Where I'm from [JAPAN]

Myra Mehta
Where I'm from is probably one of the hardest questions to answer. Where am I from? I know that I was born in India and raised in Japan. Is that where I'm from, though? I am from a lot of things other than where I was born and raised. 
I am from my mom. Who believed in everything I did and no matter what supported me. 
I am from my father's joy
My mother's smile
And my brother's laugh.
That is where I'm from. 
My father's joy
My mother's smile 
and my brother's laugh
is what keeps me alive as a middle schooler who just barely survived 7th grade.
I am from all the Indian holidays celebrated and the culture that represents our country.
From the amount of times I played Holi because you never know when it's your last time playing. It's the day to celebrate all the joy,
and color in our life.
 It's a day to be grateful for everything you have. 
I am grateful to be Indian. 
Regardless of what people say about my skin color. 
Everyone is human.
Everyone fights their own private battles.
Your culture and religion are the last thing to be ashamed of.
And the first thing to be grateful for.
If I wasn't Indian would I still have a little bit of Holi color still in my hair after washing it out 5 billion times? 
If I wasn't Indian then would I be able to celebrate things like Diwali and be grateful for small things that can be taken easily for granted?
This is where I'm from.
I am from being Indian and celebrating Indian culture.
I am from representing you only live once
I am grateful for the small things because they matter.
It's not what's on the outside it's about what's on the inside. If you can't respect your own culture, religion, or beauty then you will never be able to respect others.

Myra Mehta is a thirteen-year old girl currently in the seventh grade. Myra was born in India and raised in Japan. She goes to the American School In Japan, also known as ASIJ. She loves to play Soccer and Volleyball. They are her favorite sports. She once remembers baking with her Mom. It was a failure. She didn't know that in the future she would be a great baker. Her family and her would go on trips almost every summer. Those were the most memorable experiences for her. Going on trips taught her so much; Maldives was her favorite trip by far. Being in the ocean reminded her of summer and took all her stress and worries away. Myra loves to write. She has said that her favorite stage in writing was drafting because “you can put your whole mind into it, then you can edit it."

"Holi, Festival of Colors" by sonstroem is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!