A Long Road Trailing Back

Wedding plans are underway. We are thinking about a traditional Sikh ceremony at the nearby Gurudwara. I’m not shopping for white wedding dresses.

Blending with the Indian culture of my fiance’s family has illustrated even more how little of a culture I have myself. His parents were born in India and arrived here in their 20’s. The same for all his aunts and uncles, and some of his cousins. His grandmother once asked me when my family arrived in the US. I wasn’t sure. The most recent transplant was my paternal great grandfather. Before that, it’s all a WASP-y blur. We came from lots of European nations; there must be a relative somewhere who knows which ones.

While technically America can be said to have a culture, I’d say it’s a culture that  blends and borrows, that seeped over on boats and came on the soles of disintegrating shoes. In elementary school they called it a melting pot. By middle school they called it a salad. Whatever. It wasn’t roots. It wasn’t a long road trailing back to the beginning of me.

There’s something beautiful about this country’s unlikely brew of voices and beliefs. It’s wonderful that here I can marry a man from a different race without our families or our government batting an eye. But there is also something alluring about a salwar kameez, about hands blossoming with henna. The inside of a Sikh temple. The past of people I’ve grown to love.

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