In chapters 5 I realized that Gogol was finally relieved that he was able to change his name before going off to college. I’m surprised that Gogol’s parents supported his decision to change his name because it had a significant meaning to his father. His father named him Gogol because he survived an accident in India and he had Nikolai Gogol’s literature in his hand and he felt like it was significant for him. But Gogol does not really care about that. In college he started introducing himself as Nikhil. He felt more comfortable and confident when people called him by that name. But I believe that it’s a valid reason for him to change his name because if he feels more like himself with the name Nikhil there is no point of keeping a name he is ashamed of. Even though it upsets his parents that he changed the name they gave him, it’s up to him and whatever makes him feel better about himself.
In chapter 6 Gogol compare Maxine’s family with his family a lot. Both families are very different with very different backgrounds. Gogol likes being with Maxine’s family. He enjoys their company a lot because his family isn’t really like that. I feel like Gogol was being selfish because he started ignoring his family just because he enjoyed Maxine’s family more. During the end of the chapter Gogol ignores his mom’s call because he wanted to be with Maxine. He ignored her call knowing that she is all alone in their house in Massachusetts. He knew that his mother needed him the most at the moment but still chose to ignore her. Ashima had never been alone and I feel like that was making her anxious and Gogol should have been there for her at the moment.
In chapter 4 Gogol celebrates his birthday twice, in an American style and in Bengali style. He lives his life double because of his different culture. In his Bengali culture, he has more traditions that he follows and meets with other Bengali neighbors and friends. When he celebrates it an American way he just invites his friends to his house and has American food and plays games with them at home. He has to live a double life because he doesn’t like mixing both his Bengali culture with American culture. I understand his struggles because while growing up I also had the same problem as him because I didn’t know if I was Indian or American. many people always tried labeling me as Indian or American, but it took me time to realize that no one has the right to say that to me.
Growing up, just like Gogol I celebrated my birthdays twice because I had to do it the American way first with my school friends and then I had to celebrate it again with my family and friends that are Indian. It was different both times because of different music, games, and food. As I grewuo I realized that there is nothing wrong with combining both the American and Indian culture.
Gogol also had issues with his name in school because it was different than everyone else’s. He never understood the significance behind his name and I think that his father should explain that to him. Gogol is having a hard time understanding why his dad kept his name Gogol and because of that, he lied to a girl about his name. He told a girl that he met that his name is Nikhil instead of Gogol. He was ashamed of his name in front of the girl.
In the book “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri the story starts off with Ashima going into labor. Ashoke wasn’t there by her side to support her and it made me feel like Asoke didn’t take her labour seriously. When a woman goes into labour, it is a serious matter and she needs her partner’s support at the moment. But Ashoke, on the other hand, was not there for Ashima when she went into labor, he just dropped her at the hospital and left. I am also South-Asain and in the culture, it is considered that men are superior to woman. I feel like Ashoke was not there for Ashima because he probably did not think that she needed him to be there with her. He does not realize the support she needed while she went into labor.
For Ashima coming to a new country and adjusting to the new culture was difficult for her anyways. At a certain point, Ashima was having trouble talking to the nurse in English, and I feel like if Ashoke was there with her it could have been easier for her to communicate with the nurse. Ashima already is in labor and she still has to deal with a language barrier, it was probably very hard for her to manage that. I think if Ashoke was by her side things could have been easier for them because they both have each other’s support. When migrating to a different county there is a difference in culture and language. In the book, they were having difficulty adjusting to that barrier because they came from a different country also that does not have the same culture or language. But if they both supported each other well it could have been easier for them to deal with that issue.
In the article “One Step Towards Equality, Two Steps Back for Asian-Americans” by Tristen Chau, the author mentions the stereotypes that are used against Chinese in Hollywood movies. In the movie Crazy Rich Asians the entire cast was Asian ans it was a very proud moment for the Asian community because that was the first time in history Hollywood has made a movie like that. But after watching the movie many people didn’t like all the bad stereotypes that were being used against Asians in that movie. They did get the recognition as Asians in the movie but at the same time they were still portrayed unfairly on screen. I believe the whole point of the movie to cast all Asians was to be able to get rid of all the negative connotations people have against Asians, but in the movie it portrayed Asians as materialistic and also misrepresented Singapore as a country. They only showed Singapore’s lavish lifestyles, and not the rest of Singapore. This further shows that many people expected the movie to show how Chinese-Americans really are and to express their good qualities rather than continuing all the stereotypes that were put on them since the time Chinese had migrated to America in the 1800’s. In the movie Singapore was misrepresented because it didn’t show Singapore as a whole and only showed the lavish part of Singapore. Singapore is way more than all the lavish things that were shown on screen, they hadn’t shown the authenticity of Singapore which was misrepresenting it. I think that if the movie had portrayed Asians better in the movie it could have helped them with all the racism that they face in the country. Chinese-Americans were always looked down upon in America because of the stereotypes put on them when they started migrating to America.
My name is Fatima Ali. My family is from India, and I was born in New York. I live in Jackson Heights, Queens. Both my parents migrated from India and came to America in search of a better life and future. When they came to the country they did not know anyone here. They had to make new friends and meet new people. I grew up not having any extended family in America. I visited India 3-4 times in my life and met the rest of my family there.
My college experience so far has been really good. Most of my professors are nice and they aren’t boring. I was hearing from other college students about their experiences in college and it was making me scared but after I started, I realized it was not as bad as everyone was describing to me. In the summer I had summer academy classes for the SEEK program, and when I would go to college everyday in the summer I was very annoyed about it, but now I’m glad I had those classes in the summer because I got used to the college life. I hope the next four years will be great too.