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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

On becoming a global citizen

Rose M. Mathews September 10, 2012
Not a day goes by that I don’t hear my father reminisce about the beauty of his motherland and his people—and the heavy sigh that unfailingly follows his nostalgia. It’s when I hear those sighs and when I catch him staring blankly into empty space that I see him for who he has become. The human layers of stories and healthy experiences that make one a whole person are stripped off of adult immigrants when they make the transition. Painfully plucked from the soil that they had called their own, immigrants must strive to make a living in a land that is not their own. In a desperate attempt to hold onto what they had once called home, they become vitriolic vials of concentrated ideology. They close their ears, they purse their lips and rock back and forth while chanting prayers for the welfare of their progeny. Forcefully suppressing dreams and reveries that might have been entertained in their native lands, their daily motto is reduced to “I just want to get by.” And so, the faces they put on at home can differ radically from the faces they present to the outside world.
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