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WHAT’S YOUR PRIVILEGE?

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In today’s column I would like to talk about privilege.

Now, privilege is something that is always been discussed,

and more often recently. You turn on social

media—Twitter, Instagram, etc.—and you see talk

left, right and center about privilege. The privilege

that this group has or that group has. But, in this column,

I am not here to talk about the privilege of different

groups—I’ll leave it your interpretation which

groups these could be—but about the privilege that

I, Trishna, hold.

First and foremost, is the privilege I have as an

American citizen. My parents weren’t born here, but

they became citizens when they moved here. And

when my sister and I were born, several years later,

we became citizens too. And being a citizen means I

have the ability to live a worry-free life. I mean, as far

as all of that goes. I still have worries, believe me. My

grey hair is proof of that. And yes, I’m 25 and I have

grey hair—if that’s not proof of my nature to constantly

worry and stress, I don’t know what is. Anyways,

by being a citizen it means that I can travel without

much hassle, I can become an elected official if I so

choose (which I probably never would because that’s

too much stress) and I can vote. The last of which is

the biggest privilege. Having the opportunity to make

my voice heard and vote for candidates who support

the same causes as I do and who believe the same

way about the issues as I do, is just the most amazing

thing. And, speaking of, I really hope all of you

exercised your right to vote. If you see this on November

6, then get out there if you haven’t! And if you

see this on November 7, well, Election Day is over so

if you didn’t then you can do it next time. But that’s

enough political talk, let’s move on.

As I said in the previous paragraph, being a citizen

makes it easier for me to travel around the world

practically hassle free. And that’s a good thing because

my family is quite international. As mentioned,

my parents were not born in the USA. My mom was

born and raised in India, and then moved here at 24

when she got married. OK, slight tangent here to say

that my mom was out of her house and married at 24

and I’m 25, still at home (because I want to be and my

parents want me to

be), and the thought

of getting married

now is alien to me. I

want to get married,

I’m sure that’s been

clear through my

previous columns,

but I am SO NOT

ready yet. I still have

a year/year and a half

of Master’s classes

to get through. Your

girl is getting her first

Master’s in December

and a second one

in the near future, so

marriage isn’t really

on the cards yet. But

I’m going off track.

So, as I was saying,

my mom lived in

India and then came

here. My dad, who is

Indian, was born in

Africa, moved to Lon don

at age five or six,

did all his schooling

there, came to Amer ica

as a young adult and has been here ever since.

As a result, all of my mom’s immediate family is in

India and all of my dad’s immediate family (except

his brother’s family) is in London. So, being a citizen

means I can travel to those countries, with no issues,

and see my aunts, uncles, cousins (and grandparents,

when they were still with us). And that’s so good

because I am very close to my family; particularly

my immediate family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m close

to my extended family as well (second-cousins and

stuff), but it’s just that I have this very close, unbreakable,

bond with my dad and mom’s siblings and their

kids. So much so to the point that I don’t even consider

my first cousins as cousins, I consider them my

siblings and treat them as such.

Speaking of travelling, another privilege I have is

that I had the opportunity to live in Europe for five

years. My dad’s job transferred us there when I was

13 and I lived there until I was 18. Now, ignoring the

school aspect (which wasn’t that great of an experience),

every other part of our stay was just incredible.

Not only did I get to go to London and India more of ten,

I also got to visit parts of the world I never imagined

I would. At such a young age I saw France, Italy,

Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Norway and

more. And, within those countries, I got to see so

many different cities. In our school, we got a week or

two weeks off every six weeks and, every time one of

these holidays rolled around, we’d pack up our bags

and head to a different country. And I cannot express

how thankful or grateful I am for those times and opportunities.

And this doesn’t even include all of the

other within America travel we have done. I mean I’ve

been to Disney World six times and Disneyland Paris

once. And, if you need an inkling of why that is such

a privilege and big deal, then read my tidbits from

last week.

I also have privilege thanks to my uncle. Let me

explain. My uncle is an accountant in India and many

of his clients are Bollywood celebrities. Now, I am

not much into Bollywood anymore but when I was

younger I LOVED it. And I loved so many Bollywood

celebrities. And, due to my uncle’s job and connections,

every time we visited India, I was able to meet

at least one of whichever celebrity I liked at that time.

And these meetings weren’t just ‘hello’, autograph,

‘goodbye’—they were proper ones with conversations.

Although I was always too star-struck to talk,

but that’s beside the point. Furthermore, because my

family are the only immediate ones who live outside

of India, we tend to be really spoiled when we actually

do go. Which, I say without hesitation, is another

aspect of privilege that I hold.

There are many other types of privilege I have, but

I am making the choice to not go into them in this column.

So that’s all for today. Thanks for reading and

I’ll see you next week!

Oh yeah, I used the following website to help me

find the privileges of being a citizen because I didn’t

know them off the top of my head: https://www.uscis.

gov/sites/default/files/files/article/chapter2.pdf

Photo Credits: En.Parisinfo.com, Geology.com

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