Episode 3: Vinnu Komanapalli by Saint Mark's Cathedral on August 13, 2021 with 3 Comments https://saintmarks.org/podcast-player/58864/episode-3-vinnu-komanapalli.mp3 Vinnu Komanapalli tells her story about how she came to Saint Mark’s, and what it’s like being one of the few South Asian people at Saint Mark’s. See also:
Vinnu, so much of what you said reverberated within me. What a wrenching change to go from a minority religion among low caste folks to what used to be a majority religion with a high caste self-image, on top of the cultural differences between your home state and the U.S.
Although I’m white I grew up in Thailand as the child of Christian missionaries. Christians were, and still are, 4% of the population in Thailand. Among the Christians my parents were well-regarded, but Thai kids outside the church still called me “white like bird dung.” I also went to a Christian boarding school in what was then Udar Pradesh, where white kids were a very small minority. And of course I had a difficult adjustment and got lots of confused and ill-informed comments upon coming to Seattle for college.
Vinnu, I hope to encounter you at St. Mark’s. I would be honored to learn more about your experiences.
Pamela, I am so sorry that I am just seeing this now, four months after you originally posted here! Thank you so much for this beautiful response! For a long time, I identified as an Adult TCK (and still do as one of my identities) and can very much connect with what you are shared about these cultural crossings. You can feel like you belong in neither and both cultures at the same time which is a confusing limbo sometimes. I very much hope that I see you at St. Mark’s, and would love to hear your story too. I hope we can make it happen!
I’m grateful that Greg Bloch alerted me to your answer, Vinnu. I would enjoy talking with you so much. I go to the 9 a.m. Sunday morning service, and also the Thursday 7 a.m. Eucharist (1st and 3rd of each month) and Zoom Morning Prayer (2nd, 4th, and 5th of the month). I’m a short, white-haired, eye patch-wearing, white woman with a big smile if not masked (crinkles around my eyes if masked).