It’s been a while since my last post. This winter has been really busy. My husband and I bought a house in December, and during Christmas break I was busy pulling off wallpaper, scraping the sticky glue left behind, and painting walls before we could move. I never realized how many layers of work it takes before you paint a wall. In the midst of renovating and moving I was also thinking about grad school and the thesis project I am working on. There have been so many layers of work, thought process, research, mentorship, and critiques in my own work before I can call it done.
As I wove more and more I kept thinking about my multicultural identity – how I am shaping it and how it is shaping me. The other day I was chatting with my uncle on the phone and he kept laughing at me because I was mixing lot of Nepali and English words while speaking in my mother tongue (Newari). I also realized that nowadays my dreams are in Nepali instead of Newari. I am not aware of when the shift happened but when I realized it I got very sad and fearful. Most of my Newari friends living in United States do not speak Newari and I communicate with them in Nepali. My husband Peter lived in Nepal for long time and speaks fluent Nepali, so our conversations are a mix of Nepali and English, but I don’t have anyone to talk to in my native language except my family, who I only talk to every once in a blue moon.
I started wondering if my Nepali identity will slowly fade as I live more in mainstream American culture. I have lived here for 10 years now. What happens after I live here for 20 years, when I’ve been here longer than I lived in Nepal? How will my identity shift during that time?