Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cultural Identity

Today was "Taste the Nations" at church - it's an annual event during Missions month when our very diverse congregation bring a meal from their culture and we have a great potluck after church. 

I personally have a tough time deciding what culture I am in situations like this.  At the border coming back from the USA is a no-brainer......
Officer: What is your citizenship?
Me: Canadian
Officer: (skeptical of the un-canadian accent) Where do you live?
Me: Richmond BC

But at an event like today I am torn. I feel so very African so many times - people here still comment my accent (although I wish Canadians realised THEY have the accent not me) and I still often feel "other" than the mainstream. But at other times I feel very Canadian.

As an aside here I should say that although I was born just outside Johannesburg in South Africa I have been a Canadian all my life. My Dad was born in Geraldton Ontario and I had a Canadian passport when I was 6 months old.  As a birthright I also had a South African passport. 

I have both Scottish/English and Irish heritage as well through grandparents and great-grandparents!

My Dad quips that he is an Afro-Canadian  and I think that comes closest to what I feel although this term would usually denote a dark skinned person.....which I am not.

So today I put on an African shirt and threw a Canadian HBC Olympic scarf around my neck (but the Fashion Police aka Lindsay Byres (13 years old) disqualified the combination from public viewing so I left the scarf at home) - actually our whole family put on African shirts and we took our curry and rice to share and we had a good time.


  1. Wow! these shirts look really good on just look a little white... like we do in them.
    You look ready for a trip to TZ....
    safari, lodge, sipping cool ww in the deck in the afternoon as the sun goes down....
    Any takers?

  2. We have had the conversation actually.......but we can't do Africa without hitting South Africa as well so BIG $$ and lots of time needed..... but its on the list:)