Siya Yinti


Siya Yinti, a member of the Wilton High School community, takes part in an interview for the “Humans of Wilton”

Tell me a story about yourself:


“I think one thing from my childhood that has been very significant for me has been the dhai rice and pickle my mom used to make for me. It’s like a mango pickle with yogurt, rice, and mirchi, which is this big, dried-up pepper. You heat up the pepper over a stove, and once it gets all crispy you crumble it up all over the rice with yogurt (dhai rice) and eat it with the pickle. I think food, as well as the way my parents have taught me about religion and customs, help me feel more connected to my culture. I eat Indian food almost every single day for every single meal, so it’s something I’m able to connect back to when I go to India.

Siya Yinti poses for a photo in traditional Indian clothing.


Ever since I was younger, my parents worked to make sure I knew where I came from. They taught me Hindi before I knew English, and showed me Hindi songs and movies before I knew English ones. I don’t know a lot of actors in Hollywood, but I could tell you every name of every actor in Bollywood as well as all their songs. I think it’s because they’ve raised me in a way where I’ve become accustomed to it, but I face a problem with finding a balance where I am enough Indian as I am American. I feel like when I go to India, I’m too American, but when I’m here I’m too Indian. It ends up just feeling like I’m never enough. Knowing other Indian Americans and knowing they’re going through the same thing helps. I’ll talk to my Indian friends about songs or foods that make us feel nostalgic, or experiences we all go through as Indian Americans. They don’t necessarily feel the exact same thing as me – some of them aren’t as connected or distanced from their culture as I am because we’re all so different. But knowing that we’re all confused together, and knowing that there’s someone else out there who’s facing the same thing is comforting.”