Identity Essay

498 WordsOct 20, 20112 Pages
In Anurita Bains’ anecdotal narrative, “Riding the Hyphen”, she vividly recalls her feelings and actions after immigrating to Canada to attain her Canadian acceptance while concealing her Indian identity. Bains clearly depicts herself as being Canadian dressed in casual attire but quickly discovers that her boss wonders if she would rather have on her traditional Indian dress. Bains, who has tried endlessly to fit in since the age of four by suppressing her Indian traditions, changes her name to Anne to avoid embarrassing situations, and is even told to quickly learn English and adapt to Canadian life. She even forgot Punjabi, which is an important link to identity, is upset by her boss’ absurd suggestion. After moving to a wealthy town in Canada, Bains and her siblings excel tremendously in high school which masks her Indian heritage: an evident minority in her new town. The essence of her culture is lost even more as she perfects sounding normal while losing her accent, and where Bains shows vast knowledge for other heritages but is ignorant of her own. Bains even goes as far as ensuring that none of her neighbours see her when she is dressed in an elaborate Indian outfit by getting into the car while it is still in the garage. The futile attempts of her parents trying to enforce Punjabi at home is quickly defeated, and they soon go back to speaking English. Even as Bains is in university, she is constantly trying to find ways to assimilate by piercing her nose, bringing her to a cool and commendable status. Being constantly surrounded by surveys through the media that specifically target immigrants, Bains begins to question the meaning of being Canadian as the significance slowly dwindles. Bains befriends another Indian woman who understands and shares her feelings about being lost as an Indian-Canadian and does not have to worry about being judged as stories are

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