by Rita Soni
Many stories have a classic beginning, middle, and end, but not all. Stories of courage and struggles are common amongst people as they go from their teens to their adult hood. My story was no different but just the added issue of second generations in a new country with values from back home: India.
Growing up as an Asian teenager in North London was not easy. The racism of that time was ugly and our parents told us to just go to school and come back home and not create any waves. I felt like I was in a country that wasn’t mine.
To imagine what it felt like is very hard. Literally, we were leading two lives. Culturally Asian families were strict and they didn’t realise the impact of the outside world on our identity. Not quite belonging to either cultural setting we continued working hard and making something of ourselves, which was our chief objective and not blending in to our host nation. The television scenarios in the soaps seemed so different to our lives. Boyfriends were definitely frowned upon and parents kept the old values.
Their world (the western world) looked so carefree from my viewpoint and I so wished to experience that life. Education was the key. University brought in a new perspective. It brought all races and nationalities together. I was now I felt on an equal footing.
Have loved the journey and England is definitely home.
Hope you found this informative. I’m a teacher who loves to write and change perspectives.