By: Anvee Bhutani
In the 21st century, a difficult reality has become that many teens pull away from their first language if it's not English and aren't interested in maintaining and learning the language of their parents. With this in mind, many people often ask me how I am able to embrace and promote knowing multiple languages and cultures. I think personally I have been able to maintain my language because of the strong connection to my culture and my parents that I have always had. Since I was little, I was constantly spoken to in Hindi by my parents and grandparents, and this causes me to this day to associate Hindi with my feelings of home and comfort. Because I was so connected with my culture and the Indian community in the Bay Area, Hindi stuck with me throughout my childhood. However, when I was younger, I, like many other children, would feel embarrassed when my parents would speak Hindi with me in front of other people, as in America, diversity and individuality of cultures are often not embraced due to the homogeneity. However, I quickly learned that the ability to communicate in a second language is extremely valuable and arguably vital. I embrace different languages and cultures because I believe they give you a window into a different person’s worldview and life.