For Which I Am Thankful to My Parents

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There is no doubt that the lunches I brought to school were unique. The lunches of sabzi (vegetables with gravy), roti (round flatbread) and chaval (rice) that my mother made for me labelled me as an outsider in school and amongst my classmates. My peers would come to school with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or typically ‘western’ lunch, and while they ate, I could only realize our differences. As much as I wanted to fit in with the other students, my mother subverted my best efforts in blending in with the other students.

Growing up, I had a black Artic Zone lunchbox that I brought with me every day. Every day I would pull out the sabzi, roti, and chaval my mother made with love and pride. The smell of my food was a flag waved big and bright over my head. It let everyone know that I was foreign, that I was different. My self-esteem plummeted when the other students around me would say, “What is that smell?”, and when the smell went away the comments, they made about me lingered.

I was exceedingly distressed at the comments being made towards me. For the rest of the day at school I thought about lunch. I would keep thinking to myself about the maelstrom I would cause every day. The girl that sat in front of me-who I had made friends with in math class-smelt the food and turned around, one would have thought that a roach was going up her arm.

That night, we were at the grocery store. My mom allowed me to pick out my ice cream since she saw I was sad and, on my way, back from picking out my favorite - triple chocolate rocky road. I realized I lost my mother. Abruptly I found her in the international food aisle. She was trying to find Indian food. As I saw her trying to find food from her mother country, I had a sudden realization.

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Both my parents were born and raised in Gujarat, India on a village, but wanted their children to have red, white, and blue inscribed in their hearts. My father had come to the United States in the late eighties and my mother had come in the early 90’s. As much as they tried to adhere to the strange language, shifting political situations, and the traditions of their adopted country, they really drew the line at food.

It made me think about the fact that everything I do in my everyday life is embraced from the culture that my parents had immigrated to. They sacrificed everything in their motherland so that their children could have more opportunities than they had back in their country.

I finally came to terms with myself that the food I eat is still something that my parents have from their home country that will forever be cherished in our family.

My parents saw that there were more opportunities in the United States. Leaving India, and all that they had known was strenuous, but still made the sacrifice for their children, whom I am one. They took the risk of coming to the United States. I am thankful for many reasons, but particularly this one. And I can’t think of a way to repay them for the sacrifice they made than take the advantage of things that have come before me and those to come.

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For Which I Am Thankful to My Parents. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“For Which I Am Thankful to My Parents.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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