San Diego is a place where you can find people of all walks of life – people of all races, all nationalities, all sexual orientations and all economic standing. This really makes me ponder about the value of diversity in our lives and our innate sense of accepting each other while being proud of our values and identities.
I experience a lot of diversity, in all forms, on a daily basis. I am going to list and expand 2 of the most striking ones. The first one is within my apartment itself. It is a 3 bedroom apartment, in which 4 people live. Me and one girl have our own rooms while two males share the third room. It is interesting to see that in this small subset of people, 4 different nationalities and ethnicities reside. To begin with, I am an Indian, one of the males is a Latino from Mexico, the other is an African-American from Dominican Republic while the girl is a Caucasian from San Diego. We all speak in different accents, yet are able to understand and communicate seamlessly with each other. We all cook foods local to our culture, yet have no complains with how the kitchen smells. It is something that I marvel at each day and truly believe that living with diverse persons, makes you more tolerant and open-minded while also being respectful and proud of your own culture.
The other experience in which I experience a lot of diversity is on the bus ride to and from work. The bus always stops at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla. Lots of old veterans, of all races, usually get on the bus at that stop. What is the most fascinating thing for me is that no matter the color of their skin, they are always talking to one another about either some trivial matter or life and hardships. Just sitting and observing from a 3rd person perspective, the diversity amongst those persons is clear. However, valuing that diversity and being comfortable with talking to strangers of a different culture than yours, is what makes it so important and makes me proud to be an Indian.
That is the biggest takeaway that I have learnt over the past 4 weeks of my internship, that no matter where I go, who I meet, or what I do, my culture is who I am and I have to uphold it in the best and most respectful way possible.