Saturday, January 13, 2007

Where are you from?

Dear Children, Good Evening.

CNN anchor Monita Rajpal, received a bachelor of applied arts in radio and television arts from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. Here is a story of her life and experiences for you to read.

With Love,

One question I get asked a lot is, "Where are you from?". The short answer would be to say I'm Indian. The problem is, I have never lived in India and saying I'm from there makes it sound almost false. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely proud of my heritage, of belonging to what my mother likes to term,"A proud Punjabi-Sikh family". But to say I'm from India implies that I have lived there and have absorbed all that being an Indian entails. I was born in Hong Kong and lived there till I was 14 then moved to Toronto, Canada. I lived in the U.S. for more than three, and I now live in London, England. So when I'm asked where I'm from, I think about all these places that have shaped who I am and how I think about things.

To make it even more complicated, my mother never lived in India.She was born and brought up in Shanghai, China, and no, she's not ethnically Chinese. My father, though, is the real thing:born and brought up in India and moved to Hong Kong only when he met and married my mother.

I'm not afraid to move to another country if it's what I want to do and where I want to be. In any culture there is that same history of movement.Our forefathers left the land of their birth becausemany felt they had to whether it was to avoid persecution or because there was a need to findbetter opportunities to provide for their family. I know that many of us who do that now certainly havea great appreciation for different cultures and countries. There is a sense of feeling comfortable anywhere we go.That said, we also add to the cultural landscape of our adopted homeland.