An Analysis Of Saira Shah's 'Longing To Belong'

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In “Longing to Belong”, Saira Shah gives you a look into the life of a 17 year old girl longing to understand her parents heritage and trying to fit into a culture that is so much different from what she knows. Having a father who originates from Afghanistan and a mother who originates from India. Saira wants to learn the culture of her father’s afghan routes. The author feels the only way in to learning is by being betrothed into an arranged marriage. The author states that her uncle in seeing “two unmarried” daughters in the company of a chaperone visiting his home, concludes that they were sent to be married. (38) The author shows that she is in favor of this when she says, “I was taken aback by the visceral longing I felt to be a part of…show more content…
While the groom was permitted to laugh and chat, the bride was required to sit perfectly still, her eyes demurely lowered. I didn’t see her move for four hours.” (38)I think this was when she realizes that she had made a great mistake about entering into the different culture and way of life. When Saira finally comes to her senses she quickly finds her Aunt Amina who chaperoned her and expresses her concern about not wanting to be betrothed to an arrangement. She states that her aunt tells her, “I’m glad you’ve stopped this silly wild goose chase for your roots.”, and immediately goes to her uncle’s wife and demands the marriage be called off because the fiancé made “inappropriate remarks to Saira her niece.” (39) Shah gives you a look into the cultures and ways of life in other countries that are very much different from what you or I am accustomed too. Although it may be the way of culture over there, it is not practiced much in the US. To be able to freely give your freedom up, to be controlled by your significant other takes a special kind of person. I feel Shah realized what she was giving up was far too important then chasing after her roots of
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