Simply Shreya: maybe I’m the bridge


Morgan Kong

Wingspan's Shreya Jagan shares her personal take on issues and experiences in her weekly column Simply Shreya.

Shreya Jagan, Staff Reporter

Four days from now, I’ll be celebrating the festival of lights. Just the thought of of Diwali brought this overwhelming feeling of melancholy upon me. But not for the reason you would think.

 I’ve lived in the United States all my life. I grew up surrounded by American culture. But I’ve always had an affinity for my culture. Festivals, and traditions. I don’t know if I had ever wondered why. Why I cared so much, but suddenly I did. Questions I didn’t even know I had started popping into my head. But one question, in particular, stood out. 

Who am I?

My parents moved from India to the United States so that I’d have a better life and so that my brother would have a better life. I never realized how much they gave up for me. They gave up their family and I know that nothing could ever amount to that. My parents are the bravest people I know because I don’t know if I would have it in me to do the same. 

We religiously celebrate every single holiday. We do it for our heritage, our religion, our beliefs. But, we also do it for the people we love. And I wasn’t mature enough to understand this until now. 

I like to assume that I don’t have an ego. But I know that I’m one of the proudest people there is when it comes to my history. 

It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I’m torn between two different countries with no bridge to cross. 

Maybe I’m that bridge. I’m dejected, but yet full of joy; I’m devastated, but I’m also hopeful because I get the best and the worst of both worlds.

My whole life is here.

Friends, dance, school. 

All of it. 

And most of my family is over there.

They’re only a phone call away. But at the same time they’re also 9,000 miles away. 

I think that’s why it matters so much to me: all these celebrations. Because, no matter where I am, they’re celebrating and I’m celebrating.

We’re celebrating.