Rutgers University | Division of Student Affairs – New Brunswick
In recent years, especially during quarantine, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my heritage identity. Along with whether or not I am fully ready to say, “I feel like I belong as an Indian-American.” Not limited to just microaggressions, intergenerational trauma, and otherwise alienation due to my physical racial ambiguity, I have experienced just about everything there is to feel alienated or removed from an identity. Being a community member and student leader with Asian American Cultural Center has made me feel empowered in my heritage. I am confident to say, “I am a strong Indian-American woman.” If not for this, I would not be able to put together this slide with passion and dedication to my heritage. My parents had an arranged marriage when my mother was still in her youth– especially about to finish her college entrance exams. However, due to her marriage’s timing, she had to let go of her dream to pursue education, and with that, her dreams of being a Sanskrit professor followed in suit. I never knew my mother had those dreams until I asked her for this project– that’s the very empowerment I found within this project too. I’ve always wanted to be an educator, and similar to my mother, I want to become a Korean Literature professor. She has, however, never pushed this dream on to me as an “incomplete” dream her children must fulfill for her. Instead, it’s arrived in my life as a beautiful generational dream. Also included on this slide are religious symbols associated with my family’s heritage, and on the bottom right, my name written in Hindi.