The Things Worth Holding On To

June 1, 2009
By Anonymous

Religion, culture, and language: these are things that I never want to lose. Even though India is not within my reach, all my senses bring me closer to it every day. Even though I have lived in this country my whole life, I have chosen not to lose my heritage while adapting to a new culture. Instead, my decision has been to learn all that I can about my culture, and share my knowledge with others in my community.
Just as European immigrants have lost touch with their culture over generations; Indian-Americans are losing their rich heritage as well. If I could take up one cause in my life, I know it would be to spread the thoughts of Hinduism, along with other Indian teachings to everyone I meet. I especially want to focus my efforts on other Hindu’s who may feel no connection with their culture because they live so far away from their native land.
Many of the personal decisions I have made differ greatly from decisions my other Indian friends have made. While many of my friends choose to speak English at home, I instead speak my native language of Gujurati. Even though some of them have made the decision to eat meat, I choose to remain vegetarian. While they choose to study Christian teachings and beliefs, I instead choose to study Hindu teachings. Even though books on Hindu culture are not easy to find in the United States, I read what books I can find and use the internet as a tool to learn about my culture.
This year, I began to learn reading and writing Gujurati with the help of my parents, and soon hope to being reading novels. One of my greatest ambitions is to learn the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit so I can read ancient Hindu texts directly without translation. Once I am well versed in Hindu teachings, I feel that I can spread my culture to my fellow Indians who may have lost touch with it.
There is no worthier cause than preserving the culture that your ancestors have passed down through generations. I see it as a matter of great honor that I have the ability to pass my culture and tradition down to my own children; in hopes that they will work hard to preserve it so that it does not fade away as so many great cultures have. It bothers me that many Indians see speaking English and following American customs as modernizing. It burdens me even more to see my fellow Indians drink, smoke, and eat meat just to fit in. I only see these things as diverting from the path that I was born to follow.
When put into perspective what really defines being modern? Is it keeping up with the ways of the times we live in? No matter how immoral they may be. Or is it taking the culture that your ancestors have passed down, and merging it with the times that you live in? I chose the inconvenient path and will follow it even though it may not be easy. Doing the easy thing is not what I choose to do with my life; I choose to do the right thing. As clichéd as this may sound, it is the only way I have of explaining my decisions. My decisions to stick to my deep roots, and never let time, people, or places uproot me from the stable ground of my culture.

The author's comments:
I have always felt strongly about this subject and hope that through my writing I can get people of my culture to appreciate our own culture more.

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This article has 7 comments.

on Sep. 15 2009 at 5:50 pm
laxfreak1995 BRONZE, Middletown, Maryland
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment
hey i understand in how u feel! My parents are deaf n they have a culture of their own n all my friends n people i meet discrimnate against my family.

on Sep. 8 2009 at 2:00 pm
I read it again today. I'm printing it out and showing everyone. Only because I am really proud. Sound good?

on Sep. 7 2009 at 4:12 pm
haha you aren't supposed to read it or tell me what you think remember. i dislike when people read stuff.

on Sep. 7 2009 at 10:45 am
Gosh, I love you so much. Especially after reading this. Nice job, really.

on Sep. 3 2009 at 8:52 pm
I love you. thanks for commenting

on Sep. 3 2009 at 4:33 pm
I'm not going to say what I thought of this article. Just for you.

And it was hard to find. You're lucky I listen so well.

Do I get one here?

Johnyboy23 said...
on Sep. 3 2009 at 4:22 pm
So Kg if you end up finding this. congratulations. im proud of you.

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