I am so relieved that this election is over and more importantly, that Barack Obama is the president elect.  There is a god!  I didn’t realize how keyed up I was about it until last night – I cried, actually sobbed once it was all over.  I didn’t think it would affect me that much – of course, it’s partly the hormones.

But mostly, it’s a really big fucking deal.  I know I’m stating the obvious here in terms of what it means to America, to it’s history, it’s culture, but it’s a big deal for me personally.  I came to this country at 17, to go to school and have been here for 18 years now.  In all that time I always viewed my time here as temporary – I would go back home. India was always home.  In the past year I’ve made a lot of steps to making the US another home.  I’ve gotten married to Mr. CC (an American), I’m having and probably raising kids here, I’ve been working on building a professional life that better reflects who I am as a person – which may not seem to have anything to do with being home.  But as an immigrant, I have frequently lived with the sense that my time here is temporary, and that when I go home I’ll do the work of really building a life that represents me.  So for me to make these changes is a big step towards accepting that I am home.

Through all these changes the one thing I could never, ever contemplate, is giving up my Indian citizenship.  India does not allow dual citizenship and to become a US citizen I would have to give up my Indian passport.  People have often asked me about it and I would always laugh and say ‘Why would I voluntarily give up my country, to become a member of a country that would never elect someone with my skin colour?’ I would say that and I’d be laughing, but inside I’d be cringing.  As someone who has chosen to live in this country, I always feel like I have to justify that choice to myself – and it was getting harder and harder to do so in these last few years.

Well, not anymore.  I’m not stupid enough to think that this is the end of racism in America, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.  While I’m still not willing to give up my Indian passport, at least I’m no longer horrified at the idea.  And most importantly, when I think of bringing a child into this world, it no longer seems completely insane to do so in this country.

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