The Best of Both Worlds

Last week I was sitting in the auditorium of the War Memorial in Indy for the citizenship oath ceremony. All around me were excited faces from countries all over the world. I was wondering why so many people would be so excited to give up their citizenship of their country and then I realized that many of these faces had families that were living here or had spouses that they could only meet for a couple of months every year. Even though I understood their happiness and excitement, I was very confused about how I was feeling. On one hand I was happy that I would finally be able to vote, but on the other hand I was sad to be giving up my Indian citizenship. India. A country that I lived in for the first 10 years of my life. It was and will always be my home.

oath ceremony cartoon for blog

While sitting in that auditorium, I had a flashback to the day when my family moved to the United States. I was only 10 years old at that time and was so excited that I was moving to America. Growing up I had always heard so many wonderful things about America and how it is better than India. However, I think I was most excited that I would be in the same country as Disneyland (I was/still am a weird person who loves anything Disney). Looking back at that day though, I do not think I understood completely what it meant to move to the United States. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to see my cousins, my uncles or my aunts. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to hang out with my friends or have my favorite kind of street food or ride on two-wheelers. I never understood the emotional toll it would take on my parents to move away from their home and make a home in a completely different country.

Disney

11 years later, I am now a United States Citizen. I am actually grateful for the move to the United States. I am got to spend my teenage years growing up in a different culture. It made me realize the importance of being open minded to not only new experiences but also to new people. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to experience two very different cultures. I have now become a bridge of these two cultures in my family. This move also made me realize who I wanted to be as a person. Having experienced the close mindedness of Indians and also the individuality of Americans, I have learned to be open minded but also have my family be a very important part of my life.

 

This move also made me realize what I wanted to do as a career. Being in touch with different kinds of people, I realized during high school that I wanted to do something that helps people live a better life. During the second year of my college career, I knew that I want to go into some kind of a therapy to help people deal with their emotions in a positive way.

India USA

Looking back at the short 22 years that I have been on this planet, I have learned so much from the American culture as well as the Indian culture. I am so thankful that my parents taught me at an early age how to quickly adapt to changes because of which I am where I am today and I think how I think today. During the first year after the move there was always a battle going on in my mind between America and India. However, throughout these years I have learned to bridge that gap and get the best of both worlds.

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