Tag Archive | identity

The collage

 

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A second book
Another essay on life
My life
With its challenges and trials
With lessons learned
With hope and optimism
Written with love

The collage of me
Is a collage of prose and poetry
The coming together of various experiences
And exploration of various cultures
Of Travel
Of connections
Of fellowship and camaraderie

It tries to answer the questions
Who am I?
And where do I belong?

It explores issues of identity and immigration
And the coming together of East and West
And the essential oneness of man

Collage of me 2

We search for our identities
Especially when we are transplants in society
We try to find out how we fit into the world
To what cultural group we belong
What values we espouse
And how other people see us

What if such a rigid identity is not to be found
We are all born with intrinsic personalities and abilities
After that, our experiences, our education
And our efforts make us who we are

Our ‘self’ is fluid
It changes as we learn and grow
Our experiences shape us
And this will continue all our lives

I find this liberating
Because now I don’t have to find out
Where I fit, to which group I belong
Who accepts me and who does not

I am unique
As everyone else is
I am who I am because of the places
I have lived
The languages I’ve learned
The books I’ve read
The people I’ve met and befriended
Where I was born factors into this too
It’s one of the many things that makes me me!

I am Eastern
I am Western
I am Persian
I am Canadian
I value art and poetry
I value friends and family
I value honesty, compassion and equality

I’m an adventurer
I am a rebel of sorts
I am curious
I want to learn
I live and write in English
More than in my mother tongue
But there is no discrepancy in all this
They all make up the collage of me

November 11th, 2016

A new race of men

There is a new group of people in the world
Who are born in one country and grow up in another
And perhaps move from that country too
To study or work somewhere else
What should they call themselves?
How should they define themselves?

I know a gentleman from Lebanese roots
Who group up in Nicaragua
He came to Montreal to study and stayed
Now, he speaks English with a Spanish accent
His wife is French Canadian
So the mix of cultures and languages goes on

We were at a dinner with two other couples
For none of whom English was the mother tongue
But that’s how we communicated all night
What we have in common, living in Montreal

My children have Dutch and Persian heritage
But have grown up in Canada
They are not identifiable as Persian or Dutch
But appreciate where their parents come from

I asked a Japanese man who lives in the United States
When he moved there
He said he’s third generation Japanese American
Ooops! What a mistake

Cases like this will only increase
As we continue to live our lives
Already, where are you from
Is not an easy answer for some

How wonderful that we’ll have to get to know people
By focusing on their qualities not their birth place
The gentleman with an Arabic name and a Spanish accent
Was the inspiration for this poem

May 8th, 2016

Reflections on identity…

I’m a Persian girl who grew up in Canada
Married a Dutchman and lives in Quebec now!
Where should I start?
I guess at the beginning…

My Persian heritage has shaped me
It has given me the gift of poetry, hospitality
And strong family ties

My Canadian upbringing
Has given me the gift of religious freedom
Our best attempts at equality of women and men
And freedom to be me
Not what others expect me to be!

My association with the Dutch
Has given me the gift of authenticity
Artistic expression, music and love!

My time in Quebec has given me
My passion for poetry, exploration of the arts
Self discovery and growth!

I’m happy to be all of the above
And I’m thankful for each!

It hasn’t always been east to navigate
Different cultures and try to figure out
Where I belong
But I’m in a good place now
Not hesitant to acknowledge my heritage
Not worried that I don’t fit in
Not confused about where home is

As they say
Home is where the heart is
And perhaps I’ve had many homes
This is the kind of world we live in
Things are not black or white
But all the colours in between

Lida Berghuis
December 1st, 2014

The magic of poetry!

 

 

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Sometimes we search for our identities
Especially if we are transplants in society

Born in the East
Bred in the West
I used to feel somewhere in between!

I felt at home in the West
But I was not sure
What to do with my Eastern roots
Eastern and Western
We are all one
But it took me a while
To reconcile these two parts!

It started when I began to read
The ‘translated’ poems of Rumi
The West made this Eastern jewel accessible to me!

For the first time I was really drawn to poetry!
This was not any poetry
It was mystical, and touched my heart!
It helped me understand!
It helped me heal!
It helped me see things more clearly!

Perhaps poetry is the great equalizer
It lets us know that we all have the same struggles
The same questions, the same fears and doubts
And we all need to love and be loved!

Perhaps poetry is all about love
Love for the Divine
Love for our fellow man
Love for the noble beings that we are

And then I put pen to paper
And wrote down my thoughts, my feelings
My experiences in life

Writing poetry was healing
Somehow feelings that were bottled up inside
Were allowed to slowly flow out!

The Western me and the Eastern me

Mingled and

The  poems were the result

 

Lida Berghuis
March 23rd, 2013