Growing up as a person of colour in the Western world, it's pretty common to reject your culture at first. It takes a while for you to accept that coming from a different background is not a bad thing, that it's actually the opposite, and that learning more about where you come from can help you to figure out your own identity later down the line. Music artist Priya Ragu has struggled with this exact issue, having been born in Switzerland after her parents escaped civil war in Sri Lanka. Growing up, she struggled to merge both her Tamil and Swiss cultures but eventually managed to channel it into her music. We spoke to Ragu about her journey into the music industry, growing up in Switzerland, and what her future holds.
"I think I resisted Tamil culture when I was young," the singer told POPSUGAR. "When I was a teenager, it was like I wanted to feel more accepted in the white community, and I just wanted to adapt and be cool. Tamil culture was just not something that I was proud of at that time, and people used to bully me, saying 'curry' and all that stuff, and talking about being Tamil, how it sounds so funny and how people dress and that it's funny. Everything was funny to them. Eventually I was like, 'Damn, OK. You guys are right.' I was just not proud of it at that time," she explained. Ragu had a pretty strict upbringing, and she said, "My parents were very strict, so everything that had to do with their culture, it felt like, 'I'm not allowed to do anything here.' It was difficult to grow up between two cultures."