Like many immigrants before her, Priya Bellare took the oath of citizenship with feet firmly planted in her native and new countries.
Being an immigrant has been a way of life for me. Adapting and getting to know different people, in order to fit in, has been a necessity, not an option. But I have noticed how people from different corners of the world come here, to start fresh, with a new visibility that wasn’t experienced in their own countries.
As I drove to the city to take the oath, I thought about how my birth country gave me the foundation, courage and freedom to dream big and think big.
Living in the U.S. for 22 years has, however, changed some of my beliefs.
This country allowed me to dream more, feel inspired, and do tasks more easily. I owe a lot to its people for allowing me to stay here like their own, despite being an outsider. This thought of being an immigrant, in fact, never came to my mind. I did feel like I belonged here in many ways.