Monday, February 11, 2008

Flying up on an Air Balloon

Today, I have become a Japanese, Israeli, Polish, Romanian and even Russian young woman in the mind of several young people involved in a training about diversity. During an exercise about prejudices, I have experienced others' perception of me. Yes, I have an unusual name, and yes, it isn't clear rightaway where it comes from, and yes, I have quite a pale skin, eventhough I can easily get tanned under the sun. And to make it more confusing, I speak good English, and Dutch, my Spanish is correct and my mother tongues are French and Turkish. But these kids didn't have all that information (they just knew I spoke English and Dutch and they knew my name), so they thought of me as everything but Turkish or Belgian. I understand it pretty well, and furthermore I don't like to identify myself with a nation in the first place- it is part of my identity, not my whole self to be a Turkish-Belgian. But I still couldn't understand why suddenly I have become Japanese or Israeli? I thought of it a bit, and on my way back home to Amsterdam from this little town where the training was held, I saw a huge air balloon with green and purple stripes starting its ascendancy to the bright blue sky. I forgot about being Polish, Romanian, Japanese, Belgian, Turkish... I just thought how beautiful it was to be a free human being.

1 comment:

Erinc Salor said...

Aren't all these so-called identities nothing more than weights to pull down the balloons of our imaginations on the ground? Flight is, after all our most primeval envy and fear. We are forever jealous of those who are naturally blessed by it and therefore we would like to keep down all around us who try to rise up above the morass of mediocrity.

So you are absolutely right in not bothering yourself with all those silliness.

Just keep on flying.
Who knows, maybe I'll meet you on the way up. ;)