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I Visited The Country My Family Is From For The First Time To Spread My Grandfather's Ashes

I lost my grandfather, but I found my culture.

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Hi! I'm Michelle. I'm half-Indian and half-white, but until very recently, I had never been to India.

Instagram: @michellekhare

Here’s Part 1 of my journey:

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BuzzFeed Video / Via

Here’s Part 2:

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BuzzFeed Video / Via

I grew up in a family that embraced both cultures, and I loved it. But there was always something missing.

Instagram: @michellekhare

I don't think you can truly understand who you are, what sacrifices your family has made, until you venture out of your comfort zone to see them firsthand.

It wasn't until my grandfather's unexpected death, that I needed to go to India to perform his last rites ceremony.

Instagram: @michellekhare

This trip was also my dad's first time returning to India in 37 years.

When we got there, it was beautiful, and it was so humbling. This was the life I could've had.


Something about being there and having access to the country's spices made it a completely different experience.

It was so cool getting to see where my dad grew up.

Back then, his daily routine was to get up at 4AM to get milk, then meditate and pray.

My dad spent the day reminiscing about his childhood and it was so nice to experience everything with him. But now it was time to do what we came here for.

We travelled to the river Ganges to perform the last rites ceremony for my grandfather and deposit his ashes into the river.

Instagram: @michellekhare

It was so different from New Delhi.

There was even a cow hanging out!

I expected to be very sad during the ceremony, but it actually gave me a lot of peace and closure.

The tragic event of my grandfather's sudden death incited my first trip to India, and in traveling there I came to understand the hard work and sacrifices he made to create the best life for our family.

I learned to appreciate my family on a completely new level.

Instagram: @michellekhare

This is my Dadi Ma. She is my hero. She moved her family to a new country in the hopes that her children's lives would be better. If anyone asked me to move to a new country I'd want a big money offer to convince me to leave my life, family, and friends behind. She didn't have that. She had one suitcase and a bunch of hope for the new place despite not speaking English or knowing anyone.

I challenge you today to tell a friend or a family member how much you love them. Because you might not know the sacrifices they made for you until they are gone.

Instagram: @michellekhare

Be humble and be thankful for the path those before you have paved the way.

To see more of BuzzFeed Michelle's trip and other exciting stuff, follow her Facebook page!

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