I know you’ll think this girl is just as much of a Sunny Star as I do. Her personality lights up a room and her writing lights up your heart. Nivedita Kar is such a ray of sunlight for whoever she meets; she always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude in her heart. I’m so excited for you to read about her life experiences—take it away, Niv!
1. You recently got back from a trip to India. What was your happiest memory from the trip?
My happiest moment of the trip would be visiting a remote village just outside of Calcutta where my Dad’s family used to live. There were lush green pastures that stretch for miles, cows and goats roaming around, little huts as houses, and sporadic little ornate Hindu temples throughout the village. We even had a temple dedicated to the Kar family lineage and everyone in the village could be traced back generations to somehow be related to us!!!
2. What is it like balancing two cultures and how has this affected your happiness?
When I was younger, it was definitely difficult to balance the Indian traditions and cultural values that were taught to me by family with the American lifestyle that surrounded me (media, friends, school). However, I learned to take the best of both worlds and to always have the perspective of two cultures and I reaped the benefits. I realize that this fusion of cultures is what makes me truly unique and what makes Nivedita, Nivedita. I am a happier person because of it.
3. Do you think there is a special way Indian culture experiences happiness a part from other cultures? How do you think American culture experiences happiness?
Ask any Indian person what basically comprises their worlds, they will tell you two things: food and family. Indians experience happiness through both these things!! So, things like big lavish Indian weddings where 400 to 500 family members gather for 4 days of festivities filled with massive amounts of food, I think the word “happiness” would be an understatement. I believe American culture experiences happiness in a more materialistic way. Things like a new computer, a new car, a new iPod may constitute more as happiness in American culture.
4. Your parents came to America because of their great intelligence- your dad was a professor and your mom’s a doctor! How has their experiences affected your life, and ultimately, your happiness?
My parents are honestly inspirational and are my ultimate role models. My dad embodies the American dream, he only had 9 dollars in his bank when he came to the U.S. and got a full paid scholarship to do his Ph.D.! Both of my parents’ stories remind me of how lucky I am to have such amazing parents and how I want to bring them happiness. Their hard work, modesty, and passion in their lives keeps me motivated to become someone of impeccable character that does good for humanity.
5. What brings you the most happiness in your life and why?
Being in the presence of the people I love (friends and family) brings me tremendous amounts of happiness. Spontaneous moments or moments outside of my comfort zone with loved ones have yielded some of the happiest moments of my life. Also, I have a tremendous sweet tooth, so let’s just be real here: lemon squares, red velvet cupcakes, New York cheesecake, hazelnut chocolate = ecstasy.