It seems to me that this question comes up as often as “What is your name?”.
Society defines people into categories and strangely enough one of them is about your nationality. Why is this?
Well, as much as we dislike stereotyping we do anyway…we think that British people drink beer on average more than any other nation, but actually the Czech Republic beats them on alcohol consumption per capita – UK is number 6 in the world. When we think of Mediterranean people we think they are loud and speak with their hands. I agree, but then I think some African nations and also Americans speak very loudly too. Anyway if you don’t know how to speak loudly here is a guide http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/how-to-talk-loud-4091.html
I prefer to hear the people I am talking to :). When we see good looking blond women we generally think they are from Russia. If people have a darker skin then they are automatically from somewhere exotic etc. and the list goes on.
We live in very cosmopolitan countries, yet we have an obsession to understand people through identifying the simplest of facts.
- Where are you from?
- What is your name?
- What is your age?
- Where do you live?
- What do you do?
From these 5 simple questions we begin assembling a picture of the individual. I bet you most times than not we are often surprised at ourselves, because we find out in a good way, that the person is different from what we originally thought; maybe even better! When this happens you begin to enjoy the individual’s company, yet your mind seems to retain a few thoughts about that person that you find commonality with. They went to the same school as you, or you have had a good vacation in the country they are from. Negative or positive experiences begin to form feelings that guide your actions towards these individuals.
So two things can occur at this point in time:
1. Your thoughts about this individual were negative to begin with and there presentation of themselves is beginning to reaffirm your thinking, so you get bored and don’t want to even really give them a chance unless the event that you are in pressures you to get to know them. The percentage chance that you will begin to like them now is low and every time they make a mistake or react in a way you expect them to this confirms your thinking, which is more likely given your mind bending the rules a bit, then this is the more you will want to end that social interaction.
2. You find the individual similar to someone you know, therefore common to your knowledge and therefore you are either thinking of them in a positive light or negative light. At this point they will either make you feel comfortable and safe OR someone to be avoided. You may begin to react more openly and warmly towards them or sternly and coldly, which is sometimes dangerous as you begin to expose yourself and are unaware of their future actions of the individual either way.
Everything we have mentioned above in my opinion is not advisable.
Best thing is to be surprised by life see it from a third person and enjoy everyone around you, try not to judge and try not to form a picture in your mind. Let the individual do this for you and you will be truly amazed how much more you will begin to appreciate people. Be more careful as to what you say, but sometimes observation and listening takes you a long way and you learn more.
So what nationality am I then?
Well I lived in 6 countries and I believe to really get to know the culture you need to learn the language and so I did. I liked all the traditions that each one had to offer and I have friends all over the world. When I go back to the country that I was born in, they see me sometimes as a foreigner… so I find it hard to say it was my home. The country I lived the longest in I haven’t been back to and I have no family ties there, so how hard is it for me to answer this question.
I am from the country I live and work in and where my family is. I try to preserve my identity of the person I have become over the years and adapt to my new surroundings. I believe taking on a bit of everything makes you international and that’s what I like to be.