At 21 years old, I realize that I have done myself a disservice. I can barely form a coherent sentence in my language, letters are foreign squiggles to me, and I find myself performing exaggerated gestures to communicate with my non-English speaking grandma. This is certainly not due to a lack of exposure to Tamil, but more as a result of a conscious distancing.
Girls like me are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our critiques about, let's say, the misogyny within our community are so often co-opted by white Eurocentric feminism as a kind of "see, look, the oppressed brown women need us!" And at the same time, I don't want to silence myself from critiquing by own community just because I'm scared that some white feminists may twist my words.
The recent enthusiasm to hear immigrants tell their stories is a positive step for Canada, and will bring us towards a better understanding of the shared experiences that make up our collective identity. As anyone with a good storyteller in their family knows, a compelling story warrants being told over, and over, and over again.
Many people who are affected by war don't make it into the history books. One of them walked into my home the other day to install California shutters. He was born in 1960, the same year as I was. His name is Thic and he remembers well the corpses piled up outside his home after America changed her policy and pulled out her troops. Our world is populated by Thics.