I Am Different

Youth Media Academy

I Am Different

I Am Different is a short documentary film created in The Representation Project’s 2021 Youth Media Academy. In this short film, Diya explores her feelings of otherness in her small community of Bothell, Washington, as a first-generation Indian-American and follows along as she navigates her experience of cultural assimilation and self-appreciation.


CALLS TO ACTION

Questions for discussion following the viewing:

  1. Describe some cultural norms that you follow in your household that may be different from other peoples’.
  2. Have you ever been bullied or been made fun of over the cultural food you ate, traditional clothes you may have worn, speaking your mother tongue, etc.?
  3. How did American society/American pop culture affect your interests?
  4. Have you ever felt out of place interacting with people of the same ethnicity or visiting your ethnic country?
  5. Are there any communities/groups where you genuinely feel as if you belong there? What communities and why? If not, why do you think that is?

Feeling Inspired? Please consider selecting at least one of the following to bring about positive change in our society.

Calls to Action for I Am Different

* Learn about different cultures other than your own to expand your worldview. This can be done by trying new foods, respectfully visiting a different country or territory, learning a new language, etc.

* Do not appropriate other cultures. Instead, learn about any significance they may have towards that culture and give credit.

* Begin to appreciate your own culture. Ask your parents to share their favorite movies or songs from their youth—Cook ethnic food for your friends. Learn about the different holidays, traditions, and practices from your culture. Try to speak your mother tongue as much as you can at home.

* Sign petitions, email your school district members or school administrators about bringing an ethnic studies class to your school if not provided already. Start the conversation and demand representation from your teachers for non-European countries and cultures.

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