Q & A with sophomore Lavanya Konda


Lavanya Konda

Konda sings at a function for her temple. Carnatic music is typically associated with Southern India. Indian classical music has evolved into two distinct styles: Hindustani music and Carnatic music.

Adhiti Chundur, Print Editor-in-Chief

Q: What type of traditional singing lessons do you take?

A: I learn Carnatic music which is a type of classical Indian music. I think I started taking lessons when I was about eight because my parents are obsessed with Carnatic music. I’m not extremely serious or competitive about it, however, it’s one of the few activities that I really enjoy and find calming.

Q: How do you connect to your heritage in America?
A: Personally I find it a little difficult to connect to my heritage here and with my extended family. I don’t speak my own language very well so sometimes it’s difficult to communicate with some of my family. Music has definitely helped, especially since my dad’s side of the family likes to sing. I’ve also been able to visit my family in India frequently so I haven’t felt extremely separate from my culture.

Q: What other languages (besides English) do you speak?
A: I speak Telugu but like I said before not very well. I can speak well enough to carry a conversation which is good because some of family can’t speak English very well. I just wish I was more fluent so that I could communicate with my family better.

Q: How does your culture impact your identity?
A: I would say my culture definitely has a big impact on my identity. However, even though I don’t identify as an American, I definitely don’t consider myself a complete Indian either (culturally speaking). I’m definitely a mix between the two which is nice because they both have wonderful aspects. There are so many things I miss about my Indian culture though, like how lively and noisy things are. I also really feel like I miss out on Indian holidays. Like here whenever we celebrate Diwali we don’t do very much. I once went to India during that time of the year and it was a completely different experience. I stuffed myself with so many different sweets and we stayed up the entire night lighting different firecrackers and lamps, definitely a much better experience.