Say Thank You To Your Immigrant Parents
Lifestyle

To The Land And People Where Our Blood Runs Deep

Thank you for escaping the bullets and bombs and mines and still being fearless leaders.

15554
To The Land And People Where Our Blood Runs Deep
Personal Photo

To our parents who were displaced and refugees from Bosnia and Hercegovina, to the people who still remain to keep our home country alive, and to the first-generation kids growing up in the United States, this is for you.

The times are changing, generations are passing and I'm getting older. I remember being younger and visiting my hometown of Teslic in Bosnia and Hercegovina with the streets filled with lively people. My parents greeting old friends who stayed back after the war, each colorful house down the street busy with neighbors having coffee. I couldn't walk 100 feet without millions of hellos.

I went back to visit this past October in 2018 and I never felt as much confusion for my identity and roots before. The roads still had people but exceptionally less. Some people passed away and others moved to different countries, leaving my family's hometown just declining in population.

I spent a lot of my time with my grandma and grandpa outside just breathing in the crisp mountain air.

There's something about Bosnia's air that fills your lungs with peace and pours through your veins. I could sit and stare at the sky and believe me, I've never seen a sky so beautiful. A calm breeze sings between the grassy fields and travels between your ears like a hymn. The mountains cover the hilly landscape and all I could think about is who is lucky enough to live on top of the world.

I grew up in St. Louis with immigrant parents, like many of my fellow Bosnians who live here. I know I'm not the only one who's had trouble with identity.

It's like you're too American for the Bosnians but too Bosnian for the Americans.

I wish to keep my culture and language alive, but with each generation passing, it feels like it's dying out. There are still schools that don't teach about the genocide and war that displaced over 70,000 people to this area.

St. Louis is the only place I know as home, but I can't minimize the overwhelming connection I still feel whenever I get to visit Bosnia. My grandparents, my cousins, my aunts and uncles still live there. I get off the plane and it's like my heart twines with my soul as soon as my feet touch the ground (as cheesy as it sounds). It's like my taste buds have never felt such stimulation and I'm on over-drive. All the food tastes better (and that's not only because my Aunt is an amazing cook) but the food is nourished right with my families' hands. The radio is turned high with old Bosnian music. Little strawberries grow in all corners of the village with the sweetest taste. There are cats that roam around and want some loving and milk. They hide in the long grass fields or in the haystacks, and that kind of country beauty is irreplaceable.

My blood runs deep through the grass and dirt and bricks and buildings and water and flowers and fruit and families of Bosnia. One never knows true heartbreak than watching your parents' sadness when leaving their parents. Every visit to Bosnia ends with prayers for grandparents to stay alive another year. We work and go to school and work some more and break our backs just to have a blissful month in Bosnia for the summer.

Imagine being 20 (my age right now) and being forced to flee the country. There's genocide on your front doorstep and you have no choice but to leave into unknown lands.

Go on, start a life with no money to your name, your family left in another land, and you're all alone. I never could fathom my parents' strength and resilience. I often get beyond angry at myself for complaining about foolish little things while my parents traveled four different borders to get a second chance at life.

My mom always says, "everything happens for a reason," and I believe it, with all my heart and soul. I know there's a bigger reason for all of us being displaced and for our parents being separated from theirs and from their bodies being torn from their beloved soil. There has to be a reason that I can't see my grandparents whenever I want or why some lost theirs in the war. There has to be a reason so our mother's tears don't fall in vain, so our father's fears and nightmares don't go unnoticed and so our family's deaths don't go unjustified.

Here's a thank you to my parents and your parents and all parents of refugees and immigrants.

Thank you for taking care of us, for sacrificing all known to man, for learning a new language, for taking the shitty jobs to feed your family, for being made fun of because you're foreign, for loving us endlessly, for keeping our culture alive and teaching our children our traditions, for still sending money to your parents while struggling to make ends meet, for escaping the bullets and bombs and mines and still being fearless leaders.

Report this Content
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments