Saturday, March 08, 2008

School is out and I'm still standing

I am still very much alive & kicking, and what's more, still laughing. The first school week is now behind me. On the whole it went much better than expected. No real troublemakers, simply teens. Some serious, some clowns, some noisy, some sweet. And yes, some genuinly interested in what I have to say. Some even went so far as to ask me about my ethnic background. For those interested, they call me ''Juf" I guess "Sharida" is still a bridge too far.

This interest was probably brought on by my lesson about Victorian Britain and its colonial jewel in the crown: India. We moved back and forth from Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice to the Anglo-Indian film Bride and Prejudice.

As said in a previous post, of course I am most definitely Indian. I have all the genetic features. I eat Indian food. I listen to Indian music. I have certain Indian values. But that's about as far as it goes, for I was born and bred in the Netherlands, with family roots in Surinam, a former Dutch colony in South America.

Perhaps this year will be the year in which I shall actually visit the Motherland, if only to interview Shabana Azmi. Can you imagine me finally going to a country which I only know from books, documentaries and Indian cinema? Me joining 1.2 BILLION countrymen. Me who comes from a single-parent family. Me who has no brothers and sisters. Me joining a sea of people who look like ... me.