“Where are you from?”

imageA question that was recently posed to me by one of the readers of this blog, so thank you. But this is also a question that plagues my conscience, and sends my nerves in a frenzy. Because do I give you the long answer or the short one?

Does where I’m from mean where my parents are from? Because they’re both from different places, each a unique mixture, beautifully unified as one.

Does it mean the color of the passport I hold? Because it’s customs and roots aren’t wholly mine, but only the diluted dregs of a few from my paternal ancestors.

Or maybe it means the color of me? Because apparently white skin equals white, western white. And dark, eastern dark. And I’m none.

Does where I am from, mean my last name? A striking contrast to my first name, sending every clerk and attendant in politely masked shock, as stereotypes are calmly shattered.

Does it mean which box I tick in those ignorant Cencus forms? Caucasian, Asian, African American, Hispanic, Arab, other….oh, other! Other and I, Me and Other. I’m left with “other”, because I refuse to solely tick any one. Who knew diversity led to isolation?!

Does it mean who I look like? Because people’s opinions in that department differ from one hemisphere to another, so quickly I have to check myself in the mirror.

Does it mean a flag I proudly wave on some National Day? If there was any I would wave, it’s not the one I live in at the moment, so that wouldn’t work too well🤔

Does it mean where family is? But they’re everywhere! Don’t tell me I should choose😨

Maybe being from somewhere means the language you speak? But what if I can speak three….?

Does being from somewhere mean where your heart is? If that’s the case, good news, I have a place…or two :0

Does being from somewhere mean the clothes you wear? My wardrobe would be a fraction of a costume chest of  different nationalities.

Mmmm…of course! Being from somewhere means the food you eat? Well, in that case I hate to break it to you, but my parents and sisters are on a Paleo diet *sigh* 😛 No, but joking aside, our spread at family gatherings is a too-diverse (and yummy) – display of many varying dishes.

Does being from somewhere mean where you identify yourself as a local? I have two major places…And neither have to do with ancestry😕

What DOES being “from” somewhere mean??

Is there the slightest possibility that you can ‘be’ from many places? For me there is. I’ve gotten the priceless opportunity to speak different languages (and dialects :P), love different people, live in different places, wear different clothes, celebrate different ways, eat different foods, greet different ways, arrive at different times ;), and treasure this amazing diversity that makes me, me ❤

Truly, above all these formalities and diverse cultures and lands, lies a bigger purpose and goal. And while we are encouraged to take individual pride and love in our lands and people, let not that draw you away from the bigger picture. To serve Him (Azza wa Jalla Jalaaluhu). Under that banner of faith, every human is united and equal and all man made borders and divisions fade away.

Thank you to the person who sparked this whole post with your question, I hope it was answered 🙂

And for anyone still speculating upoon my origins, go figure and put your guess in the comments! And since we’re on the subject, where are YOU from?! But I’m sure you’ll come to the evident conclusion that we all stem from Adam and Eve 😉

{The picture above is from a drive home a couple days ago, before sunset}

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