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Who AM I? A Foreigner

Part I

Who am I is the question of identity crises for many people? Consider that thought or idea which haunts you all your life. I started my early life questioning the identity crisis and looking for an identity definition along the way. Identity definition is the reason I am writing this article. Who am I versus identity definition became an obsession for me over the years so far? I should write about this before I write about other topics. My whole life I have been a foreigner, I never knew where I belong and what made me who I was. Now, I am 34 years old and I have lived so far 95 percent of my life a foreigner ´ away from my family, my cousins´.

Who am I versus identity definition?

Google gives identity definition as ´´the fact of being who or what a person or thing is´´. Now the question of who he the person or thing is far more personal and experienced-based, at least in my case. I started defining my identity because of my own subjective experiences around the world. One must have a strong sense of identity definition, defining that identity repeatedly over time. ´´ Erick Erikson the German psychologist used the term identity crisis for the youngsters developing the identity role. Being in a foreign country for many years helped me develop a strong meaning for who am I question.

Identity crisis versus foreigner country

Being in a foreign country it is quite normal to feel the identity crisis as I felt during my initial days in Brazil.  Foreign Suggests here not belonging to a certain community or territorial area. Moreover, exactly that is what happened to me in the true sense. The first foreign country was the country I was born in because of my mother being in a village away from our cousins. Later during my journeys around different foreign countries and continents along with time, I started to feel at home and started to create that environment wherever I went, which I learned because of developing a strong identity definition and being on my own. All of this came to me very naturally once I got over the identity crisis. This I started to call the identity enlightenment: As if, the courses of nature were in an alignment to create that way of life for me. A lot happened to enlighten me.

The story starts with the job of my mother the foreign country or land you can say within in my own country. She was a handicrafts instructor employed by the government; my fellows called me the foreigner at school and everywhere. Then my mother was transferred to the main city where I was called once again the foreigner, and then mother decided to quit and take care of her children we settled in our homeland, which is my father’s birthplace built a house, and started to living permanently: ironically I was foreigner once again.

Then I moved to the big city of Lahore to pursue my graduate studies. People never let me down, reminding me that I was a foreigner. After completing my graduation against the wishes of my parents I went to Brazil, the spirit of being an outsider was getting stronger in me. It was time to make it international. The country of carnivals uplifted my spirits, their unique way of acceptance made me felt at home from the first day until the last of my departure. I lived there for three years and learned a lot with them along with learning their language. I was born multilingual by birth, adapting and learning new languages were and it is until today a good pass time of mine.

However, Brazilian always called me gringo not knowing the origin of the word. The time arrived for my departure when I found a fellowship program in France. I never thought I would be this much depressed but France became the worst experience of being a foreigner. French people consider themselves somehow rulers of this world and all others a piece of shit, I might be wrong but at least that is what I saw in the class, outside and experienced it working in a kitchen of a restaurant.

Rio de Janeiro

Written by : Faisal Karim

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