A bunch of us got together talking about our nascent immigrant experiences and thus was born the idea for some ‘rasam for the soul’. Check out Mia’s post to catch up on how this got started.
That got me thinking. What ingredient would I be? Perungayam aka Hing aka Asafoetida of course! Why? Well! Growing up I hated it. I hated the pungent overpowering smell specially when a small undissolved piece would get caught in my mouth. It would be cloying, leaving a smell and taste that lingered for hours together. Once I grew up and learned to cook, I loved how it pumped up the taste of whatever dish I made. I grew to love the smell of it frying in oil or ghee. I understood how this minute ingredient subtly enhanced the overall flavor of the soup I made.
Why does this relate to what I am talking about? Initial immigrant experiences are like that piece of hing caught in the mouth, taking us by surprise, leaving a taste that could be called unpleasant. Over time, we turn those experiences into lessons and learn to appreciate what is special about living in a melting pot of cultures. The desiness I carry around becomes inherent to the value I add to this soup. My insights and contributions are colored by my experiences of having grown up in a different culture. It helps me be more tolerant of differences and keep an open mind more often than not. It helps me identify with the peoples of different races and colors.
So, what will you be? If you would love to be part of this venture, ping me, leave a comment or hop over to Mia’s to sign up. This will be one fun ride I promise!