So, as I’ve probably mentioned before in my about page or one of my previous posts, I am a pure bred Sri Lankan. Both my parents were born in Sri Lanka and so was I. I am also a Hindu, as both my parents are as well.
However, recently it has come to my attention that I am in fact losing my roots and as a result losing part of me.
Where I live, I’m not surrounded by many other Sri Lankans. Therefore, the only times I actually get to be part of an environment with lots of Sri Lankan friends and family is when I go the temple or at parties such as engagements and birthdays.
Being Sri Lankan, there are two main languages that are spoken, Tamil and Sinhalese. The latter I came to America at the age of 3, I replaced Sinhalese with English. As I grew up, went into high school and now find myself in college, I’ve noticed I’m losing my Tamil. I mean, I still comprehend what people are saying, but there are some words here and there I can’t quite recall their meanings.
I’m not sure if you guys are familiar with this but, often many Desi parents, even almost all parents, when they are on the phone with relatives of friends, they try to pass the phone onto their children and force their children talk to whomever is on the other end. Well, of course my dad does that and this is what lead me to come to terms with the fact that I am, in fact losing my roots. Once the phone was passed to me, I could easily pass phase 1, the greetings and the how are you? Phase 2, the how’s school? What grade are you in and what do you wanna study questions were a bit more tough, but survival was guaranteed. Phase 3 and on, well that was a different story. I couldn’t quite ask the questions I wanted to ask because I couldn’t form the questions properly. I had a tough time answering the questions, besides the basic ones. I couldn’t hold a conversation.
From a young age, from the influence of my cousin, who I explained I no longer talk to, I was a huuuuggee Tamil movie bluff. I watched every movie and spent hundreds of dollars on DVDs every year during our annual trip to Canada. But now, I have no idea who these new actors are in any of the movies that are out or have been out. In fact I don’t even know what movies are out.
Overall, besides being able to prove from my birth certificate, I don’t know how I’d identify myself as Sri Lankan. And now I’m worried.
As for the religious aspect, I find myself getting lucky if I can even make it to the temple more than twice a year. Also I find myself eating meat on the days I’m not supposed to, as well as eating beef here and there. Which are two aspects of my religion I find myself disregarding continuously.
I also hate the fact that I can’t justify my religion, and by this I mean I cannot seem to answer questions my fiends ask. Or even the questions I, myself, have. So, where does this leave me?
So, as of today, I’ve decided to address this issue at hand and maybe once I let it out and speak about to you guys, I’ll find myself in a better position to root myself.
I guess I’m just going to have to root myself after losing myself just as the title says. But now I’m left with the question as to how? How do I find my roots again?
If I had time on my hands, sure I’d go to the temple more often, hit the couch and get familiar with the all the movies I’ve neglected so far and familiarize myself with those colloquial terms I often hear here and there, and just go around practicing my Tamil and my religion.
But I go to school and hold two jobs, as well as having a social life with my friends. I guess I will try to find a way to find my way.
But let’s turn the lens towards you guys. Any suggestions for me? I would really appreciate it.
Have any of you felt this way before or are feeling this way after reading my post? What have you guys done to stay in touch with your roots? I always appreciate the feedback.
byee my loves