Jubil was sitting in an old wooden chair at my old town house his family was renting. He was eating hot rice and some type of vegetable medley, dressed in a bunch of layers from head to toe, but looked as if the layers did no good, every few minutes shaking from the cold chills he got.
After a few bites he finally said, “I arrived December 24, 2012 on Christmas Eve around 5pm. It was super cold outside I felt as if I was a popsicle in the making, but I was very happy and excited to arrive in America. I felt like my dreams were coming true. Never in my right mind did I think I would end up here out of all places. For me, going to America was like saying I was going to be the main star of a movie.”
He smirks and continues, “You know what got me the most here? Having to write and speak in English, for me, speaking was the hardest, if people talk to me, I am able to understand and talk back a bit. Although I do not have the hang of it yet and sometimes, I have to stop mid-sentence because the words just would not come out it was so frustrating. Thank goodness I already knew how to speak and write well in English thanks to the English medium school I went to back in India; otherwise, I would be completely lost.”
As he told me the next few things his expression changed from confusion into disappointment. After a few moments he spoke. “A negative point I realized while staying here in America is that India has more family values than here. In my country parents rule all the time and what they say goes, you must listen to them and not give your opinion and talk back. I am sure kids from here would not like it but what can kids like us do besides just learning to deal with it. Also parents support their kids until they get their masters degree in college, whereas kids here are independent, some getting no money for college and working at such a young age as 18 to support themselves financially. Plus, India has more traditional clothing than modern styles. In America I see that you can wear just about any type of clothing you can get your hands on, especially the girls here. Indian girls have to dress more enclosed, they cannot wear anything that they want, that would be disrespectful to the parents who raised them, making them seem like they have no family values.”
Jubil grew up in a small house, where everyone knew everyone else in the neighborhood. He lived in a rural area, with clustered houses bunched together. It was during the final year of his high school career, after first semester, when he came to America. “It was the most crucial year for me, I had just finished first semester and was starting second semester when we had to leave for America. I started my second semester of high school here and I loved every minute of it. I liked the American school system better because it was much easier, each year you take certain subjects, but in India you have to take all the subjects within one school year. For example you have to take biology,...