Indian exchange student with host brothers and sisters celebrating festival of flowers
Suresh really enjoyed celebrating Bathukamma with his host family and friends.

Celebrating Indian Festival of Flowers

I celebrated an Indian festival called Bathukamma (The Festival of Flowers) with my host family, and it was amazing sharing my culture.

As it is the festival of flowers, we started collecting flowers a week before. We cooked my favorite sweet called samiya. My family liked our Indian tradition of inviting guests, so we invited families from our host community from Japan and the Philippines. We had a great cultural exchange. Everyone said that after celebrating the Festival of Flowers they want to go India and want to learn more about Indian traditions. I brought Indian traditional and cultural dress for my host family and it was so difficult for my mom to wear her sari!

Now I love to eat sandwiches, French fries, pizza, and many other American foods. My host family is wonderful. It’s a family of love and affection, a family of fun, a family of care, compassion, honesty, and motivation. I never expected to travel in a ship but now I take a ferry trip at least once a week. When I was in India, I never ordered anything on Amazon but now I am living very near Seattle, where Amazon was born. My host father works at Amazon in one of the tallest buildings in the city. My dreams are becoming reality.   

—Suresh (YES, India), hosted by the Ramirez family (WA)