Hemangini Raina, Global Studies Minor student, talks to Stanford Magazine about rediscovering her Indian roots and changing her mind about moving back to the Middle East.
A Canadian citizen, Hemangini Raina was born in Oman, spent half her youth in Bahrain and now returns to the United Arab Emirates to see her parents, who are Indian. So maybe it’s not surprising that she sometimes slips and calls Stanford home.
Sure-footedly she declared her major: management science and engineering. She didn’t anticipate her minor, South Asian studies. “I was raised in a community where being non-Arab or being white immediately meant that you were inferior,” she says. “I actively repressed my South Asian identity for 18 years of my life.” Raina, now a junior, credits Stanford with awakening her interest in her Indian roots, a reformation that led her to take Hindi classes, to join the South Asian culture student group, Sanskriti, and to study Indian cinema, history and politics.