Hey Folks! It's my pleasure to share the first blog post of the Martha's Vineyard - Local Immigrants Photography Project. If you are interested working with me please don't hesitate, send me a message. You might be the perfect fit. It's FREE!
I have always been passionate about international culture and societies. Learning about and speaking to people from all over the world whenever I had the chance. I believe that living in different countries and exploring new traditions, languages, and mentalities gives us a chance to learn more about our own humanity. My travels have brought me to Martha’s Vineyard where I have found love. I have also been lucky to become friends with immigrants from Albania, Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Philippines, India, etc. Fortunately most of these friends are year-round residents on Martha’s Vineyard.
These wonderful people I have gotten to know, and this surprisingly diverse island on which we live has motivated me to start a new photography project. It will be about community, culture, and will focus on the local immigrants who are making lives alongside us. Each person has stories to share, and in the course of a basic conversation it is almost impossible to get sense of somebody. For this reason simply photographing was not enough, and I have begun a photo and interview series that will intertwine image and story to create a better portrait of each subject’s unique humanity
I would like to introduce Pema
Pema was born and raised in Bhutan. She came to the United States of America in 2007 as an international student. Her main purpose was to get a good education. After after graduation she found work and Love which brought her to the island where she got married. I have asked her to describe some of her adaptation process. She is embracing the change but doesn’t forget where she came from.
What kind of connections have you made since you came to the US?
“I strongly believe that everything is interconnected and interdependent, because of this belief it has been my way to make friends and acquaintances from all walks of life.”
Have you found a community here on the Island?
It has been easy for me to become part of Martha’s Vineyard community through my job as a healthcare professional. Spending many hours and days with my co-workers taking care of patient's lives helps bond and form a workplace community.
How do you find socializing with Americans?
Building intimate friendships with americans isn’t easy, but fortunately my husband and I are very close, and we have an easy connection.
What about language barriers?
Language barriers have gotten better with time, but it has been tough especially in specific professional and informal settings
Do you share your culture with people here?
Yes, at times.
What are the differences in lifestyle between Bhutan and the US?
There are a lot of differences in lifestyle between Bhutan and the US. It’s hard to list all of them. Living in Bhutan is simple and people are quite content with what they have unlike materialistic western countries. You know your neighbor and they’re a part of your community whereas I don't even know some of my housemate's name here in the US. People care too much about privacy here, but back home it is much more about family and community.
What kind of advice would you give to a new immigrant?
It's never gonna be easy but take a deep breath and move on from troubles. Get your priorities straight!
Have you been exposed to any American stereotypes of Bhutan?
Not really. I guess that's a good thing.
How would your life be if you were back in Bhutan?
I could be a simple banker, and at this point probably a mother of two or three kids. I would be much less knowledgeable about the world, but who knows, at times ignorance is bliss.
What do you miss most about home?
I have been missing my family, friends, monasteries, mountains, and rivers.
What is your definition of home?
Home is where your heart is.