I moved to Chennai recently, after living in the United States for 15 years. At first, my only intention was a vacation. But a series of unfortunate events, forced me to stay. Thankfully, the people here accepted my family with warmth.

I was shocked at the population and surprised with India's natural environment and how alluring it is with its many varieties of vegetation and flowers. From what I had heard, Indian celebrations are enticing, big, and pure fun! Who wouldn't want to dance with family like there's no tomorrow for Dandiya? Or dress up in elegant traditional wear and spend time with close friends and family for Diwali? Two holidays I wouldn't have been able to experience in America with such enjoyment.

Though India has many pros, there are unfortunately cons too. Sadly, not all the children in India get the education they deserve. In America, public education is as good as that in private schools. In India, family is all important and is first, no matter what the circumstances, unlike in America. Overall, my stay in India has so far been a blessing. It has been cultural and educational experience.

Ila Govan, Grade X, Gateway American International School