Before moving to the United States, racial identity was simple for Salwa Hoque. She knew who she was: a woman, a Muslim, a Bengali. But that’s not who she is anymore. Moving to Seattle has forced her to adapt in many ways, change some of her old beliefs. While some of her old friends from home can’t believe how different she is, she refuses to give up some of her old self.
You get a sense of her clashing identities the minute you walk into her apartment. You see one pair of her traditional sandals, flanked by a pair of TOMS on one side, and a pair of boots on the other.
While she loves a lot of things about the United States, like Marvel and Superhero movies, she hates the little things. Like how the bed sheets in the stores are so mono-chromatic. So she brought her own from Bangladesh, to provide a “pop of color in this dreary weather.”
In the end though, even though she misses Bangladesh, and wearing her traditional clothing, she loves Seattle and loves wearing plaid. It’s just “so Seattle!”
— Trisha Kaif