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.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! these shirts look really good on
    ...you 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?
    Judi

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  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:)

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