Dumbfounded, silent and small - Silverton, NSW, Australia - Jemina Shrestha

Paria en Oceanía

Mi lado extrovertido me imploraba que entablara comunicación, pero, por la mayor parte del tiempo me quedé callada.
Australia, Australia and New Zealand

Story by Jemina Shrestha. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
Published on November 1, 2020.

This story is also available in GB br tr



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En 2017, entré a mi primera clase universitaria en Sydney, recién salido del avión desde Nepal. Escaneando las salas nerviosamente, vi a algunos estudiantes que también parecían hablar inglés como segundo idioma. 

“Okay, bien Jem”, dije a mis adentros, “hay otros estudiantes de intercambio”. La clase empezó con una introducción obligatoria. La ansiedad recorrió mis venas cuando mis hermanos asiáticos hablaron con el típico acento australiano que me costó 6 meses entender. No eran estudiantes de intercambio. La ansiedad convirtió mi introducción en un mascullo ininteligible, y pensaron que mi nombre era Gemima y no Jemina. No tenía el valor para corregirlos. Por todo un semestre fui Gemima. “Al menos tengo un nombre Occidental”, pensé, escondiéndome bajo una roca imaginaria.

Ese semestre, tomé 4 unidades en departamentos diferentes, así que no tuve compañeros constantes. Cuando me uní a la Universidad en Segundo año, mis compañeros ya tenían grupos de amigos. Mi lado extrovertido me imploraba que entablara comunicación con estos seres humanos tan distintos que hablaban un inglés casi perfecto, pero mi lado ansioso me gritaba: “¿Qué tal si me juzgan por como hablo?” o “Tú forma de vestir les recordará a la estética de Hannah Montana”.

Preguntarme constantemente si era lo suficientemente buena era emocionalmente agotador. Mi confianza bajaba cada vez más. Por la mayor parte del tiempo me quedé callada, no hacía preguntas y me sentaba en la parte más segura de la sala: el medio. Desde ahí, me ocultaba de la mirada directa de los profesores y me alejaba de las preguntas rebeldes de la gente de atrás.

Pero un día, iba muy tarde y tomé el último asiento disponible, al lado de una chica que yo no conocía. Tanto correr liberó dopamine y empecé a hablarle sin pensarlo. ¡La chica se rió de mis chistes y me contestó! Pensé; “Momento, ¿esta hermosa e inteligente australiana entiende mi inglés roto? ¿Seré menos tonta de lo que creo?

Resulta, que era mucho más que “menos tonta”, con esfuerzo, logré salir del círculo que mis inseguridades habían creado. Empecé a hablar libremente con las personas que tenía al lado en los pasillos, y, gradualmente, acumulé el valor para responder dar mi opinión en frente de toda la clase cuando el profesor la pedía. Mi corazón hacía escándalo, pero aún así lograba hablar. Me dí cuenta de que mi miedo de ser juzgada solo existía en mi imaginación, la gente con la que conversaba no prestaba atención a como hablaba o como vestía, algunos incluso encontraban las diferencias interesantes.

Mis pensamientos negativos habían creado una barrera falsa entre mis compañeros y yo. Por meses yo me excluí a mi misma, me volví una paria.

Querido lector, espero que esta historia te impulse a empezar esa conversación, compartir tu opinión en el más ininteligible de los acentos, y por sobre todo, ser tú mismo. Vale la pena.


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Jemina Shrestha

Jemina Shrestha

I am a human being who gets caught up in human doing a lot and I am working my way to find that balance between being and doing. I recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Management and am looking forward to getting my Graduate degree. I absolutely love yoga, hiking, and taking myself out to explore the best cafes in the cities I visit. I work as a part -time barista and receptionist, and I thoroughly enjoy the experience of meeting people from all walks of life.

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