Family Time in Virginia

Family Time in Virginia

One of the best parts about living in the D.C. area is how incredibly easy it is to travel to areas outside of D.C. Thanks to the Metro system, I’ve been able to visit family in Manassas, Virginia that I hadn’t seen in almost ten years. I’ve spent a few weekends with my cousins there, and my heart hurts just thinking about heading back to Canada in a few days.

 

Family BBQ

Family BBQ!

 

The first weekend I stayed with them, I tried Chipotle for the first time, helped them move into a new house, and had a crazy good sundae from the local ice cream shop. We stayed up late every night watching movies, even though it always took us a solid two hours to pick one (and then were annoyed when the one we all agreed on ended up being horrible), ate homemade Indian food, and listened to the new Jay-Z album together. We ranted about politics and feminism and growing up and pretty much anything else we could think of. We reminisced about the time we all went to Disneyland and wished my brother was there to be a part of our new inside jokes.

 

This weekend, they took me to their dance studio — they’ve been teaching traditional Punjabi dance for a few years now and own the Virginia School of Bhangra. I participated in the lesson and realized how far removed I’ve been from my culture. As someone who has grown up in predominantly Caucasian communities, there’s been little opportunity for me to connect with my parents’ Indian culture. I just never took much interest. But visiting my cousins here has changed my whole perspective, and I’ve now decided to more actively immerse myself in cultural events back home. Maybe I’ll join the Edmonton dance team!

 

Driving to dance class

Cruising through the streets of Manassas, Virginia

 

I also had Chick-fil-A for the first time here, tried playing cricket, and went on a lot of incredibly scenic drives. Overall, visiting Manassas has pushed me to explore that scary place outside of my comfort zone and has helped me realize a lot about myself. I’m so glad I got to reconnect with my family here, they’ve made feel so welcome - I wish I didn’t have to leave.

 

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