I came to Utah, from India, almost 10 years ago. At first, I was unsure if I would like this foreign place thanks to the snickering reaction of my co-passengers when I mentioned my destination. Some of them warned me about a predominant faith and a culture that I knew nothing about. But before I could even consider their warnings, I had to face the numbing cold that greeted me when I got off the flight in early December. Utah's frigid air and scant oxygen became the first shock for me to overcome.
After almost a decade of living in Utah, I never felt the need or desire to leave. I graduated from school here, married here, bought a house, and paid taxes as a resident. I learned to dress warmly in the winter and took up snowboarding. In summer, I enjoy the breathtaking scenery while hiking in the mountains. I adhere to my family's long-standing faith and have a great respect for the others who do the same. Utahns have been great friends, neighbors and coworkers to me. And every day I realize how wrong those outside and uninformed judgments were about this state's people and culture.