As you grow up, you are told to follow your dreams. There are countless films and books that tell you to do just that and it seems like an easy thing to do. However, it’s difficult to conform to these standards when growing up as an Indian girl in a western society.
A lot of Asians I know are incredibly talented at numerous things both in the arts and academics. Unfortunately, focus has been placed on the academics within us at such a young age that we forget to take part in the things that make us truly happy.
Speaking for myself, I’m sure you all know by now how much I adore dancing. Being on stage and moving my body in response to the beat and feeling as though I don’t have a care in the world is something which I can’t find elsewhere.
Teresa is a sweet and strong Indian woman whom I haven’t met in person but I’ve watched her grow into an incredible human being through the wonderful world of social media. She has a way with words which speaks through to your soul and recently she posted a poem which really described how I felt in this point in my life…
Now I don’t know her personally, but I’m sure that in an ideal world she’d love to spend her days with a pen and paper surrounded by people who support her decision to write poems and touch the souls of many to her heart’s content. But let’s be honest, she’s an Indian girl and I can be fairly certain that she may receive backlash from someone if she decided to do this rather than become a doctor or an engineer.
It’s not exactly breaking news that Asian parents have high standards for their offsprings. There was a time in my life when I hated this aspect of my culture. It seemed silly to me that we didn’t have full support to do whatever we wanted to do with our lives. But as I grew older and learnt about the hardships that the generation that brought us to a country that made us more privileged than millions of others from across the world, I began to appreciate this aspect of my culture.
The western society may mock the fact that we’re forced into a career which may not be our first choice but I find it almost insulting. I think our generation do not appreciate the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors enough to know that sometimes we have to make sacrifices to make our parents proud. This may mean that we have to put our dreams of dancing, writing, singing or painting to one side and do something which makes them fill with joy on our graduation.
But that’s not to say that you have to forget about a hobby that makes you happy, it just means that you’re an even stronger of an individual; and it will mean that what our ancestors went through had more of a purpose. No one can stop you from being an architect who has a secret talent of being an incredible singer, or a doctor who can crush others in a dance off or a teacher who can melt many with their skills in poetry…