Tag Archives: Identity Loss

OPINION: Grounded in the Waves

by Kamna Shastri

Throughout my life I’ve looked for stories that mirror my experience as the child of immigrants and as a South Asian American. The narratives I found featured the young adult who wants to distance themselves from their heritage to blend in with their white, American peers. I never connected with those stories as a child.  

My childhood, embedded in nostalgia as it might be, is rooted in the cadence of the Tamil language, the music of A.R. Rahman, Friday night Bollywood movies rented from the only Indian store in town. I think fondly of community gatherings in living rooms filled with families dressed in the sarees and salwars that rarely saw the light of day except on such special occasions. 

I’ve been told the language I use to talk about my Indian American experience is sticky-sweet with nostalgia. But those words and descriptions are real to me. My memories of being an American child are synonymous with being Indian.

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