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Identity - Success in Life

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This my point of view and personal experience. Others will have different success story. We have been out of Tamil Nadu for generations, so my perspective is not typical of TB.
We were aliens all along, even in the country of birth. Entire family is highly educated, and very successful in life. But we appreciated our Tamil, Brahmin (what ever that mean) culture. Some of us are more traditionalist than others. We never forgot who we are. We mastered the local customs, but did not give up our values. We did not flaunt our culture, but preserved it. We were very active in Tamil Sangam, and at home it was typical Tamil ways of generations past. We were very social and had lot of friends. We participated in Durga Puja, holee, Ganesh Puja, Deevali, but also celebrated Deepavai, kartigai, goloo, Shankrati. We used to go to listen to all the religious discourses, particularly Tamil ones. That gave me more insight. Fortunately we were never forced but were encouraged by our parents. Swami Chinmayananda sparked interest in Advaita Philosophy.
When I moved to USA, I had good background, and moral strength to stand tall. Contrary to the comments expressed in this site, in US you have to stand tall to be counted. If you are meek, and hide in your corner you will be found and dispised. Running away is assumed to be a sign of guilt.
You do not have to flaunt your culture where it is not needed, but be prepared, in an educated society they are very inquisitive. They have been exposed to Indian food, yoga, practices, and some of them have traveled to India. Unfortunately lot of Indian immigrants are ignorant, can't speak the language, or ashamed of Indian culture.
Majority Of PIO, are successful professionals, the older immigrants were very supportive of each other as we are in 'foreign land'. Be what you want to be but be proud(and know why?), not arrogant. You can compromise from a position of strength, you can only surrender from weakness.

So bend but do not break, stand tall and be counted. Learn about your culture and be proud of it. Professional success comes from education, and hard work, but personal satisfaction comes from knowing who you are.

Do not live were you can not hold your head high, or not respected and loved. Get out of mediocre existence, live successfully. You can thrive any where in this universe. That is the only way to live. There is beautiful saying in Hindi:
"sur kata sakta hai laken sur jhukah sak tay nahi' Loosly translated "it is rather better to give up your head, than bow to some other person".
Please read "NARA'S" post #67 in the thread "Unity of NRI because of Religion" to get a glimpse of US society.
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