that they were polite, well-educated and full of plans for the future.
For some time there was a considerable commotion in the household.