There’s a chicken breast baking in the oven that I marinated in tandoori masala and curry powder. I made some raita (yogurt + diced cucumbers + diced onions + a green chilli) as well. Instead of making some rice, I’m going to make a sandwich with some bread from Panera. There are two more hours till my first class of the week. I’m looking forward to a delicious dinner before three hours of strategic planning in class.
When I was in college at Anderson University, I started marking curry chicken pies. I had just started dating my boyfriend (who’s American) so cooking food that was a fusion of both cultures became an off-and-on hobby. My boyfriend and I often talk about how he (and most of our friends) have a strong sense of Place that heavily influences their identity and beliefs. I have a different experience since I lived in multiple states in India, lived outside of my home country, and have very few ties to one particular town.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve asked a few of my friends to make a list of the things they love about living in America. *Note: I’m not focusing on being American or American foreign policy*
As an individual who loves travel, detests commitment to one place, and claims few emotional bonds to any specific country, it’s hard for me to identify with individuals who do have a strong sense of place. An attachment to home is a trait I do not possess. I don’t feel like this developed as a result of studying abroad but a quality that made leaving home at 18 much easier for me.
I’m hoping this exercise will help me understand a different set of values and appreciate my own experience of life in America. Here are two of my reasons:
1. When I take the #16 bus to class, I love seeing a female driver. I don’t often see women in India employed in jobs that require frequent interaction with strangers or the public. There’s a sense of freedom that comes with this observation. I often feel like a woman in India is expected to be a daytime daughter confined to living between sunrise and sunset, distant from the public, political and religious sphere.
2. Although much of the USA has to be explored by car, I enjoy walking through public parks that are well-maintained. I used to take long walks with my Dad as a child so it’s a peaceful and positive memory.
Feel free contribute to the list. What do you appreciate about living in America?