"I am an Engineer and I currently live in in Geneva, Switzerland. I'm originally from India, but travel has already taken me to many different corners of the world. When I was 21 I moved to Washington state, USA, for my higher education. I was amazed at the grand wide-openness of the United States, happy to get to know the friendly, welcoming people and to experience life in a small town. I came to love the country as time passed and became an American. I married a French girl, and now I am a dual American-French citizen.
In today's America we are very divided, especially with a Trump presidency. The USA has traditionally been one of the easiest countries for migrants to integrate into. My only advice to fellow Americans is to continue that great tradition of welcoming immigrants, which has been the source of so much of the country's richness.
After 25 years in the US, I was able to bring some of that open-mindedness with me to Switzerland. I miss the cultural connection, family and the hustle-bustle from my years in India, but migration represents a chance to become a global citizen and to enjoy the amazing diversity that makes up our world. I think migrants have real potential to unite people from different religions and cultures. My experience of migration has meant being a productive citizen and doing what I can to engage in the growth and development of the country wherein I live. Interestingly, it has also prompted me to recreate new links with India — I have started working with engineering students in India and I support poor children in India through charities."
This story is brought to you in partnership with The Refugee Cultural Festival, 2017 edition. The festival was launched to encourage small, local actions to embrace diversity and support those forced to leave their homes due to war, famine and climate change. Learn more about the festival and donate by clicking here.