Walking through the corridor, she tried to absorb the new culture, dialect, style, the walk, the talk and everything that she could. She didn’t want to be passed off as an outsider the next time she spoke to someone from here. She wanted them to feel that she’s one of their own.
It seemed to be working, slowly but surely. Fewer frowns came her way and the words started coming more naturally to her. She was beaming! Yet there were some that would ask her where she came from as if knowing the truth. Upon hearing her answer they’d say that they could tell from her accent that she wasn’t from here.
All this was fine, at least she was getting a foot in the door and making some friends as she began to sound more and more like them.
Then one day, when she was on the phone with one of her friends from back home, she felt something amiss. Her friend told her that she had developed an accent and didn’t sound like one of their own.
She didn’t know whether to beam this time around. Should she shed this skin, this pretence while talking to friends from back home? Was it still a pretence now that it came more naturally to her?
This confused her. “Where do I belong?” she asked. “Do I belong nowhere now? The people here haven’t accepted me completely and the people from back home feel that I’m not the same anymore.”
After a few days, she realized that there was no definite answer to her question. She had to accept her phase of transition and accept that she would be a part of both worlds, the former and the new one. She would proudly carry both beautiful worlds with her as she had embraced both of them with open arms. Eventually, they would too.
Just a matter of time till the new country realizes that she is just like one of their girls and her own country realizes that she’s still the same girl that left her town.
While #lifeofanimmigrant usually focuses on the struggle of settling in a new country away from home, on getting a job, money and mortgage, we should not neglect our children that face completely different dilemmas.