Born & raised in Charlottesville, VA, Dhara Goradia (@d_goradia) paved her future with versatility while continuing to learn about her heritage.
Her parents, Dhanvant & Devyani Goradia, (both from Mumbai, India) married in their 20’s after college. Soon after, Dhanvant wanted to get his masters in electrical engineering in the U.S. Devyani followed 2 years later so they both could raise a family and build a better life.As a kid, Dhara went back to India a few times but didn’t enjoy going at first. It was always “I don’t want to go to India, why can’t we just go to the beach like other families?”
Dhara went through the Albemarle County public school system and studied under the direction of legendary music educator, Greg Thomas. “He’s got a way with kids and inspiring them without pushing…he gets them to a place where they want to do it for themselves, which is a teaching gift that very few teachers have.”
Like a lot of ADIPA parents, Dhara’s folks encouraged going into business, medicine, or engineering to make sure she had security as an adult.
“When you integrate and move across the world, & start a new life, it’s so high risk… you drop everything.” That’s the expectation. The expectation for a better life and to make your parents proud.
Dhara went to @uva for her undergraduate degree in architecture. After college she worked in for some different firms, but focused on music, playing in many bands. After a while, Dhara applied to @berkleecollege of Music in Boston so she could simply be in an environment all around musicians, and as she says “it wasn’t necessarily about feeling like the accomplishment of getting that (music) degree… I just wanted to understand where my place was in music.” She went for 2 semesters and then ultimately decided to go to grad school at UWA in Seattle to get her Masters in architecture. When she graduated she moved back to Charlottesville to be closer to family.
She now works for Thrive’s Architecture Firm, @renschool teaching music theory and ensemble, and plays in various bands in town including @wild_common as well as with the Thursday night jazz sessions at @millersdowntown .
Connecting to her Indian heritage never truly felt 100%, but telling her husband (non-Indian) stories about her growing up helps her reconnect to her culture.
Top 5 Asian ingredients:
– coriander (seeds/fresh)
– Chickpeas / chickpea flour
– Yogurt (base for so much)