JUXTAPOSITION PHOTO SERIES – Part 3 of 3: “Perception Hurts People” – Karishma Day


This is my son. Dear Lord, can you please let this little naughty guy calm down for a bit? Go away! Photo taken by Xiaoya Cheng


Just kidding! I love him no matter what. Photo taken by Xiaoya Cheng


Hello, as you can see I’m a white cat, but my mom is not. You know what! She’s the most beautiful lady in the world. Oh, my right eye color is green just like her. Photo taken by Xiaoya Cheng


Photo courtesy of Karishma Day

I Shared Smitha Day’s life experiences in Part 2 of this series, JUXTAPOSITION PHOTO SERIES – Part 2: Smitha Day’s Life Challenge as a TCK. Now, let’s turn to the page of Karishma Day, the daughter of Smitha Day.

Karishma is a biracial TCK who’s half Indian and half Caucasian. She was born in Kentucky and raised in California for most of her life. When asked her about her TCK-ness, she had this to say:

Photo courtesy of Karishma Day

Growing up in different cultures has helped me to open up my mind with other cultures. I even want to continue to travel the world to explore places I haven’t seen. I even try to learn a different language every time I get the chance. Being a TCK has also helped me adapt to different cultures, and bring different cultures together.

While, because of her biracial background, she was questioned by people around her all the time. “One difficult part I have as a biracial person is that everyone wants to put you in the box,” she said. People always assume she’s one race whether it’s because of her accent, clothes, skin color, or even eye color.

“When I go to India, people always assume I’m only Caucasian. They always say my skin is too light and my eyes are too light to be Indian. It hurts me and make me angry. Stereotyping is something we are trying to fight against in India.”

Although with all of the challenges of being a biracial TCK, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. In exchange, she gets to experience the world. She keeps learning and adapting different cultures.

“I have traveled to too many places to call one place a home.”


Remember the small white cat I showed earlier? I named him Gump, because he liked running, like Forrest Gump. He always ran though my yard back and forth. I put a bell on his neck. Every day I heard the bell ringing I knew he was around me – lively and energetic. One day, I could never hear that vivid bell sound any more. Gump had died after  being bit by a Huskie. Struggling on the floor, dying. The owner of the Huskie didn’t say anything. She went away, with her cutie pet dog.

Dog says: “You love me so much, you give me food and bed, you must be my god!” Cat says: “You love me so much, you give me food and bed, I must be your god.”  Photo taken by Xiaoya Cheng

The shaping of perception often stems from the stereotypes. Relying on an inaccurate stereotype will usually reduce the accuracy of a person’s perception, which may explain why any influence of a stereotype on perception is something biased that leads people astray.

If we’ve learned anything from Mimi the street cat and her son Gump – it is to let go of stereotypes and embrace diversity in all its forms.  For one never knows what beauty can be uncovered, if we only open our minds…


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