“She says when you grow up in two cultures, you aren’t split in half. Instead, there are two distinct beings inside of you. If you’re separated from one of the cultures, that being dies, at least for a time. It has no light to bathe in, no air, no soil. It can, like certain miraculous plants and seeds, come back to life, but the longer it dwells in that state of nonbeing, the harder it is to revive.” – (David Mura, Reflections On My Daughter, Half+Half, p87)
It’s the closest statement I’ve seen on being bi-cultural. Which is difficult in it of itself, but made more challenging when you identify with multiple selves. What if one’s birth certificate listed six nationalities and one’s household growing up spoke at least three different languages. Is that a blessing or is it a curse? Perhaps it’s just a matter of perspective.
What seems obvious to me is that the real problem lies in language. Census, polls, words are too restrictive and they don’t account for the myriad of ways we all see ourselves and each other. If language were, freer, more open, less restrictive, if language could breathe…yes, that’s the word. It needs to breathe, and then I could catch a breath.
Identifying with more than one culture doesn’t halve me, it multiples me. All versions of me are authentic, and all versions are unique. There is no discord within myself, the disharmony lies in you.
Whoever I see myself as. Whoever I am. If it doesn’t match up with your version it’s wrong.
When the truth is, your language is limiting and your perspective is skewed.
Words. I’m still figuring them out.