Siddharth Sivalanka

“Through learning about my culture, I can engage in special and memorable conversations.”

Siddharth Sivalanka: My interest in learning about my culture, and my language dated back to the age of 8. Due to some circumstances, I had to live outside of the United States for over 4 years, and I started to get a feel for my culture. Being someone who has Indian-Subcontinent origin, I enjoyed looking at the cultural differences, and how life flows in various areas. As I was observing these changes, I realized that I was not committed to my language, as I predominantly spoke English, with little understanding of my culture, and its significance. For this reason, I started to developed an interest in mastering the language, focused on spending time with my family and close relatives, and understood by translating phrases from English. Due to my passion for learning my language Telugu, as I made the move to return to the US, I desired to go to a Telugu teaching academy, which was just like school, but instead only learning the fundamentals and the nature of the language. Joining in my 5th-grade year, I continued learning this language for the course of the next five years developing my understanding of the language. I went from understanding basic phrases to being able to read, to being able to write full sentences, and finally to engage in impromptu conversations. I have enjoyed learning Telugu for the course of my 5 years, and through learning about my culture, I can engage in special and memorable conversations with other relatives living in distant places. Over the course of the years, I have met some of my closest friends, many important teachers, and I got to share my experiences with various students in group activities. Due to my yet continued passion for this language, I have started using the knowledge I had acquired, and am now working as a co-teacher to enrich this knowledge for the next generations of students. I am to continue to learn more, and enrich myself in my native languages and culture, and as I get older, continue to shape me into becoming a better, and more open-minded person.”

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