What Does It Feel Like To Have Immigrant Parents?

What Does It Feel Like To Have Immigrant Parents?

The perspective of the daughter of two immigrants.
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When the glass of my phone screen shattered into a million pieces, so did my heart. I simply could not live a life where I had to read text messages and feed updates through broken glass. It was essential that I have that screen fixed as soon as I could so my life could return to its normal, comfortable bubble.

Some people say that life is difficult being the child of immigrants. I have to say, my life is nowhere near difficult compared to what my parents have gone through. I was the first person in my family to be born in America, so I have always led a privileged life. I always thought that I had it worse than my parents, having to mix my Western culture with my Indian heritage. At many times, this created complications and forced me to make difficult decisions that made me weigh how important each part of myself was to me. I am a combination of my home in America and my people in India, and I have every reason to be proud of that. More than anything, though, I have every reason to feel a great sense of pride in my parents because of what they've done to adjust to a life completely different from theirs back home.

My parents were both born in India and grew up there their whole childhood, meaning they were only accustomed to how they lived in their motherland when they first reached America. My dad traveled abroad to America to study and further his career, and my mom came along to work. From what I've been told, life was not easy for them. I could understand; they had to change small aspects of their lives, like drive on the right side of the road instead of the left and change their measurement system from centimeters and kilograms to inches and pounds.

My mom loves telling stories of when she lived in India, and she told me about traveling to high school.

"There were no school buses, so I would wake up a few hours before school started to get ready and run to the bus stop," she said. "From there, I took a public transportation bus 25 miles away from home to the high school that I used to go to."

My first question to her was: "Isn't that not allowed? I mean, here, they make you go to a certain school based on where you live."

She chuckled and told me, "Life here is easy for you because you have everything planned out and done for you. There, back home, it's not as simple. Going to school far away from home on public transportation was normal for me because that's how I lived."

I frowned, obviously wanting to fight back and tell her that the education system has put too much pressure on students that causes mental illnesses and whatnot, but she seemed intent on the fact that I had no idea what "difficult" meant.

As the years went on, I began to notice some firsthand experiences of them adjusting their lives to fit in; having me be the first American teenager in my family also forced them to change themselves for me. I find it amazing how strong they are, both as parents and as immigrants. They are the embodiment of one voice that speaks courage and determination, and I admire that more and more each day. It must be a struggle to be halfway across the world from your family while taking care of your own, but they did it because they wanted a future for their children. I did not realize it before, but being the daughter of two immigrants is amazing.

Why? Because I have two incredibly powerful role models to look up to in times that I need strength. They'll always be there.

Cover Image Credit: Scania

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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5 Thank Yous To The Mom Whose Love I Can Never Get Enough Of

Without you, I wouldn't be the woman that I am today.

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You've loved and cared for me for almost 19 years. You've taught me everything that I know. You're a beautiful, goofy, and intelligent person who always puts your family first. You're so selfless. I am so lucky to call you my mom. Here are a few reasons that I am thankful for you:

1. Thank you for always encouraging me to pursue my dreams.

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When most people hear that their child wants to pursue their passion for music, they would laugh. They would tell their child to give up and pick another profession. You didn't. You have been encouraging me to keep going. You made sure I got into the college of my choosing and didn't pressure me to go somewhere else.

You've said to me one day, "I don't want to keep you from doing what you love. You're amazing, and I support you always. I love you!"

2. Thank you for listening to my constant drama and rants.

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You've always stood by me when I had a problem and never once did you blow me off. You stood by my side when I was bullied throughout my childhood. Not once did you think that I caused the problems. You always believed me. You listened to me when I was upset. You've listened to me when I lost a best friend. I knew that I could always come to you if I had no one else to listen to my problems.

3. Thank you for taking care of my siblings and I.

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Being a single mom is hard, but you never let it bring you down. You pushed to provide for your four children without having any help from the rest of our family. You sacrificed many things for us. You work overtime to make sure all the bills are paid. Or to make sure we have presents for our birthdays or Christmas.

4. Thank you for always cheering me on.

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Since I was one and a half years old, I've been singing. I stood in my car seat and sung along to "Fallin' by Alicia Keys." You stopped the car and turned to listen to me sing my heart out. Every time I had a performance, you cheered me on even when you couldn't be there. Every show choir competition. Every talent show. Every concert. I had your love and support with me.

"OMG, you did awesome. You made me smile and cry! I'm so proud of you!"

5. Thank you for being my best friend.

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I always knew that whenever I had a problem, I could come to you. I could gossip about many things that I experienced. We both had each other to lean on whenever we needed. Through breakups and loss of friends, I always had you by my side. We can joke about almost anything. Even things we shouldn't joke about. You were always there I appreciate it.

Thank you mom. You're everything to me. I love you!

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