After numerous debates regarding the “Where are you from?” chitchat question, some friends and I were discussing what would be a more appropriate way to ask someone’s geographical identity (or whatever you call this).
Here are some of the ideas we came up with:
- Where do you feel from (multiple places allowed)?
- In which countries/cities did you live in the past & please say which marked you the most?
- What’s number one on your bucket list?
- If you could choose a nationality, what would it be?
Thank you Sarah & other friends who contributed to the valuable debate! 🙂
Whether you are from my childhood neighbourhood or from an exotic/remote area of the world should not matter. But it does too many times.
Although many of us like to think we do not judge, the reality is very different: we do judge, everything and everyone, at every single moment of our life. It seems like it’s “part of us”, that’s what we instinctively do.
However, we can try to hold those judgements back and try to constantly remind ourselves these judgements are probably based on too little. Whether it’s someone we have known for a long time or someone we just encountered, there might be many relevant facts we do not know of.
I remember a time when I discovered this very specific way of thinking. It was in London while living there in 2010 or so. What mattered most was not where you were from but rather who you were right now.
“You’re from the north pole!? Awesome!” but really, what mattered was that you seemed like a nice person trying to get by (survive?), to be happy in what could be a very tough city sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, there is racism in London. Intolerance is present in some environment, but this probably is the city that I have been to that had it the least.
I am unsure where this came from. I suppose that a massive immigrant population helped. People came from past British colonies (Indians, Jamaicans, and more), or other unrelated countries (Latin Americans, Turks, & more). But a big amount of young immigrants are also from European countries, they came looking to for fun & challenges (no need for visa to work for them), or simply to learn English sometimes.
London is just…a big mess of a melting pot that I truly love & feel extremely comfortable to be in. And I wish the openness I feel when I am there is something I could feel in many more places in the world.
Just my very opinionated point of view 🙂
Picture taken in a hacker space in Berlin