My Eyes Was Opened Essay example

Submitted By heshanperera365
Words: 897
Pages: 4

My Eyes Were Opened
“I hate Indians,” said the old American man sitting across from me. You do not need to go to Mumbai to get your medieval time fix, because a walk through ground levels of Port Authority Bus Terminal is like a tour of the 13th Century jail. It’s filthy, depressing and one only can count the nanoseconds, seconds, minutes and hours until they have escaped. The man’s face twisted into a grimace of disgust as he and his friend continued to complain that Indians had bizarre culture; that they never learned anything expect singing, dancing, and reproducing. Their inferior customs were spreading throughout the United States like an infectious disease. The funny part is, I am not an Indian. Even though I come from Sri Lanka, a country in South Asia further down from India, we follow the same culture and customs as India. I do not know why but when I heard what the man said, each hair on the back of my neck ran to attention. As I continued to hear the man’s inflammatory remarks, I gripped my Starbucks cup harder with each abusive phrase. I have been visiting New York, United States for the last nine years. During this time I have met various people from different cultures and different beliefs. I had already become fluent in English and adjusted to the new culture I was living in – a culture I had believed to be rich in tolerance and acceptance. Naturally, the man’s remarks hurt. I asked myself, “Was I really an ugly South Asian? Didn’t anyone appreciate us for anything other than the Taj Mahal or Mahatma Gandhi?” Had I not been touched by the new world that I have been exposed to? Without any doubt, my nine years of visiting the United States changed my life in countless ways. As I recall, my first visit to the United States was at the age of 10. From the minute I stepped off the plane at JFK Airport, the vastly different buildings along the crowded streets, the scene of Central Park, the feeling of excitement about my new surroundings told me that I definitely was “not in Colombo anymore.” My sister’s friends helped greatly in modifying my attitudes, as for the first time I was with people from countries which I had only heard about. It was sometimes difficult trying to find links between myself and my new surroundings which are vastly different from Sri Lanka. Although I was very young, I soon came to enjoy my new stir fry environment. By the time I returned, I was wondering how I ever could survive the thrill and energy New York had compared to my home country. Not to say, prior to this, I had been in a tasteless world. I have traveled to India which is my neighboring country, Nepal-unique, Bhutan-tiny, Maldives- paradise, Singapore-fantastic, Malaysia-tropical, Indonesia-interesting, Thailand-awesome, Burma-wonderful, Philippines-fascinating, Dubai-adventurous, Kuwait-laid back, New Zealand-where I went bungee jumping under the Auckland Bridge, Australia where my brother stays and the United Kingdom-hilarious. I had been brought up with specific religious beliefs, my family’s spiritual background of Buddhism. Thus my exposure to these various different nationalities in the United States built on my foundation of cultural awareness, rather than laying the foundation stone for it. My understanding of my new environment was aided tremendously by my ability to speak excellent English, and was subsequently one of the best gifts I