India is a place that leaves a lasting impression. People from all walks of life converge upon this place to seek enlightenment. When I arrived in November 2012, I was expecting to find spirituality, but so much more. For me, it always registered as an important destination because I have a special connection to India in that I’m Indian (well, kinda). Here’s how describe my hybrid descent…
Canada: I’m Canadian because I was born and raised in Canada.
Fiji: I’m Fijian because my parents were born and raised in Fiji.
India: I’m Indian because both my parents have ancestors linked to India.
Okay, I know this sounds like a stretch, but consider this… In the 1800’s, my ancestors were all living in India until suddenly their sons and daughters are taken away by the state to work on sugar cane plantations in Fiji. Isolated on an island, Indians lost contact with their friends and relatives in India. After living and working in Fiji for several generations, island life had an influence, but did not erase their ability to cook Indian food and speak their Indian languages. Collecting both their Fijian and Indian heritage, my parents upheld their roots when they immigrated to Canada.
So you can imagine how excited and anxious I was to be the first person in my family to finally visit India.
It was an unforgettable two and a half weeks that defied all the stereotypes I’d come to accept as truths about India. Over the next week or so, I’d like to share my experiences in a series of posts about India.