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My Status on Facebook

 "We are what we are because of our life experiences and what we have come through. No two people will have the same perception of even the same thing. What is true for one is not necessarily for another. That is why it is so important to live and let live....."  


This is my Facebook Status as I write this post.


I mentioned on a blog post recently that my perception of my place of origin had expanded to include the whole of the United Kingdom and Ireland region, i.e. the English speaking part of western Europe.  Some of my family in Ireland were a little surprised by this and a small discussion broke out on my Facebook link.  They found it very strange indeed.   So in order to explain, I commented the following:

 I love Ireland-it is part of my identity-but I've gone for years without meeting anyone from there. Can you understand how strange that is? When you consider that Punjabis, Bengalis and Tamils, who don't even speak the same language are considered to be the same nationality i.e. 'Indian', then perhaps it's not so surprising that my perception has undergone a change. The change has been so subtle I was hardly aware of it until recently. But I still have my brogue. The last time someone asked me what my favourite food was, I replied 'a rasher sandwich and a glass of Guinness.'


I find it a little surprising too.  But I've had an unusual life.  Not everyone marries a foreigner and goes to live abroad.  I've been in India for about one third of my life by now.  But I'm Irish to the core.  I love and appreciate my country, its language, traditions and culture and I love it more than ever now that I'm not there.  I miss the rain, I miss the soft weather, and oh how I miss the ironic Irish sense of humour.  I miss my people and sometimes I miss them so much it is like a physical ache.  The longing to return never leaves me.  If I hear a piece of Irish music unexpectedly it can move me to tears.  I miss the Guinness and the atmosphere of Dublin.  I think of it and visit there in my heart every single day.


I love India too, though.  There's the conundrum.


So if any of my family have wandered into this blog, I would say don't take offence because I used an archaic expression to refer to my place of origin.  The 'British Isles' simply refers to a region, an English speaking region, not a political entity.  If it was called the Anglo-Celtic Isles it would have been much better.  But it is not.


Oh the life of an exile!  The female answer to James Joyce, that's me.....

Comments

  1. I know that strange nomadic feeling of belonging yet not quite knowing where. I am more years in my adopted home of Northern Ireland than I was in the place of my birth - Dublin. It still feels strange that a drive down the road brings me to a different country, yet I cross the Irish Sea and find myself in the same country!

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  2. This post touched my heart and left me smiling. :)

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  3. Irish from the British isles should find India of 22 official languages and thousands of dialects as confusing or as delightful, depending on one's point of view!

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  4. My guess is that you think of India as an extended family. They're under your umbrella of life, just a part of you. If a road could lead from Dublin, India is just "down the road". The post should answer their question.

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  5. Just found your blog through Corinne. I am Irish living in Dublin but love the Indian Culture. Although I have never lived there, I have lived in Asian communities in the UK for many years. I think I may have been from India in my last life! Just wanted to say hi and to tell you I will now be following your blog.
    All the best
    Claire Hegarty

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