Just let this sink in for a bit. #ferguson
Independence Day was lost in the turmoil of moving three thousand miles across the country I have called home since I took my first breath, but my family still whispered the words “Happy Independence Day” across the dinner table like it was some sort of secret that we had to keep. Like it was ours to hoard and share rather than something that belongs to more than a billion people, arguably more so to them than us.
I realized this year, that while I can recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing most of the Star Spangled Banner, I can only get three lines into the Indian National Anthem before beginning the customary questioning glances and awkward slowing of my words that reek of hope that someone will join in and remind me what comes next.
And here I am, sixteen days later, trying to remember the words of a national anthem that escape me without turning to Google, because turning to a search engine is admitting defeat. Turning to a search engine is telling myself that I am not the man my parents raised me to be. Turning to a search engine would be to indelibly paint myself American, in the red of my ancestors’ blood, in the white of the salt ripped from our oceans and the blue of an island nation that stole our hearts in the name of imperialism.
Turning to Google would be to embrace the ignorance of my heritage that seems ubiquitous among my generation.
Turning to a search engine would mean that I am not Indian enough.
So, here I am, anchored far from home in a city famous for putting hot sauce on things that absolutely should not have hot sauce on them, wondering whether I have enough of my parents’ and grandparents’ blood running through my veins to lay claim to my own identity.
Happy Belated Independence Day.
I’m still searching for mine.
sighs dramatically upon realizing how much of my family was in the rss
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