My sister just turned 16 () and is throwing a big birthday bash - she had a group of girlfriends over and then they all went out to eat. One of the guests was Indian and showed up with other family members in tow... my parents were obviously not going to turn them out and paid for them to eat, but just came home from the restaurant feeling rather This isn't a big bring-anybody-you-know-facebook-open-event kind of party, and seeing as they're not old enough to drive alone yet, most parents just dropped their daughters off and then left.
I'm wondering because a similar thing happened with my birthday party years ago (coincidentally also 16... man that was awhile ago). I invited an Indian girl that I had sort of gotten to know in Spanish class, the party was dinner at a medium-level restaurant, and she asked if she could bring her siblings. I was kind of taken aback but my parents said, not a big deal, we'll pay for their dinner as well... and then at the end, she pulled out her wallet clearly intending to pay. Obviously, I wasn't going to let them pay to come to my birthday party, and the poor girl was horribly humiliated. I'm sure she would have never dragged along all the siblings if she knew my parents would be footing the bill. (Dunno how my sister's guests will fare - they're still out.)
I'm just curious - is there something cultural that I'm missing here? As in, is the custom that if you go to a party, you will be expected to pay for your stuff? I just want to be able to avoid this kind of misunderstanding in the future, as it's rather embarrassing all around. Or did we just hit two unusual cases that coincidentally both happened to be Indian?
Thanks for any insight