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Hidden diversity: “The Road Home”

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Photo of Sydney Shalz, Culturs Club Vice President, introducing the film “The Road Home” to audience members.

Pico lives in India. Pico looks like an Indian, but Pico identifies as being British. The film “The Road Home” illustrates the life of a child growing up in a culture that is not his own, it’s not what he’s used to. Even though this child, Pico, looks like everyone in the culture, he doesn’t feel like he fits in or belongs.

A woman in the film, Mary, tells Pico to look at his skin. She is trying to comfort him and make him feel like he belongs, but Pico’s response to her is that she is a racist. “I don’t feel Indian inside,” Pico says.

Too often, we can define people based on the way they look. If you grew up in the same culture all of your life, I’m sure you think this way too. However, “The Road Home” captures this emotion of not belonging. When you look at someone and define them based on the way they look, you could easily be making someone feel like they too do not belong.

Audience member, Lia Conger, said about the film, “It captured getting to know someone in real life.” In the beginning, you see India and the face of a boy who looks Indian. However, slowly the film reveals the boy cannot speak Indian. Instead, he speaks English. You get to know this boy, Pico, more and more as the film unravels him. This is how you meet someone in real life. You make your initial judgment, but really need to find out more about the person before you can define them.

“I noticed hostility from both sides,” another audience member said. Pico was angry that no one saw him for the way he saw himself, and unfortunately everyone else was angry that Pico didn’t see himself the way they did.

It’s all so easy to write down and say; “You should never judge a book by its cover.” The hard part is actually doing it and changing your outlook on the way you define individuals. Seeing that sadness and confusion in Pico’s eyes is enough for someone to want to change their outlook.

Think hard about why you like the people you do. It’s because there is something in their personality that makes you smile. There’s something about them that makes your heart feel warm. Each individual is who he or she is because of their experiences and the eyes they looked through while going through each of those experiences. Instead of defining someone, try getting to know them. You might be surprised to learn they aren’t who you thought they were.

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