Sunday, 8 June 2014

Can you spare a few minutes?

Good morning everyone,

Every time a stranger asks me where I come from I respond: Can you spare a few minutes?
It is not that I want to expose my life but the question of my origin is not so easy to answer. Living in a globalized world, I even think that more and more people face those "problems" because they are constantly on a move, possessing multiple passports and see their home in a variety of places.

In my university, my professor lecturing about the European Union once said that the European identity only exists on the paper. One would always consider him- or herself as Spanish, French, German and so on. In my case, this is not true. Having grown up in England, Germany and France I can’t identify myself with only ONE nationality even if I only have one passport. On top, my parents life in another country. Let me even say that I incorporate this mystical European identity. And my urge to further develop this personality is not fulfilled yet as I crave to live in other countries, may it be within the European Union or outside. Outside the EU, I can easily imagine that there are lots of people that even say that they have a global identity (anyone of you maybe?).

When I walk to work in the morning, I often keep asking this question to myself. I work in one of the lousiest and most dangerous suburbs of Paris where lots of immigrants share their lives. I cross the Moroccan butcher who keeps chopping the gigot, the Indian shop with its pink suitcases in front of the door, the African market vendor who sells 5 Euro shoes, the Chinese vegetable place with all the ginger in the shop window or the East-European mothers that try to survey their children. Where do they come from? Were they born here? Why did they leave their country? What is their story?

Their stories are probably a lot longer than mine and the question of origin often can’t be answered with only one sentence. People are often unhappy when I cannot give a proper origin as answer and I can tell you that I am freaking out every time they don’t understand. My reasons for my multicultural identity are bonded to blessed circumstances, but imagine those people that had to give up their origins due to negative influences! How must they hate to be not accepted when we talk about this topic!

I personally feel blessed to have this story, to tell people that I feel home in different countries or that I support a couple of nationalities during world championships. No, I am not lost nor am I indecisive. I believe that everyone should be proud of it and all the question-askers should tolerate every answer, never mind what one’s story behind is.  

P.S. I am in Stockholm this weekend. More about that next Sunday.

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