Friday, November 28, 2008

American Desi

The longer my family stays in America, the more I realize how confused desi/mixed culture/1 and a half generation/culturally complexed I am. And yet, I still want to be either this or that, black or white, Indian or American but at the same time am so proud of the mixture I am. I imagine every American Indians' Thanksgiving went like this yesterday: with all the hustle and bustle of roasting a turkey, smashing potatoes and baking pies, not many people had on the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade this year. Most of us had CNN or one of our Indian channels blasting throughout the house, giving us a minute by minute update of the attack in Bombay. Many of us glanced at the screen in between bastings and saw the Taj, remebering it from one of the many summer trips to the Gateway of India.

The one day I most desire to be a regular American family, I am reminded that I am only pretending. A person can eat a complete turkey dinner made from scratch but does that make me American? How can I be fully American? My dad has always said as long as my eyes are round and my skin is brown, people will question what my background is.

This event further acknowledges my battle between my two cultures. Do I feel sad that India was attacked or do I feel scared that like my family vacations, the families/businessmen/wedding parties were involved? And which side do I side with as an Indian? The vacationers or the citizens?

My heart goes to the many people who lost their lives and have gotten injured, and I feel even worse about the architecture and the history that this attack as destroyed.

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