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Sunday, November 20, 2005 

How can you understand what your country means to you?

Yesterday I experienced something I probably have never. Its a feeling. Of patriotism, missing my country (not anything in particular about it, but just the country as a whole)! Sounds weird, but it was definitely that.

So I was sitting in an auditorium at a function celebrating Diwali (an Indian festival of lights) put up by the Indian Students Association (ISA) of University of Utah. The function started with a rather abrupt start by two people who wanted to say something like "we wish to welcome to this celebration of the vast Indian culture", but they started reading previously rehearsed lines that indirectly implied the above rather than greeting the audience directly! It was very awkward. However, after they were done, they requested the audience to stand up to sing the Indian National Anthem. On hearing this, I was delighted, as I dont think I have ever heard it or sung it after coming to the USA. Its been years.

When I go to watch Utah football games, each game starts with the American National Anthem. Its a lot of fun to observe people around me with their right hand on their heart singing along with it. And its a beautiful song. However, to be frank, it doesnt arouse any feelings in me other than "cool" because I dont identify with it. Its not mine. Yesterday however, when they put on a rendition of Indian National Anthem I sang with it and held my right palm on my heart to pledge allegiance to India. And I felt a tingling sensation in every single pore of my skin on my face! I missed my country. And when I sang each line of the Anthem, in my mind I thought of what that line meant and how it represented India. It really felt good.

I wonder if it is true that one can only realize the true value of one's country only when one leaves it and goes to another country?

About me

  • I'm Indyman
  • From Seattle, WA, United States
  • I am a Risk Management Consultant at KPMG. Before this, I was an Investment Associate at University Venture Fund in Salt Lake City, UT. My personal interests are in venture capital, private equity, technology, real estate, entrepreneurship, investing, stocks, india, patriotism, mumbai, hanoi, vietnam and life in the united states.
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