Tannu Virk

Tannu Virk, Yearbook Staff

 Tannu Virk, 9 has a story unlike anyone else on the staff. She was born in Oakland, California and moved to Creswell, Oregon when she was 4. Then, after two months, she went to India for her uncle’s wedding. “It was the first time I went to India, when I was 4; it wasn’t very fun. I stayed there for 4 and half years. My parents went home.” Virk stayed in India and learned about the culture, and to learn the language. “I lived with my aunt and I hated her. She used to beat me up over everything,” said Virk, of her struggles with her guardian while in India. She lived with her aunt the entire time she was in India while her parents remained in the U.S.

She said  “I liked India somewhat, because I had some fun times and some dark times. I wish I could have changed my past in India.” Virk moved many times while in India, because the uncle she lived with was in the Air Force. Various places she moved to include Punjab, South India, and Mumbai,etc. “I hated I moved to 8 different schools and they’re all really different. I didn’t do well in school, and my aunt kept beating me up over it. We had to pack up every 8 months and it was so frustrating.” Her parents came to India every year to meet her, but Virk often had trouble remembering who they were. “I thought my aunt and her husband were my parents, and my parents were my aunt and uncle.”

Though Virk experienced difficulty much of the time she was in India, one of the highlights was staying with her grandparents in the summer. “I loved staying with my grandparents in the summer, we always went to different places, every weekend. I went to a lot of temples. I had 30 cousins and we all stayed together. We would stay up late playing hide and seek.” She said, “They all loved me because I was the youngest one. They always bribed me to do something and I would get chocolate. Grandpa would take all the cousins and we would have a picnic and play board games once a week. I miss them, but I am going to India in December to visit my cousins that are getting married.”  


Virk was never able to forgive her dad’s sister and his brother-in law. Virk learned two different languages while in India, she learned Hindi and Punjabi. She learned how to read, write, and speak in Hindi. But when it came to Punjabi, she could only speak it. India was a good and bad past and life for her.  

Two years later she returned to the United States for her summer vacation for about a month and half. She remembered her mom, dad, 2 year old sister, grandparents, and rest of the family she was close to. After living in India for four years and three months she finally moved back to United States from India for good. “I was confused because I thought my aunt and my uncle were my mom and dad. When I came over here, I also learned I had a sister who is 4 years younger than me,” Virk said. The new adjustments were really hard, her family had to teach her the cultural differences between America and India. It was like learning a fourth language. “I remember when I had to learn how to eat pizza, my cousin Harjot and I didn’t know how. We ripped off pieces of pizza and dipped them in Indian curry. My dad came over, was like ‘no no’ and he showed us how to eat it.” Virk said.

Everything was new for her: how to act in America, reading and speaking English, readjusting with her family. Despite this strange transition, Virk keeps herself busy in much the same way as anyone else. She enjoys drawing, photography, and reading. After  only a few years living in United States she changed a lot, and became a U.S. citizen once more.

Virk chose Yearbook because she want to make new friends and get to know more people employ one of her hobbies in school. Her favorite classes are math, English and Yearbook. On the weekends she likes to golf with her father and spend time with family and friends. She uses her free time to listen to music or read a book, sometimes writing short stories of her own.  She said, “I’m ready for this year to make a wonderful yearbook and make new friends with different people and make best four years of high school.”

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Tannu Virk