Happy Onam to our Friends In Rochester, NY

Posted On: September 14, 2014

Every year, the Malayalee association in Rochester, New York celebrates Onam in a wonderful way. Before moving to Kerala, my husband and I were active members of the Greater Association of Malayalees in New York (GRAMNY) for several years before moving to Kerala. Although we now live in the largest Malayalee association of all, Kerala, some of the opportunities to learn, participate in and perform cultural acts were somehow easier to do in the US, outside of India! The Malayalee association and all of it’s members, past and present (and future!) hold a special place in my memory. Thank you for all that you do!  

This year, GRAMNY asked all the community members who moved out of Rochester recently to send in a short video clip wishing the current community members a Happy Onam. What a wonderful idea! About 10 families participated in this video, including us. As Krishna is a bit camera shy (he prefers to be behind the camera), I represented us both!  

To all of our friends in Rochester, here are our Onam greetings from Kochi!! 

The editors of this video have done a fantastic job, haven’t they? Enjoy!!

For those curious, my full video greeting is below. (Or watch it on YouTube, click here.)

We wish your Onam celebrations were memorable and amazing, friends in Rochester and beyond!

A few years before this video was made, I made a video talking about my appreciation to this very same community. See that below!

Allowing others to accept me leads to self-acceptance, thanks Malayalee community!

Thank you to my Malayalee Friends!

Welcome to the series on “Giving Gratitude”, today I will share my thanks to Malayalee community in Rochester, NY. 

Hello everyone I am your host, Jennifer Kumar.

Being a part of the Malayalee community has helped me to learn:

  • How to feel like an ‘insider’ when it may seem like I’m an ‘outsider’.
  • How to find commonalities with others and feel like I truly “fit in” in both the ‘outer’ world (likes, dislikes, etc) and in the ‘inner’ world (thoughts, feelings, etc.).
  • How allowing others to accept me leads to self-acceptance (and visa versa).

Lessons I have learned:

I can….

Find things in common with others in my outer world
(likes, dislikes, hobbies, foods, etc.) even when
appearances are deceiving.

Find commonalities with others in my inner world

(thoughts, feelings, experiences, values, etc)
regardless of labels or outer appearances if I am open to finding it. (Other’s
joys and struggles are relative to their experience . There is no fair comparison.)

Find self-acceptance in allowing others to accept me.

Have you ever felt like you did not ‘fit in’ or ‘understand others’ or ‘be understood’ by others when you moved abroad as an expat, international student, or newcomer? Why or why not? What kind of things help you feel a part of your ‘new community’? How did labels you place on yourself or others influence your adaptation and comfort in your ‘new home’? I share some of my thoughts on this being a part of an immigrant (India- Malayalee/Kerala) community in the USA. (These are issues I help people explore through Authentic Journeys.)

Thanks for spending your valuable time here today!

Read: Kochi & Rochester – 3 Common Threads

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