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Indian-American teens recite poetry at White House, felicitated

Indian-American teens recite poetry at White House

Washington, Sep 9 (UITV)- Indian-American girl Maya Eashwaran attracted a sizeable audience at the White House by narrating a poem that shares her experience as an immigrant and how it was painful to replace her mother tongue Tamil with English.

Also present in the audience was First Lady Michelle Obama, who felicitated Maya Eashwaran and four others, including another Indian-American, Gopal Raman, as part of the prestigious National Student Poets in recognition of their poetry skills.

“I have lost more than I have ever lost in 16 years. I have started shedding ethnicity like hair: Mother, I fear I will go bald,” the 17-year old concluded reading her poetry “Ma, I haven’t spoken in three years” amidst applause from the audience.

Maya, was born in the US to her Tamil parents. “My family is Tamil. I was born here. I write a lot of my poems based on my culture, my heritage,” Maya told PTI after her White House event.

She even received a shout out from the First Lady in her speech.

“Maya – where’s Maya? You put it best. These are your words, I’m told: “On the stage, there is no way to leave unnoticed. Did you say that?” the First Lady asked.

17-year-old Gopal Raman, the other Indian-American budding poet who received national attention in a high school student and lives in Dallas. His parents – father from Chennai and mother from Kerala – moved to the US in the 1980s. He was born there.

Since its inception in 2011, the National Student Poet Program has showcased the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success for audiences across the country.