It took me years to recognize the importance of diversity and customs. As a girl growing up in two cultures, I found my own tradition something to be ashamed of. I was just a little innocent four year old girl when I made my new home in America. I came to love America, but this resulted in me forgetting about which culture I came from. Migrating to America is something that drove me distinctly away from myself and my religion of Hinduism. Slowly, I began to recognize the lack of knowledge I had for my own culture. This lack of knowledge was a huge frustration for me. However, this all changed when I went to my home country, India, for the first time in seven years.
I was very excited about going to India, but I lacked the knowledge of a true Indian. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived there. What kind of fun things can you possibly do in India? This was a question that crossed my mind several times before I arrived in India. I thought of India as a nation suffering from poverty and a nation that was far behind on advancing technology. However, I came to realize that I didn’t need technology in order to be happy and that there are many other things that I can do to still have fun.
Visiting India meant a lot to me. India is a place where we can get together in groups and have celebrations to express our traditions and to express our culture of Hinduism. I am proud of India’s rich culture and of the unity that brings out the best of the culture. India is a place where I can shop and not be ashamed to express who I truly am with my traditional clothes and my traditional accessories. India takes up a huge proportion of my personality and how I will continue to grow as a person.
Some things that I enjoyed about my trip to India were shopping and the celebrations. Two of my favorite Indian celebrations were Diwali and Navaratri. Diwali is a celebration in which we do fireworks. Diwali represents the victory of good over evil or light over dark. Navaratri is a celebration in which dances occur for nine whole days to honor the mother goddess. On the other hand, some things I didn’t enjoy in India was spotting wildlife roaming around everywhere in my town of Visnagar. Also, I didn’t enjoy how I had to walk around for miles to get to places, but this was an important experience because it showed me that we often rely on vehicles to get to places instead of relying on our own two feet.
From my trip to India, I learned that I shouldn’t always rely on technology to do things. I also learned that culture and tradition are important. Not only do culture and tradition help shape the person you are, but they help you see the beauty that exists in every person. Culture is what makes everyone so unique with their own thoughts and ideas. Without culture, everyone would have the same ways of thinking, which diminishes the uniqueness of the individual. My trip to India changed me because it taught me the value of culture and diversity and about how thankful I am that I have that in my life. When it was time for me to return to America, I brought back with me my culture, which will stick with me for the rest of my life as an Indian.
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