Transitioning from the South Asian Festival Season to American Festival Season

01 Nov 17

The advantages of being immigrants is the ability to celebrate traditional festivals from our countries of origin and the festivals of our home country as Americans. As we leave the South Asian festival season behind, Asia Today is once again proud to present coverage from the various colorful happenings around town celebrating the diversity of our culture. As I watch social media feeds change from colorful attires at traditional celebrations to costumes from Halloween, I am reminded of our dual identities as immigrants and Americans.

In the coming months, we will celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with just as much affection as we celebrated Diwali, Eid, Karva Chauth, Durga Pooja and many more other festivals. We are the immigrants that continue to respect and pay tribute to our diverse backgrounds but also assimilate wholeheartedly into the country that is now home. And having done that, I continue to be saddened by the constant news of division in a country which once prided itself as a melting pot that accepted and provided equal opportunity for everyone.

We fight for diversity and equality in the workplace; there is study after study that shows that diversity drives innovation and success for an organization and is the key to staying competitive. The same can be said of a country but we continue to turn our backs to this harsh reality. Our diversity and ability to respect our differences was what kept us competitive and on top globally. The continued division in America and our inability to get along and respect each other’s beliefs is slowly driving us away from the success we have always seen in the global world.

While it is not required that you agree with another’s beliefs, what keeps us civilized as a society is respecting those beliefs and not forcing your beliefs on to others. And we are slowly moving away from that and moving towards a world where one party is either right or wrong and it is not okay to agree to disagree and have different beliefs. Many immigrants that moved to this country not only respected the beliefs, traditions, and history of this country but started practicing them; they celebrated America’s Independence Day regardless of whether their families were here during those trying times or not, celebrated the traditions associated with Christmas regardless of whether they practiced Christianity or not, and so on. In addition to that, they also practiced the beliefs, traditions, and history that they grew up with; they celebrated the Independence Day of the country they are from and the religious festivals for the religion to which they align. I personally feel blessed to be an immigrant American and have the opportunity to double up on the celebrations and be a part of a diverse set of festival seasons.

I encourage our readers to continue to embrace all opportunities for celebration from various cultures and religions and pray for a future where all of us can respect the diversity in this country. It is actions like these that will eliminate the division in this country and continue to strengthen our position I a world that continues to get smaller due to globalization!