Volume 92, Issue 21

Thursday, October 8, 1998

far out


Western: so far away yet right at home

Re: Western honours the world

To the Editor:

I remember my aunt standing before me, looking at me with loving aunt-eyes and telling me, "don't forget us, beta, don't ever forget our roots."

My plane was about to depart, I was coming from India and I couldn't move. I took a deep breath and tried to digest my nation all at once – the smell, the people and the land. I promised never to forget.

Now, I stand and breathe on different soil, so far away from my homeland. The people that walk by me seldom travel by scooter or rickshaw, sacred cows don't roam the streets, dawn isn't welcomed by vocal vegetable sellers nor is the temperature searing hot. This is not at all like home.

I enter my first year here at Western and making my way to and from the UCC is a special treat. The faces that walk by are varied and wonderful. An array of cultures, vibrant when I trek my way to the Natural Science Center for an early class and just as spectacular as I hurry to make a night class at Middlesex.

I was pleasantly surprised to notice the multicultural aspect of the school – Western is proudly home to students from a mosaic of different cultures that have many unique traditions and values. The richness in diversity is fostered by the many different cultural clubs that are offered to students.

During Clubs Week, I saw many associations that offered students of various ethnic backgrounds a chance to socialize with people that share a common bond. The special welcoming of international students by that department is a wonderful asset to our foreign peers.

Even though the Indian culture stems from an ancient land with ancient traditions, I believe there is a place at Western that will accept them. As I do believe there is a place for Chinese, Jamaican and Czech culture too.

It seems that as I walked through the aisles of Clubs Week, there was something for everyone nothing was uninteresting. Almost all nations were honoured with an association and those of Canadian origin were not left out.

When I finally walked out of the UCC, I was a member of the Hindu Students Association and of the Western Indo-Canadian Students Association. From the literature I collected, they share similar values and traditions as I do and try to provide a comfortable environment to appreciate them.

So as I made my way back home, I remembered that night at the airport in Bombay. I remember the nation my father and mother grew up in and also of my aunt as she spoke those last words to me. My aunt will be happy – I still remember my roots.

This school won't let me forget them.

Deepak Sethi

Science I

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Copyright The Gazette 1998