Trying to live one life can be taxing enough at times, imagine attempting to balance two very different- often clashing- ones.

Sangeeta  Bhalla, 29, was born in New Delhi but came to Greenford at the age of six months with her family, where she remains, in Runnymede Gardens.

The 29-year-old, of the Hindi-Punjabi religion, has just had her book The Best of Both Worlds published by Xlibris.

The book looks at the sources of stress amongst first and second generation South Asians living in England and the identity challenges that arise from trying to stay true to two cultures.

Ms Bhalla says the project has been close to her heart as she draws on real life experiences of South Asians as well as her own.

 

In studying the psychosocial effects of migration, Ms Bhalla hopes to raise awareness of the issue and build a better understanding between eastern and western cultures as well as South Asian parents and their children, as people often fail to get appropriate help.

The author , a speech and language therapist at Kingston, said: “I did a Masters five years ago at City University London in Health Psychology and I was looking at cultural migration because it’s an under-researched area.

“I studied the different things people experience in terms of culture clash, language, racism, food, lifestyles, clothing, attitudes, values, expectations, psychological effects and how difficult people find being brought up in the western culture because of trying to keep a balance with eastern culture.

“I also looked at issues such as divorce, women, premarital sex, interracial relationships, marriage and arranged marriages and the generation gap.

“I approached the South Asian Society and people from social media sites and did anonymous interviews with open-ended questions. People told their stories.

“I can relate to many of these people- I went through so many things as well. It’s really hard as an Asian person when you don’t really know where you belong and things are changing all the time.”

Ms Bhalla, who did her undergraduate degree in Psychology, was asked by Xlibris if she could transform her Masters research project into this book.

The writer currently lives with her parents, a 26-year-old brother and 15-year-old sister.

She added: “My parents were quite traditional when I was growing up but they gave me leeway. Interracial relationships would not be allowed in my culture.”

The Best of Both Worlds is available on Amazon, through Xlibris, or by emailing the author on sangeetatalk22@hotmail.com.