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Girl from Netherlands traces roots back to Salem

A desperate need to know her roots led a young woman from Netherlands to fly down to a nondescript village in Salem.

Girl from Netherlands traces roots back to Salem
A selfie of the reunited mother and daughter


What happened next was nothing short of a fairytale. The visit to Poosaripatti village in Kadayampatti Taluk in Salem district turned out to be life-changing for 23-year-old Amada (Amudhavalli), who, found her biological mother, who incidentally shares the same name as her daughter.

The circumstances behind her adoption tale were revealed to Amudha after the emotional reunion. Her poverty-stricken mother had to give her away when she was just 11 days old, in the care of a missionary in Salem in August 1998. Soon after, the baby was adopted by a couple from Netherland.

“It was the most painful decision of my life and one that I regretted throughout. I was constantly haunted by her memories,” the mother said. She works as a domestic help. She had to resort to the extreme step and give away her second girl child after her drunkard husband deserted the family.

The young Amudha, who grew up as a citizen of Netherland, was often plagued by identity crisis in a family of white people, and this triggered her need to look for her biological parents. “I only knew the name of my parents and my birth place through my foster parents. Determined to meet them, I came down to Chennai all alone from Netherland. With the assistance of a guide, I gathered information from Salem Government Hospital and managed to track down my family. It was difficult. But I am glad to have met them at last and am basking in love. It has been a dream come true moment,” said Amada, who runs a bouquet shop in Netherland.

The reunion, on Tuesday, was an emotional affair. Even though the language barrier existed between them as Amudha only knows English and Dutch, they tightly held on to each other. Her elder sister Jennifer helped out in translation.

“I have now learnt a few Tamil words like ‘vaa’ (come), enna (what) and others. I am leaving to Netherland in a couple of days determined to learn and speak fluently in Tamil during my next visit in a year. I have fallen in love with the culture. One of my favourite things now is wearing a saree,” said Amudha.

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