Hallo. Ich bin Latika. Ich komme aus Indien. I wohne in Dessau in der Hienz Rottger Str. Ich bin vierundzwanzig jahre alt. Ich bin ledig. Ich habe eine Bruder. Ich vermisse meine Familie. (spilling out all the german I have learned so far at the volkhochschule)
its difficult, but like everything else, its temporary.
Even if leave this place knowing very little about Integrated Design, I will not be leaving empty-handed or empty-minded. All these non-design related experiences, impressions, insights from being in a new country have already filled my cup. Sometimes I feel I have had enough even though it has only been 20 days! Students from around the globe, so many cultures to take in, in a country alien to me. Every night I sleep taking deep breaths before sleeping, hoping to refresh and make mental space for some new information for tomorrow.
It is difficult because I came here in a difficult time. The positive outlook of the Germans for the refugees was fairly short lived, much thanks to the paris attack that sort of revived Islamophobia and with ignorance grew xenophobia. So its difficult being looked on as the brown girl and feeling unwanted. Language barriers make the fences seem more aggressive. But, I am trying to not let myself get bummed out by all this. Its challenging, exciting and has its good parts too. I can walk around complaining about how these people in this small German town are so ignorant and how on the other hand they get such a great treatment in my country, but cribbing is such a waste of time. Change sucks at times but changes will come. Don't fight it, direct it, and flow.
Drawing parallels to the situations here with the ones back home have really helped me to get through some difficult times. I think of all the problems back home that I don't experience here and I remember to be grateful. No world is perfect, or will ever be. And being here in this 'oh-so-perfect-first-world-country', I find myself learning to be appreciative of my lil third world back home. Something I would have not realised if I din't come here. And then, there are so many intangible values worth exporting from here to the 'mera bharat-not-so-mahan'.
Little things like the new friends you make in your class and then on Facebook can tell you so much about the world. Design students from different countries, sharing different information, having their own set of inspirations and what moves them. Instead of noticing how different you are, you start to notice the similarities like old couples strolling, people walking their dogs or like junkies wasting their lives near subway tunnels. Instead of comparisons you start to see resemblance. You put their situation in your context to make better sense of their world and eventually our world. Its amusing to see how we are not so different and then its not so difficult anymore.