When I first met Reshma, my initial thought was, “Dang, this is a legit third-culture-international-school-kid.” (Yes, this is a word now.) I could not believe how many cultures could be mixed and contained within one person. Hence, I am very excited about this piece in which Reshma shares her definition of ‘home’ and her experience of growing up in CityU.
Reshma PUNJABI – majoring in Banking and Financial Services with a minor in Mathematics – resides in Hall 10. This is her final year, however, she plans to extend her studies for one more year. During this time, she will focus on completing the requirements for her Mathematics minor, so she can figure out if she would like to do further studies in a Master of Science in Mathematics or a Master of Education to teach it. “I have always loved mathematics in high school but I want to see if I can cope with it at university level.”
I was very impressed with Reshma’s cultural background. She was born in Taiwan, where she spent one year, before moving to Dubai for another year. Afterwards, she moved to Guangzhou, China and this is where she grew up till she was sixteen. Ethnically, Reshma is Indian and although she has never lived in India, it is the culture she primarily identifies with. With the utmost modesty, Reshma described her language abilities – she can speak English and Hindi fluently, Mandarin at conversational level and Spanish and Sindhi at beginners’ level.
Reshma’s diverse background influences her meaning of home, “People are my homes, which is why I consider both CityU and China my homes. But once the people leave, CityU won’t be my home anymore.” Thus, CityU is only temporary, a transition, “but in terms of a physical place, I relate to Guangzhou the most, simply because it is all I have seen as a child.”
Reshma enrolled into university when she was just sixteen years old. I was curious to know what it was like for her to basically ‘grow up’ at CityU. Reshma explained that during the first month, she was a completely different person. She used to be socially awkward so it took her a while to catch up with her peers who were already slightly older than her. She experienced a huge jump from being sheltered to being exposed to a diverse community, “At home in China, I attended an international school. I was very enclosed within the Indian community because I found that was a way to stick to my Indian roots, it was where I was most comfortable. And now, even at CityU I tend to stick to the Indian community but I have gotten to know a wide variety of people.”
Model United Nations (MUN) has been a prominent activity, which has contributed to this growth. Reshma wanted to do MUN since high school but was not able to do such extra-curricular activities because of her commitment to academics. Thus, it was a big deal when she heard that CityU offered it. Being involved in MUN provided many opportunities to learn from a multicultural group of people.
Apart from her life at CityU, Hong Kong has given Reshma some incredible memories. Just two weeks before my interview with her, Reshma was describing a night consisting of a “series of fortunate events,” where running an errand transformed into a perfect evening with friends. The great company made Reshma realise the importance of random spontaneous night outs. This is just another example, which clearly demonstrates how convenient Hong Kong can be.
Reshma’s tip for current students is to, “try and branch out as much as possible because you really do not know who is going to teach you something.” Even people whom she has not particularly liked or has had disagreements with, have taught her something. She respects them a great deal because of the deep impact they have made in her life regardless of the amount of time knowing them.
Reshma shows us how home does not have to be one place, rather it is about whom you are with. These people will impact you in many ways, whether it is sharing their culture, impromptu night outs, or learning from a disagreement. In all, good quality relationships are an important factor in the formation of unforgettable memories.
Writer: LIM Hanna Suchanya (Alumni Civility Hall)
Images: Reshma PUNJABI (Hall 10)
著名的學術組織模擬聯合國（Model United Nations，簡稱MUN）是另一項促進Reshma 快速成長的活動。Reshma在高中的時候因為要專注學業而沒參加，當她在城大得悉有這個活動，她感到萬分興奮，因為模擬聯合國可提供大量的機會從不同文化的人身上學習。
其中香港的方便亦是使Reshma 十分驚歎的一個地方，在訪問她的幾星期前，她一次在外面辦事竟然遇上一連串幸運的事情，過了一個完美的晚上。這次的事使Reshma 理解到朋友的陪伴和隨性的去玩樂是多重要。
文: LIM Hanna Suchanya (校友樂禮堂)
譯: 黎彥東 (胡應湘爵士伉儷堂)
圖: Reshma PUNJABI (舍堂十)