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My Story Of Living A Double Life As An Indian And American

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prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Harsha Nahata was born and raised in an Indian-American household in metro Detroit.

Whenever I go back to my parent’s house in Saginaw, I step into a different world. There’s a clutter of conversation in Hindi, a pot of chai on the stove, and — more often than not — a 1960s Bollywood song playing from the laptop in the kitchen.


Growing up Indian-American, I have learned how to code switch pretty well. I hide certain aspects of my identity depending on the space I am in, without even realize I’m doing it. I pride myself on being able to transition between chatting in Hindi with family friends to joking about pop culture references with peers at school. And while I really value this naturally formed cross-cultural view, feeling like you are two different people can get to be draining.

“[We have to ensure] that education gives people the tools to understand that you don’t have to choose between the identity that your parents have and being a full citizen of Canada,” Trudeau said.

I can’t tell you how much this resonates with me. While codes witching is a skill I’ve picked up over the years, I also wish someone had told me when I was younger that I didn’t have to switch between two identities — I could be both. Providing tools for managing multicultural exchange from a young age creates opportunities for beautiful cultural exchange, but more than that it alleviates the guilt that comes with feeling like you have to choose. Creating that sort of an environment won’t happen overnight, but I hope to start working toward it.


I know I still hesitate to blend the two spheres of my life, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to share more of my whole self in spaces. So the next time that Bollywood tune is playing or I have a cup of chai on the stove, I hope you’ll join along.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brown...fe-as-an-indian-and-american_b_12865196.html?
 

GANESH65

Well-known member
People of South Indian origin are also faced with some what similar situation in places like Delhi, Mumbai or other major North Indian Cities. Till very recently the people from south India were very "fondly" (?) called "Madrasis". It was just because of the IT boom that the north Indian guys started migrating to Cities in South like Bangalore and Hyderabad and this title given to people of south India started vanishing. Our children here still prefer Hindi rather than any south Indian Language (with some exception to Mallus - who are quite particular about their own identity). And it is also a fact that many south Indian cultural events are celebrated with much fanfare here. By this way the older generation tries to keep sticking to their roots.
 
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renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
I dont get it...why the heck the identity crisis Indians have in US or Canada...making it sound as if existence is only possible there if one is a Jekyll and Hyde.

Why can't Indians there learn to be themselves?

Who is stopping them?

I feel deep down inside these types can't decide to be imposing or to suck up to others.

Out here in Msia thank God none of are this brain dead as to have an identity crisis..we are Msian citizens yet we are ethnically diverse...Malays,Chinese and Indians..all have their own identity and cross cultural acceptance.

For example Murukku has become a must for Malays during Eid..they call it Marruku and make it as well as Tamilians.

The Chinese culture of Ang Pow that is giving money packets to children during Chinese New Year has been taken up by Malays and Hindus too that during Eid and Diwali..money packets are given to kids.

Bollywoods songs are played during Eid.
Malays are nuts over Hindi movies cos of the good looks of the heroes and heroines.

We Tamilians have all sorts of stuff here and accept each others food easily.

So I wonder what is so hard being one's own self while being open minded enough to accept other cultures positive values?

In USA or Canada is that really hard?

The problem is may be its hypocrisy...some Indians who go there might become citizens but they look at US/Canada as Cash Cow for a better life that is in $$$$ but deep down inside they are not faithful to US/Canada but claim to be emotionally linked to India but physically unfaithful to India becos it cant provide $$$$!LOL

That is why all these problems...they just cant decide where their heart and mind lies.

Sheeshhh...confused!
 
Today's material world reflects Thiruvalluvar thought this world is not for people who do not have money. Here people discussing freely anything because they do not have monetary worries. No person who is constantly seeking for money will do these type of chit-chats because his mundane life is full of money worries and therefore this is not totally wrong since everybody respects here a person based on position and money only.
 

krish44

Gold Member
Gold Member
Just because someone is posting here does not mean they do not have monetary worries.

One posts for various reasons.

Some for enjoyment, others for spoiling others enjoyment, for kicks and getting kicked[masochist tendencies] are some more.

One can be involved in money making most of time and yet post here as an escape.

To discuss anything freely, one requires a mindset.

Some have and many do not.
 

krish44

Gold Member
Gold Member
I dont get it...why the heck the identity crisis Indians have in US or Canada...making it sound as if existence is only possible there if one is a Jekyll and Hyde.

Why can't Indians there learn to be themselves?

Who is stopping them?

I feel deep down inside these types can't decide to be imposing or to suck up to others.

Out here in Msia thank God none of are this brain dead as to have an identity crisis..we are Msian citizens yet we are ethnically diverse...Malays,Chinese and Indians..all have their own identity and cross cultural acceptance.

For example Murukku has become a must for Malays during Eid..they call it Marruku and make it as well as Tamilians.

The Chinese culture of Ang Pow that is giving money packets to children during Chinese New Year has been taken up by Malays and Hindus too that during Eid and Diwali..money packets are given to kids.

Bollywoods songs are played during Eid.
Malays are nuts over Hindi movies cos of the good looks of the heroes and heroines.

We Tamilians have all sorts of stuff here and accept each others food easily.

So I wonder what is so hard being one's own self while being open minded enough to accept other cultures positive values?

In USA or Canada is that really hard?

The problem is may be its hypocrisy...some Indians who go there might become citizens but they look at US/Canada as Cash Cow for a better life that is in $$$$ but deep down inside they are not faithful to US/Canada but claim to be emotionally linked to India but physically unfaithful to India becos it cant provide $$$$!LOL

That is why all these problems...they just cant decide where their heart and mind lies.

Sheeshhh...confused!

Some due to higher education act confused wanting the best of both worlds -indian and foreign end up with half commitment to both and blame it on identity crisis.

One needs to be clear and honest about their intentions.

If they have settled abroad for dollars, they should accept it and be committed fully to their country of work.

There are many in india who are well educated and refused to be lured by oppurtunities abroad.

We tamils in north are well integrated with the locals and would not dream of returing to south for settling later.

If delhi is hell ,then we prefer to live in hell than heavan elsewhere.

Jeena yaha,marna yahan ,iske siva jaana kahaan
 
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