Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Childhood media across cultures

Dual impact of Indian, American television on my youth, mindset

Every day as I walked home from school, the only thought on my mind was catching up with the next episodes of my favorite TV shows. Whether it was “Phineas and Ferb” or “Chotta Bheem,” TV has always been a strong pillar of my childhood entertainment.

TV shows and channels from Disney to CBS have had a profound impact on my upbringing and have changed the way I view the world. (Illustration by Sanah Arya)

Growing up in India for nine years meant that Hindi television was my initial introduction to the cartoon world. Classics like “Motu Patlu” and “Roll #21” hold a special place in my heart, with their familiar characters and stories serving as a comforting backdrop to my early years. This media was a source of entertainment and also provided a sense of cultural connection, as I saw my heritage reflected in the stories and characters on screen.

Apart from Hindi television, I still watched shows and movies from the channels that most people here are familiar with, like Disney and CBS. I would sneak out past bedtime to watch “Tom and Jerry,” spending the night giggling with my cousins. Especially at an early age, TV became an escape into little fictional worlds, where all my worries floated away.

Moving to America was a rough transition, and even in an area with so much diversity, I experienced immense culture shock. I had no clue what half the shows or movies all the people around me were referring to. These bouts of confusion and the fear of missing out plunged me into a binge-watching frenzy.

As I went through middle school, I began to take an interest in popular American Netflix shows, like “Liv and Maddie,” “Jessie” and “Lab Rats.” Seeing my culture represented in foreign media (although often stereotypical), such as Ravi in “Jessie,” gave me a sense of belonging in my Indian traditions.

Now, after all these years, I find solace in the memories of my childhood favorites, knowing that they shaped my understanding of humor, teamwork, and problem-solving. Watching people who went through the same friendship breakups and drama I endured in school, I realized the universality of the human experience. Through the lens of those childhood favorites, I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in facing the ups and downs of youth.

Even as I have grown older and my taste has broadened, my early influences remain foundational. They taught me lessons that transcended barriers, embedding values of kindness and exploration within me, as seen through shows such as the explorative and educational nature of “Magic School Bus,” or the family-oriented comedies of “Good Luck Charlie.”

From the laughter of animated antics to the complexities of teenage dramas, each show has left its mark on my heart, reminding me of the humor and stories that connect us all. As I continue to explore the media landscape, I cherish the memories of where it all began and eagerly anticipate watching the shows I have yet to love. 

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About the Contributor
Sanah Arya
Sanah Arya, Reporter
Sanah is a junior and a first-year staffer of The Epitaph. She is excited to create writing and graphics to share her views and students on campus. In her free time, she likes to paint, eat and listen to new music.

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