The Best of Both Worlds is a personal journey, but it is also the journey of thousands of people who come to America seeking freedom and opportunity. It is an immigrant story of my introduction to and adoption of American culture. Like the countless people who have made and still are making the journey to America, this book details the challenges of holding on to one’s roots while adapting to enjoy life in a new culture. While the challenge of balancing two starkly different cultures might seem a daunting task, I have shared how my deep-rooted Eastern philosophy allowed me to discover that opposing values can be complementary. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge from scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita, spiritual masters like Gautama Buddha, social leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, and my personal Guru, H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I have been able to attain a balance between cultures, between family and work, and between myself and the world at large. Harmonious cultural integration usually occurs when there is some giving and taking. You consciously and deliberately surrender those native values that do not make sense within your new environment. Conversely, you embrace the aspects of your new culture that can enrich you, your family, and the environment. This requires thought and moral acumen; rather than melting into the big pot of opportunities, it is about retaining the best parts of your old world values that strengthen your new world moral compass. In the process, you will have to wade through an elimination process without jeopardizing the family and social equanimity. But it will give you the Best of Both Worlds!
This book details the challenges of holding on to one’s roots while adapting to life in a new country, and the attempts to bridge the gap between two starkly different cultures. In a thoughtful and compelling narrative, Neeva Pradhan relays the story of her upbringing in Nepal, the challenges she encountered upon arriving in the U.S. as a student, and the crucial questions she confronted as she raised a family in her adopted homeland.
Full of humor as well as myriad perspectives on the immigrant experience, Pradhan offers keen insight into the art of balancing the values with which she was raised and the attitudes of the country to which she immigrated. Capturing the best of both worlds is an ongoing adventure that consists of great challenge yet also profound fulfillment.