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Discussions Without Borders: A Perspective on Modern India

Discussions Without Borders forum series at the University of Georgia returns with “Home is Where the Heart is: A Perspective on Modern India and the International Student Experience”

ATHENS, Ga. — International student Apurba Banerjee will lead this month’s Discussions Without Borders event at the University of Georgia, presenting about Indian culture and her experience studying in the United States. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held on March 31, 3-4 p.m., in the main conference room of the International Education building. Refreshments will be provided. Apurba will present her viewpoint as a millennial Indian who has lived in several big cities of India such as Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata, while having strong roots in a small village in East India.

“I will compare urban and rural areas of India, the lives of women in India, the charismatic Indian movie industry (Bollywood), the ‘Cricket is a Religion’ phenomenon, and the secret ingredient to making the perfect chicken tikka masala,” Banerjee says.

Banerjee will also trace her journey from her conservative upbringing in Mumbai to living in Colorado and Georgia, as she constantly seeks new adventures, yet yearns for the safety and stability of home. She hopes to invoke in her audience a glimpse of the feeling of “cultural shock,” and the tremendous personal growth and sense of identity that results from overcoming challenges. Whether it was the fresh mountain air of Fort Collins or the summery days of Athens, she eventually realized that no matter where one is, home is where the heart is! 

Banerjee is in her final year as a doctoral student in the textiles merchandising and interiors department at UGA. After completing her undergraduate studies in textile technology from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India, she earned her master of science degree at Colorado State University. Eager to research new frontiers in biodegradable and sustainable materials, she is finishing her doctorate in polymers, fibers and textile science. She recently began working as a material scientist for Brrrr! Inc., a smart textile technology company based out of Atlanta. 

Her research area is in biodegradable plastics with potential uses in sutures, tissue scaffolds, heart valve implants and hernia meshes in the biomedical field, and she has earned several research awards and grants. Banerjee has held leadership positions in many student organizations, and success in these roles has generated revenue through fundraising, recruited graduate students, and helped them assimilate to Athens culture, thus propagating cultural exchange.

About Discussions Without Borders
Discussions Without Borders is a monthly discussion series open to students, faculty, staff, and families that encourages attendees to learn something new about our world and our international community at UGA. International students and scholars conduct presentations with cross-cultural topics, followed by thoughtful discussion. Speakers come from all disciplines and any country, and anyone interested in presenting a topic may apply for a presentation slot. Discussions Without Borders is hosted by Immigration Services in the Office of International Education.