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