Tag Archive | identity

Our roots

 

Our roots ground us

They give us stability and

The chance to grow tall

They keep us firm 

In the storms of life

They nourish our souls

They make us strong

Leaves and branches 

Adorn the tree of our lives

But without roots

They would not stay alive

“Grounded in our roots we rise”*

 

September 30th

 

*Larry Smith in Fresh off the boat

All of me

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I accept all of me

The Eastern me

The Western me

And everything in between 

All of my experiences in life

Are valid

All the influences I have had

Have shaped me

Yet in the final analysis 

I am who I am

Despite where I have grown up

Or where I live

My personality is not tied to one place

My interests and talents are innate 

My humanity something I have 

In common with everyone else 

 

September 17th, 2018

One family

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Do I fit in here or there?

Do I belong here or there?

Questions I once asked myself

How about I fit in here and there

I belong here and there

I also belong to a group of people

Who have grown up here and there

There are other people like me out there

They are also my community

At the root of it all though

We are all human beings

Who belong to the same family

 

Sept. 5th, 2018

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 in, 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