Sunday, January 06, 2008

To be or not to be...

Where are you from?

is a common question often asked when a person wants to know which part of the world you where born and /or grew up.

The problem arises when you
a. where born there but didnt grow up there and you know very little about the place
b. spent so much of your life in another part of the country or continent that you feel like you belong there more than where you were born.

I guess the simple answer is i was born in ---and i grew up in ----

What makes the question so complicated is the preconcieved notions people have of a place, for example if you are from South Africa and you are white then you are most likely a racist, if you are from Nigeria you are a potential 419er......the stereotypes are endless...but the point is The question is loaded with potential asessments of who you are.

In Nigeria particularly stereotypes are like this; If you are Hausa, you marry plenty wives, have countless children and is most likely an illiterate. If you are yoruba your dream is to go to London and your hygiene is questionable, Igbos of cos are supposed to be the most materialistic lot. In Nigeria when you answer the question you are aware of the verdict that will be passed on you based on the judgment of "your people". Its an unavoidable reality especially when you dealing with narrow minded people.

The second question that haunts alot of People is ...Where is Home?.

A friend once told me that home is where she has planted a tree. I guess she means a place where she would have deep roots. For me i have figured out after great strain that home is where the Stomach is full, Let me elaborate.

If you are from Sudan, you feel rooted there, yet it has been torn apart by war and famine, will you continue to stay there because it is home? Even cows look for greener pastures, and home will always be where ever you can flourish.

If it happens to be where your family has been for over 500 years like my friend J, or where you have stayed for just 50 months, the important thing is that its where you feel nourished ,not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. The human body, spirit and mind will always seek nourishment, and will stay where it can flourish. Thats why i deepy believe that home is not a place but a state of mind, its where you can wake up and feel glad to be alive, because you know that there is no where else you would rather be.

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