And the struggle to define what being Norwegian means
This newsletter was packed with so much brilliant content I hardly know how to respond. Re: culture – I look Eastern European (and partially am) or Nordic, though I'm actually Hispanic. No one knows this. I don't talk about it because I don't look the part and wasn't brought up with Argentina (where my mother was born) as part of my cultural heritage. But it's still part of me. And it's a confusing part. Also, as a Jew who has been intensely secular and non-affiliated all my life until recently, I have to say: I can abandon the religion or even convert, but I would still always be Jewish – it's in my genes, in my very fabric. So recently I've decided to embrace that genetic code and having a meaningful experience doing so. Your writing helped deepen my thoughts on the topic!
Thanks for sharing your idnetity. I was born in Indonesia. But didn't know I was Indonesian when I grew up in the States. At 7, we packed up (dad had finished his PhD) and got on a plane. Suddenly found myself going to school and not understanding a word anybody was saying, with kids staring at me. I asked my parents "when are we going home?" They said "we ARE home." Oh well! Might as well start learning the language then (if only to tell the pesky girl next door that I hate her…LOL). I still consider myself Indonesian, even when I've lived here in New Zealand longer than I have anywhere else. But weirdly, I feel more of a migrant when I'm in Indonesia, than when I'm in NZ.
Beautifully written, Fei! In the end, a definition is too confining and risks leaving out subtleties and shades which, although faint, lend a richness to the perception of one's self-identity. We are a product of all the environments we've lived in and all the people whose paths have crossed ours. Wishing you and Michael a wonderful trip to Norway!
What a great posting Fei-Ling :) You have a beautiful country and much to be proud of where you come from!
Some things just cannot and shouldn’t be further reduced. YES!!!
Love this view into your Norwegianness - I guess I am a reverse racist in a sense because I am so curious about other children of Chinese immigrants living in Western societies. I think part of it is as you said because I am trying to clarify my own multi-cultural identity, but gosh I was so confused growing up LOL.
So well captured your Norwegian-ness. I can relate and feel for you. I personally also feel so many parts of so many cultures: Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese, Nepali, Italian, European....but actually I think we do not need to have labels or titles, the important is being YOU with all the facets and accepting yourself and being enriched by all the cultures and people you come acorss and becoming better and richer every day. So we learn to accept everyone as fellow human beings journeying together in this young planet for oh such a short time!
You wirite beautifully dear Fei, keep it up. I am so happy to hear you will be travelling to Norway with Michael. Wishing you both the best of trips. I still have to do this Norway in a nutshell trip myself and am putting it on my bucket list.
Loved reading your post!
Wonderful to hear you and Michael are headed there for vacation. And yes, Norway in a Nutshell trip is a must. Rob and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Hope you and Michael can go on a Hurtigruten cruise along the coastline, visiting quaint coastal communities as well, time permitting.