Where are you from?

New Delhi , India

What was your childhood like?

Lots of fun with loving and understanding parents and siblings who were close in age.

What brought you to Cleveland?

My husband was here and I came to join him.

What were your first thoughts about coming to the United States? Did those change?

I was excited to be coming here. Even though I was exposed to the American way of life through movies and books, reality was different.  After coming here I realized I would need to establish myself in my new country. It was as if the slate was wiped clean and I would need to start afresh. I came to Cleveland in April, and was surprised to see how excited everyone got when there was  a sunny day, but after one winter I could understand why!!!  

What challenges did you face as transitioning here?

Had to fit into the new environment which was out of my comfort zone. Many things were different, the food, the driving on the right side of the road versus the left which I was used to. The American English versus the British English which I grew up learning. We spelled Check as Cheque and so on.

What is your occupation?

I have been working with  Progressive insurance  for the last 15 years. I  am very involved in my mosque and community, and other interfaith work . I  was on the executive at my mosque for more than 10 years

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

I was lucky to have some family here already so it was not too lonely, though I did miss home. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and now after  more than 30 years Cleveland is home.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

I keep up with my religious holidays and traditions. We celebrate our religious holidays with community events and our favorite foods !!!

 What do you love about Cleveland?

It is a easy city to live in , very affordable and convenient . By March most winters, I  think about moving to a warmer place but this year has been great.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

The more welcome a person feels , it is easier for them to fit in and get on with life.