By Jayendrina Singha Ray
I was raised in an old city called Calcutta, in India, under the towering social pressure to speak in a foreign tongue which was not my own.
While I grew up eating tarty green mangoes dipped in salt and sweetened tamarind pickles out of glass jars, when I spoke in public, I was conscious enough to replace my Indian flavors with British ones. Maacher jhol thus became “fish curry,” idli turned into “rice cake,” and the warm wheat roti found an anglicized substitute in cold sandwiches — the latter being more fashionable compared to their native counterparts.
However, the more accomplished I felt in my ability to whitewash (pun intended) my world, the more palpable my sense of being lost got. …
This article was originally published in the print edition of the Federal Way Mirror on May 29, 2020.
About the Author
Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English composition and research writing at Highline College and Bellevue College.
About Highline Voices
Highline Voices brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other articles in the Highline Voices series that began in 2016. All Highline employees are welcome to contribute to the series. Email Dr. Tanya Powers or Kari Coglon Cantey for guidelines.