Exotic name! where are you from

Vidhya Mallikarjunan,
Blacksburg, VA.

I was born and have lived in the US for my whole life. And I’ve been blessed to live in a town where my race doesn’t come up too often especially in negative ways. But still so innocently people will constantly ask “where I’m from” but I’m from Blacksburg. It’s so ostracizing, it makes me feel like I am somehow other, like just because you can’t say my name I’m somehow obviously different. And I love my name, it is mine, but so often no one takes the time to even try to say it right. They will say Tchaikovsky without a pause but cannot afford me two syllables. It gets old and it’s small, but it’s a constant reminder that people see me and don’t think of me as “us” but them.

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