In India

No one asks you ‘Are you Tamil?’ when you wear a pottu
It doesn’t bother people – make them uncomfortable

It’s very commonplace to wear flowers in your hair – all sorts: Jasmine, Frangipani, Gardenia

It’s not bad-ass for women to have piercings on their noses
or men to have piercings on their ears (even a piercing through the middle of the nose is fairly every-day)

There’s nothing unusual about wearing bells around your ankles

In India, people are shocked at different things,

Like when I say I’m Sri Lankan

But I can’t speak Tamil.

Because here, knowing more than two, even three, local languages
Is very, very normal.

And they cannot fathom how I could have lived in a multi-ethnic country all my life

And can only speak one of the two native languages.

I can wear a pottu
And wear flowers in my hair
And wear anklets

But I can’t speak Tamil?

Shocking.

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