On Identity: I Grow Where You Plant Me

“Where are you from?” is the question that I dread the most. Not because I want to avoid answering it or hide some information. But because the answer does not tell anything about me. We judge each other all the time – what others wear, what other eat or what their interests are. It is a normal behaviour ingrained in human biology which helps us to decide who is a friend and who is an enemy. Yet I refuse to be judged by a one word answer.

Here is comes: I was born in the Ukraine, moved to Czech Republic when I was 16 because my family is partly Czech, then moved to Germany to study, there I met my fiancee who is Canadian and followed him there. So what answer should I give? I ask this myself when I hear the dreaded “Where are you from?” And yet I have no answer to give.

“Oh you are from Canada? Do you like hockey?” , “Oh you are from Ukraine? How was it when it was USSR?” “Oh Germany? Currywurst is delicious”. Yet I don’t care about hockey , currywurst is really okay (please Germans forgive me) and I have no idea how it was in USSR because I was not born there. Well I have some idea from the stories of my grandfather.

But not only I dread that question because an answer does not tell anything about me. I dread that the notion of your home or identity has to be tied to a geographic entity, essentially a piece of land. That’s not what I choose to call home. Home is where I am and I am all the experiences that made me the person I am today. Yes, I don’t have a country name to answer that question. I am like a plant, I grow where you plant me and I can make home of any place.

2 Comments

  1. france chamberland

    I agree when you quote: I grow where you plant me, but you need a good quality of soil and to be in armony with all the plants around. And I beleive you already achieved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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