In the UAE you could often smell the aroma of different spices wafting through the mall food courts or from storefronts on the street. And no matter if the restaurant was Indian, British Indian, or Indian Fusion, the one dish that was consistently on all the menus was butter chicken or murgh makhani.
With the arrival of each new year, many people take a moment to reflect on the changes they want to make in the coming year. I am ready to get out there again. Ready to make a positive impact in the community; to support international students, and young immigrants in a personal and meaningful way through volunteering.
The temporary visitor makes up a large group of non-natives in the Bay Area. With all the world leading educational institutes and tech companies, there are many post-docs, interns, and others regularly arriving for short-term appointments, whether for a few months or a few years. My husband and I are two such visitors, and as this time comes to an end we ask ‘where do we go from here?’
Traditions, whether cultural, religious, or familial are passed from generation to generation. They connect us to the people around us and help us to define who we are. So, when we move to a place with new traditions, a different culture or a different majority religion, we can find things difficult. But being in a new place does not have to mean we lose anything, it might just mean we need to change our traditions slightly.
There is no doubt this has been a scary, stressful and apprehensive time for many immigrant and refugee communities, across the country, and things are still far from resolved. But here at Life in the Bay, and across America, people are not ready to be cowed, they have stood up and said, “No,” often and loudly. People have been coming out, stamping their feet, and shouting, this is not us, this is not our America and we will be heard.