As a young wife and mother, Ashima Ganguli experiences labor and delivery just like many other American women, in a hospital. Motherhood is offered as a transnational identity, representing the traditional gender roles sometimes considered subordinate. Ashima quietly observes the habits of the American women that surround her. She overhears husbands telling their wives they love them. This is something a Bengali husband or wife would never say. While maintaining many traditional Bengali beliefs and practices, giving birth in a hospital is more typical of an American woman. Traditionally, Indian women are known to give birth in the home where they grew up, returning to their childhood, without the presence of their husbands or inlaws.