A Sri Lankan working hard for a life without struggles.

People from India are considered Asian in the United States, but this is only a racial category, not an ethnic category, according to the Census website.

In the 2015-16 academic year, there were 1,815 female Asian students, which made up 10.8 percent of the student body, according to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. 

Maheshi Gammanpila, 19, accounting major is from an island located in the South of India.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I’m from Colombo, Sri Lanka. This island is located in the Indian ocean.

Q: Why did you move to this country?

A: My family and I came to this country seeking a better education.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your culture?

A:  Our traditional outfit is a sari, but it is not an official national costume. Most of the people in my country are Buddhist. We are also known for our tea. Also, we have a sport called, cricket, which is similar to baseball.


Maheshi Gammanpila (on the right) with her mother and sister wearing their traditional outfit, Sari, at a dance event on Dec. 4, 2016.  Photo courtesy: Gammanpila.

Q: Do you like Los Angeles more or your home country?

A: I like it here (Los Angeles) more because people are generally nicer and friendly. Also, it’s not as hot or humid as my home country. Besides, there are so many different places to visit here, as well.

Q: What is a typical dish from Sri Lanka?

A: Rice and curry.

Q: Do you think El Camino is a welcoming campus?

A: Yes, I do think EC is a welcoming campus. There are some many different kinds of people on campus and they are also willing to help.

Q: Tell me about a time that you worked with someone who had a different culture background?

A: In my Biology 10, I have classmates from Mexico and China. I work with them and we have built a nice friendship in the classroom. I think that the only thing that makes us different is our culture and that we are from different countries, but we are working together for the same goal, which is passing our class.

Q: What motivates you to come to college?

A: A good job, that’s what motivates me to get an education and that way I won’t have to struggle for money.

Q: Why did you choose to attend EC?

A: I chose EC because I want to transfer to a four-year university and a community college is cheaper. Also, work-wise is less difficult than take classes at a university.


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