"One New Beginning"

November 8, 2008
By Tasnuva shabnoor, Lawndale, CA

In a mixture of different races, religions, sexes, and life, culture is truly visible. To me, adapting to a new environment and blending in, has become second nature. My world consists of hundreds of people with no resemblance of my ethnicity or religion and it also consists of adventure, culture, and learning from experiences. My experience of moving to a different country has “confined” me to live a dual life now. Outside of my apartment everyday I see people with western clothes, liberal lifestyle, and food from various cultures. But the moment I enter my apartment, the whole world changes. It is as if I have walked into a distinct realm, alienated from the society outside. The smell of rice and “torkari”, and the sound of a different language and the clothes of a different country become a part of me. The culture I have grown up with has become engraved in me and yet I tend to change myself when I go outside. It is not the fact that I am ashamed to reveal my culture, but I feel more like myself when I camouflage into being someone else for a while. This is where my tendency to look for adventure comes in. I have adventured my way through seventeen years of my life and the more I risk my stakes, the more I am inclined to do it again. Whether I win or I lose I know everything happens for a reason so I like to take a chance whenever the situation presents itself. Living a dual life for seven years I have learned to appreciate different cultures along the way and have developed a proclivity towards learning about poverty, relationships in different cultures, and just learning about interactions between people. Thus my adventurous side tells me to travel to different countries and provoke change not just superficially but “within” individuals. Growing up having to learn independently by trial and error, I am also interested in science and technology. Working with computers does frustrate me occasionally but often I find myself apt for solving technical problems. In my “confined” world I feel that I am restricted from exploring beyond my “neighborhood”, and that feeling provokes me to take a risk at life and explore the unknown parts of the world that are indistinct from me.
At one stop I got out of the truck, tired and dehydrated from the scorching heat and found myself in the midst of different people; some were hungry, some jaded, and some hopeless. I remembered just a day ago when I was at my grandma’s house, thinking of going back to America to get out of the mundane summer. But now I was at a place where there was no trace of technology, no clean streets, nor any trace of security; it was only the outburst of starving and helpless people who wanted a roof above their head and food to fill their empty stomachs. My impression was confusing; I couldn’t speak but stare at the small plastic wrapped homes near the edge of the lake and the swarming people around the homes. I thought to myself that the decision my uncle and my dad made had a grave significance; it wasn’t just about providing food to these hungry people but it was about making a small difference in their life by providing a hand to them when they needed it the most. My thoughts about the boring visit to Bangladesh had changed the moment I got out of the truck to see the poverty stricken villagers. I had found the adventure and satisfaction I was looking for; I had found the inspiration and motivation I needed to fulfill my goals. I later found out that the people in this area had been hungry since the day of the flood. It was an isolated area where no one came up to provide help. Fortunately, after wondering around in our trucks for hours we had found people who needed the food most. That day when a lady ran to me and told me “God bless you”, I was elated. I cannot describe in words the sense of excitement that had trickled up my veins; I felt like I had conquered the world. My adventure to this place was unknown to me, if I had not taken the chance to go to the trip I would not be where I am today. This experience is a significant part of my goals and dreams today. I am proud to be a part of the “team” who made a small difference in another part of the world. I am thankful to my munificent uncle and dad who made this adventure possible. After I came back from Bangladesh, I was inspired to get involved in my community more than I had before. Thus, I have joined various clubs like, Peer Mediation, MSO (Muslim Student Organization), JSA, Academic Decathlon, and I am an active volunteer in Billy Mitchell, UCLA Medical Center, and I collaborate with two of my friends to teach an art class in Anderson Elementary. My increase in involvement in my society has impacted my life tremendously. I take these activities as a challenge and a time to make a difference in my own society. The person I am today is truly the product of my experiences and involvement in society. On a larger scale, my greatest dream is to be able to impact the lives of the people around the world who are a victim of "life". To fulfill this dream I want to give my best at everything I do and hope for the best to come.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Swoon Reads

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!