Hello, namaste, hola, bonjour, and marhaba. My name is Shraddha Joshi and I am currently a sophomore at Meridian World School. In this blog, I would like to share my journey as an aspiring polyglot, thinker, and dreamer. I hope to document my discoveries as I study language, discuss my sociopolitical viewpoints, and record my various endeavors as I attempt to make sense of the world.
I am a lover of politics and all things language. I am a dancer, singer, and patron of the arts, as well a serious enthusiast of international music. I have grown up practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation, a practice that incorporates teachings of different religions. Sahaja Yoga is my source of balance in life, and it is because of this practice that I have become so interested in different cultures and faiths. In addition, I am an active volunteer with the Austin refugee community, something that I feel is extremely important in our country today.
Of all of my interests, studying foreign languages is my favorite. As an Indian America, I have grown up bilingual, speaking both Hindi/Urdu and English. For the past four years, I have been learning Spanish and French at school, and I love making connections between the two. Since my freshman year of high school, I became extremely interested in studying Arabic. I have since taught myself how to read and write in the Arabic script, and I am slowly adding new phrases and words to my vocabulary, through independent study. In fact, this summer, I will be going to Jordan on a full merit scholarship from the State Department, to study Arabic in an intense language program! My familiarity with a range of different languages from varying families has gotten me interested in linguistics. I spend great lengths of time reading articles and using online translators to discover the linguistic connections between words, as well as how these similarities may have come about.
Ever since I can remember, I have been a strong enthusiast of politics. I love reading and analyzing news articles, and I update myself with three different news sites a day, in an attempt to shape my own opinions! I would like to use my blog as a way to express my viewpoints on domestic and international politics as well as social justice related issues through opinion essays and articles. When I was in seventh grade, my school started a Model United Nations club. I have thus developed an unceasing love for foreign affairs and public speaking. In fact, I aspire to study International Relations as a major in college, with hopes to pursue a career in diplomacy.
For the past ten years, I have been learning the Indian classical dance style of Bharatanatyam, as well as Hindustani Indian classical vocal music. These arts are an extremely important part of my life. I believe that dance is a language and a means of communication, and I like to use it as a medium to express my ideas and viewpoints. In addition to classical music, I have always loved listening to international pop and rap music. I feel that listening to music is a great way to hone my language skills, and I tend to spend time reading translations of the songs that I listen to, just to learn some new vocabulary. Currently, at the top of my list are Nicky Jam (Spanish), Nancy Ajram (Arabic), Yas (Farsi), l’Algerino (French), and of course, anything Bollywood.
Starting last summer, I began volunteering with GirlForward, an organization that mentors high school aged refugee girls in Austin. I helped out in the summer camp, and aided the girls with conversational English, among other things. This has been one of my most inspiring experiences, and I have made friends from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanamar, El Salvador, and many other nations. Currently, I volunteer weekly as a Youth ESL Tutor for newly resettled refugee children with Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT).
I truly hope you enjoy reading my blog, and becoming a part of my experiences!