By Marzan Khan

The rickshaws dash past me. Mothers and daughters guard their veil as our footsteps cross one another. Fathers and sons look at me wondering why I am wearing shorts with sandals. This place cannot be my home…but why do I still feel an attachment?  It was my first time back in the subcontinent and I feel far too distant from it. I was born in Bangladesh but moved to America as I child. While everyone in my family has visited Bangladesh one time or the other, I was always too dedicated to my school and hobbies that I ignored my other half. The India portion of the BRIC program has awakened me to the culture of my ancestors that I have always omitted. As I traveled throughout India with my peers, I started to understand how I am truly different than my peers and the Indian residents. While Bengali culture may be far different from Indian cultures, I cannot help but relate myself to the people and the lifestyle of these residents who reminded me of my own.

mkhan

Rickshaw in India; photograph by Marzan Khan

While abroad, I have picked up the beautiful skill of photography. Taking pictures has become a way for me to illustrate an emotion that I feel. During BRIC, photography meant going out of my comfort zone to take pictures in all weird angles and be prepared to talk to curious locals. The stories behind each photo are just as important as the photo itself. Most of my pictures show a perspective on religion and culture. Some of my favorite works entail images where people are traveling to get to somewhere or people sitting down to reflect. In taking these pictures, I have also begun to see how I too fit into the picture. When people view me, what is the setting they visualize? Is it a picture of me in a Knight Party, or rather a more professional background?  If a picture can say a thousand words, then how are we remembered?