Portfolio Reflection Letter – “This Place Called India”

Dear Members of the Portfolio Assessment Committee, Before this class, I dreaded writing assignments. They always took me a lot of time, and I often had trouble coming up with interesting ideas for my work. Moreover, the writing process I followed was quite rigid: I mostly composed five-paragraph essays in high school. Throughout this course, …

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The Indian Diaspora Through Objects and Sensory Experiences in Interpreter of Maladies

Living as a member of the Indian diasporic community can come with many challenges. A common occurrence that individuals within this population experience is struggling to maintain Indian culture. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories, Lahiri examines how American culture shapes the experiences of members of the Indian diasporic community …

Integration Over Assimilation: Kala and Pathy’s Experience of Maintaining their Indian Cultural Identity While Living in the United States

“We never expected,” Kala explained. “If we were in India, we would not let her marry like this. But after I moved here, I learned a lot. [One] should not be…,” Kala paused, searching for a word, “so narrow-minded,” Pathy, Kala’s husband, finished the sentence for her. My cousin Dan is marrying their daughter Vyjoo …

Full of Emotion and Social Commentary, Swades is a Must-Watch Masterpiece of Bollywood Cinematography

Ashutosh Gowariker’s Bollywood drama Swades: We, the People knits themes such as nostalgia, cultural identity, and duty to one’s country into a complex emotional narrative that is well worth seeing. Swades means “Homeland”. The movie’s plot centers around Mohan Bhargava, an Indian man and University of Pennsylvania graduate who works at NASA (played by Shah …

Remembering Partition Essay

Gyanendra Pandey's book Remembering Partition explores the implications of state-fostered religious cleavages (and the violence stemming from them) during India’s Partition. In Chapter One, Pandey begins by introducing Partition as “violence, a cataclysm, a world (or worlds) torn apart” that led to a “radical reconstruction of community and history” (7). In describing Partition as a …