A blog about nothing and about everything

I Stand on the Ocean

During my post-graduate years in conflict management, and as an elective, I signed up for a seminar on Project Management in Peace Building.

As an ice breaker, the instructor thought it would be great if we all formed an imaginary world map and we would stand in the country we are from. It seems that automatically everyone got up and made their way to stand on where they deemed they should stand. 

I looked around and thought : where should I stand? On my father’s country? My mother’s? country of birth? … etc. Could i play twister and put my right foot in one country, the left in another and one of my hands in a third? Can ethnicity simply be put in a passport? Do I really have to accept society’s limitations and their narrow understating of identity? Do I really have to choose one culture over the other?

Then, I decided to refuse to be marginalized, labeled and made to pick a country. It isn’t a matter of a confused identity, on the contrary, it is about an identity that refuses to be caged and confused by territorial division.

While my eyes wandered around observing people’s reactions they bumped into my French/ Mexican/ German (order not important) colleague who was standing in an unrecognized territory. She was smiling as she looked around. I asked her where she was standing and she simply replied : “the ocean. It’s everywhere”

So I finally made a choice! I stood on the Ocean.

 Since then I have been determined more than ever to enjoy my multiethnicity rather than adherent to a monoethnic system.

Thank you Ana Cristiana

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Comments on: "I Stand on the Ocean" (8)

  1. Nice one, Riem. I’m going to share it with all my kids.

    Maggie

  2. aww.. thank you…

  3. I AM THE OCEAN ^.^

    great story, loved it

  4. wow thats very cool! i love it!
    this maybe inspired me for the next story i have to write for my english class….ill let u know if i actualy write it and finish and when im happy with it! ;P

  5. islamicarticles said:

    Beautifully written! I have Native American, Black and French ancestry but only one passport lol.

    • Thank you Islamicarticle,

      I find it so fascinating all the mixes one might come across….
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that black folks in US have more marital bonding with other races and ethnic groups then their white (Caucasian) country people.. of course over generalizing is not intended

      • islamicarticles said:

        You’re welcome.

        Through the years, my observation has been that you will see more Black men with White women than you would see Black women with a White man. I looked for statistics to verify both of our observations and bingo we are correct!

        2006 US Census of married couples

        White husband, white wife 50,224,000
        White husband, black wife 117,000
        White husband, asian wife 530,000
        White husband, other wife 489,000

        Black husband, white wife 286,000
        Black husband, black wife 3,965,000
        Black husband, asian wife 34,000
        Black husband, other wife 45,000

        Asian husband, white wife 174,000
        Asian husband, black wife 6,000
        Asian husband, asian wife 2,493,000
        Asian husband, other wife 13,000

        Other husband, white wife 535,000
        Other husband, black wife 23,000
        Other husband, asian wife 41,000
        Other husband, other wife 558,000

        Wikipedia analyzed the figures as such…

        White Americans were statistically the least likely to wed interracially, though in absolute terms they were involved in interracial marriages more than any other racial group due to their demographic majority. 1.9% of married White women and 2.2% of married White men had a non-White spouse. 1.0% of all married White men were married to an Asian American woman, and 1.0% of married White women were married to a man classified as “other”.

        3.7% of married Black American women and 8.4% of married Black American men had a non-Black spouse. 6.6% of married Black men and 2.8% of married Black women had a White spouse. 0.1% of married Black women were married to Asian American men, representing the least prevalent marital combination.

        Interesting huh?! Arabs marrying non-Arabs should be taken out of the “others” category and stand by itself. I’m sure the results would be even more interesting.

  6. Gosh Riem.. I loved this! 🙂
    I can totally relate to your story, and I love the moral behind it.
    Beautifully written!

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