Those of you who, like me, have a strange cocktail of heritages and countries lived in will be used to this question. I say where my parents are from, two different countries, continents even, and it is like some people can’t handle this. The answer is too murky. They must definitively ascertain where my loyalties lie. They need to put me in a box with a label so that they can understand me better.
‘Which one do you feel most’ -neither and both.
‘But you have been here since you were 7, so you’re British.’ – My dad says things like ‘put out the light’ and ‘get down from the car’ and my mum mixes her metaphors in English so she comes out with sayings like ‘the grass is always greener when you’re playing the field.’ I most definitely did not grow up feeling British. (Note: I actually just got my British citizenship in 2017 but I still waiting for the British feels to drop.)
‘But which one is home to you?’ – what does this even mean and why do I have to choose just one?
You want to tell these people to back off. You want to tell them you have enough trouble pinpointing your cultural and national identity without them putting strange expectations and parameters on it.
‘Perhaps it is the odd mixture of continents and blood, of here and there, of belonging and not, that makes me restless….’
This quote by Hanif Kureishi in the Buddha of Suburbia sums it up nicely. That feeling of being from here, there, everywhere and nowhere. Of being a little bit foreign wherever you go, and yet feeling at ease anywhere too.
I have actually chopped the end of this quote off (‘…and easily bored.’) because it is true but makes me sound fickle, and this is the Internet and I am told I can be the best me on the Internet.