Print Edition - 2019-01-23  |  The Collegian

Missing home

- Arshima Dahal
I didn’t like this new country at all. Every few days, I begged my parents to take me back. I didn’t want Christmas or Halloween.

Jan 23, 2019-

It was the first day of my school and I didn’t find a reason to smile. I was introduced as a new student but to my disappointment, not even a single person pronounced my name correctly. I was afraid and nervous at the same time. I had difficulty in understanding their words and slangs. Unlike Nepal, students didn’t wear a proper uniform to school. Just a friendly wave was sufficient for the teachers. To be honest, nothing was familiar and comfortable for me. Things were totally different there. 

The first few days of school were such a burden for me. I didn’t even feel like smiling, even once. I had no energy and enthusiasm to wake up, with no proper school uniform to wear, no one who understands my feelings, I hated going to the school. I made excuses to skip classes, I cried every next day demanding to go back home. But I was swiftly told I am a kid and I should obey my elders.

I used to miserably miss my school back in Nepal. I had to quickly learn many things—from as trivial as tiffin time being changed to lunch time. The laughter and giggles that echoed my school hallways back in Nepal during the tiffin time was replaced by the eerie sounds of knife and fork. I felt that I was losing myself. 

The study patterns here were different. I didn’t have my bench mates anymore instead I was given a single desk and a chair, further isolating me from everyone else. With the sadness in my heart, I felt like I was becoming a new person. I had to adjust without my family and friends. 

I held myself together when many festivals came and went, thinking what my friends may be celebrating it back home. But slowly, by human nature, I got used to it. But deep in my heart, I missed riding cycle to school and tying ponytails with colorful ribbons. 

I didn’t like this new country at all. Every few days, I begged my parents to take me back. I told them I wanted my Laxmi puja, Bhaitika, Dashain. I didn’t want Christmas or Halloween. I wanted to hang on monkey bars with my friends and play with my newborn cousins. 

Today, after struggling for a decade, I am a citizen of this country. I have few family members over here too. But during Dashain, I have to go to work and it’s been years since I have been missing Tika. I live here, I am a citizen, but nobody celebrates my festival and I don’t get a day off for this. I still count the days when I last went back to Nepal. 

 

Dahal is a medical student at Nepal Medical College.

Published: 23-01-2019 09:16

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