Conifer's Deepali Narula shares her perspectives on family during AAPI Heritage Month

May marks Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Awareness Month. As the lead of Tenet’s corresponding Employee Resource Group, Deepali Narula shared some thoughts about what the Indian culture means to her and her family.

I think of this month as a time to celebrate family. We should also take this opportunity to raise awareness and talk about everything – the tough topics, but also the happy moments that remind us why we cherish our respective cultures so fervently.

Learn More About Diwali

Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali originated in India as a religious holiday for Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. The holiday marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and its exact dates are determined each year by the position of the moon. In 2022, Diwali will be celebrated October 24-28.

During the festival, participants decorate their homes with beautiful patterns made form powders and flowers as well as lights and oil lamps called diyas. The lights help the Hindu goddess of wealth find homes and bring prosperity in the new year. People also use this time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil as well as family and friendships.

I grew up in Delhi, India. My husband Naveen did as well; we were high school sweethearts. We still have family in Delhi, and outside of our three children Aanya (13), Neel (8), and Krish (5), we have no other family in the United States. In terms of our culture, it is a family-first culture. There are so many rich and colorful traditions we enjoy, and it is very important to me to keep those traditions alive for my kids. Especially Diwali. I was initially concerned that my kids wouldn’t value the holiday as much because they don’t see it all around them, but I learned they are very excited to celebrate and embrace their culture. It is meaningful to my kids that they help create that culture in our home and they enjoy doing it. This gives me peace.

We should all honor our own cultures and share them with those around us. But it is also about understanding and appreciating the culture where you live so you get the best of both worlds. Ideally, they come together to complement one another. The authenticity you get by accepting who you are and making sure people are aware of that is paramount. If you aren’t authentic, you’re not yourself, and you aren’t bringing the best of yourself to your work, to family and to all your relationships.

This month, as we honor the many different cultures across Asia and the Pacific Islands and think about our path forward, my hope is that we foster and nurture a better understanding. This is a time to listen, learn and understand, to celebrate traditions and people, and to treasure how they come together to enrich our culture and way of life.

Deepali NarulaDeepali Narula
Vice President of A/R Management, Conifer Health Solutions
AAPI Employee Resource Group Lead, Tenet Healthcare