Who am I?
So who am I? How can I identify myself with one ethnic group when I don’t just belong to one? How can I say I’m part of any when I don’t fully fit into any of them? Am I really an international student? Why don’t I feel like I belong anywhere? These are the questions which go through my mind when I’m asked “Where are you from?”
As an international student this is a question I am asked very often, and I have about four possible answers to that question, where each of them give a different impression of me. So how would I answer such a question?
Essentially, I was born in India, so naturally I celebrate the holidays associated with being Indian, and have an understanding of the Indian mindset and way of life.
However, I grew up in Sint Maarten, so I go about my day-to-day life as a Sint Maartener would and have a similar mindset as a Sint Maartener. I don’t celebrate Caribbean culture as much though I do fully understand it.
On the other hand, I have the Dutch nationality, so I don’t have the same struggles in the Netherlands as some internationals may have, but I don’t speak the language fluently. So who am I? Where should I identify myself or should I just prolong the conversation and identify myself with all three?
Everything that you’ve been through, everything you’ve done and everyone you’ve met, has in some way shaped you into the person you are today. Every occurrence in your life happened for a reason, don’t be sad of the past as it shaped the person you are now, embrace it! So appreciate your roots, all of them. So in conclusion, my answer to the question “Who am I?” is: “I am an Indian-born who grew up in Sint Maarten, and has the Dutch nationality.”