In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong

Category: Mathematics
Author: Amin Maalouf, Barbara Bray
4.3

Comments

by notagoodidea   2021-04-27
First, it is normal to question where your belong and how your multiple experience, background and culture integrated construct your identity and your feeling to belong somewhere. This somewhere can multiple and also everywhere but feeling to belong nowhere is mostly due to the peer pressure to self-identity to only one element of your identity (being your culture, your skin tone, your born country, etc.) that feels like restraining yourself as one tiny part of the multiple identities you carry and have constructed.

One essential essay that really helped me and can not stop to suggest is "In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong" by Amin Maalouf [1][2] The original title in French is "Les identités meurtrières" translated as "the murderous identities".

If I may, you are belonging from everywhere that feels home in a way or the other. And the more abroad you'll be, the more home will take multiple dimensions and it's okay. When someone ask you, you can answer "India and Canada" and let's them deal with it, not you :).

With my partner, we cover the ground about the identity questions : me being a second-generation son of arab's parent in an UE country, her being, like you, from a east-asian country but living abroad for 5-6 years now. The question of home, identity and where we belong is common and the answers morph based on where and how we live.

For me is funny, because when I identify myself from the city I was born and raised in UE, I got question about my origins like it is the "correct answer" but if someone from that city hears me speaking, they can't doubt I am from here because I used a lot of the specific slang/dialect from there. It happened a few time ago where a old man helping my mom told that "I can hear you are from here". On the flip coin, I also speak the dialectal Arab from my parent region (albeit with a UE accent) so people speaking Arab can identify from which region/country I must come from. So most of the time, I answer both and let people ask the uncomfortable questions about their conception of identities and where I belong/from themself. But that does not mean that I have dealed with my identity myself, I am still constructing it and trying to gather the different pieces together and glue them, especially now that I am living in yet another country :)

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Name-Identity-Violence-Need-Belong/dp...