I came to the US 18 years ago at the age of 24. I got married that same year and moved with my husband to Bronx, NY. He came for higher education. I came along for the adventure. We were planning on returning as soon as he was done. The world in my small town moved faster than I expected and we no longer felt like we could fit back easily, so we stayed here and now have two wonderful kids.
I came from the South of India, I grow up exposed to harmony of diverse languages and religions. Secular was a good word. Diversity was the norm.
I miss what I loved the most about India, the intermingling of cultures. If my family did not celebrate a festival we would visit friends who did, it did not matter which religion you belonged to—you could easily get into the spirit of Id, Christmas or Diwali.
Also, in India you grow in status as you age. Age is respected in the US, but here we do not want to grow old. One has to learn to how to behave with older people, they do not want to be treated as old - so I had to make a conscious change and teach my children differently.
I miss the daily morning rituals where every family in India cooks while scents and sounds are wafting in and out of different houses over the sounds of the Azaan, the Muslim call to prayer. There was a pattern that got woven to awaken all your 5 senses. You belonged to the day now!