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While studying magnetism in physics class, my teacher told an interesting story about salmon. He said that the Earth’s magnetic field helps salmon find their way home up the river. They travel across seemingly empty, featureless expanses of ocean back to the place they were hatch. I felt a similar connection: that no matter where we are, there is a similar invisible magnetic field in our heart that pulls us to our birthplace.

That magnetic field runs through my veins and I feel it pulsing daily. Although I am an immigrant, there is a desire inside me that wants to go back home. When I wake up in the morning, instead of hearing my alarm clock, I would hear the calls of the rooster, instead of stepping on the concrete sidewalk, my feet would land on the soft bare dirt, and instead of the view of buildings and roads, there would be rice fields and mountains.

If I say our birthplace is perfect, then it would be biased because I know where we came from, some of us lived in poverty and oppression. However, we did not come to America because we disliked our country; it was the lack of opportunities and the way the government operates that made us leave. We came to this country for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, define the pursuit of happiness. I find the pursuit of happiness amusing and hypocritical. We are bound and trap by this belief. For example, did we spend so much that we have to work harder? Are we too self centered that we have to volunteer to feel better? Yet I am not writing to complain about the restraints and stressful lifestyle living here. The United States of America offers protection, equality, and freedom of expression (and the evidence for this is my essay that you are reading.) I am writing to tell you about my home, the affinity carry through to what I coined as “magnetism.”

A person once asked me where I came from and I immediately replied, “Here.” I didn’t know why I lied. That answer that slipped from my tongue shocked me. Maybe I wanted to a sense of belonging, that I was ashamed to be a foreigner. I was wrong, though, and I should have taken pride in where I am from. Although I lived in poverty, I loved childhood because of its simplicity and innocence. My bed was made of bamboo shoots. I washed laundry with my own hands; I picked up rice during harvest seasons, and I walked for miles to school. Everything felt timeless. I remember those late nights with my relatives while wrapping rice cakes in banana leaves. I remember those breezy afternoons, laying on a hammock listening to my grandmother’s lullaby. Some nights, my cousins and I would go on a hunt for frogs to roast for a midnight feast. Every night, before I go to bed, my mom would tell me stories of fairy tales and the moral behind (which I later discovered were actually from the Grimm’s brothers). Ever since we came here, she stopped. Maybe it was the fact that I have grown up or maybe it was because she worked from 4p.m to 2 in the morning. But sometimes, she would whisper to me about her childhood and together we would cry.

The salmon had to swim from where they were born to other places across the ocean to find food, just like how most families have to migrate from their homes to find a better life. Although some of traditions were lost by assimilation, our heritage is still deeply rooted within our blood and memories. Inevitably, we are bind to our origin; ultimately, the salmon navigate thousands of miles across entire the ocean back to their birthplaces. I look forward to coming home this summer,





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Parthavi said...
Jan. 15, 2016 at 9:58 am
You really inpressed me with this one! Why don't you write more ?
 
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