Children of Immigrants: If you ONLY call yourself Canadian/American, I probably don’t like you

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Why? Because this land belongs to the whites only

Lol, kidding.

Honestly, the reason why I ((((probably)))) don’t like you is because there is a high chance you have the same exact mentality I constantly heard from my fellow children of immigrants growing up.

Listen, I know it sucked being the odd one growing up here. Attendance roll call sucked, your parents never really understood where you coming from, and I always took “Respecting other peoples culture” was just another way of saying “let stop judging them for the weird stuff they do”. Growing up I learned very quickly that western culture has a superiority complex; other people’s cultures were never seen as a counterpart, but rather something that is either constantly mocked or used as some sort of costume. It’s hella annoying.

BUT, I seen many of you guys, in the process of absorbing aspects of western culture, also begin to develop that notion of western culture, politics, and traditions, of being superior, and begin to look down on the culture your parents carry. I don’t mean being embarrassed by it- that’s an entirely different thing. What I mean is that as I grew older, I see a lot of my peers join this ‘modern age’ where they believe they are pushing for a better lifestyle when in reality all that they are doing is pushing a western narrative and kind of picking at all aspects of their culture that doesn’t fit with western culture.

I have no problem with people living life the way they want to but PLEASE, for the love of God, stop trying to “””reform””” everything that clashes with western culture. You can view religion in a different light than the western world and it is not anti-science, ignorant, or extreme.  You can have political beliefs outside of western politics and is not barbaric, old-fashioned, or oppressive. You can have different customs and it isn’t something that should remain in the past.  You can have a completely different culture, one that has absolutely 0 similarities with western culture, and it could still be 100% modern. It is really disrespectful and borderline self-hate when you can’t even look at the culture of your parents as on the same level as western culture.

“Hahaha my parents do this weird thing where they….”

No!!!!! It’s not weird!!! Why is it weird???

Stop explaining aspects of their culture as some odd weirdo bizzaro thing. Explain it with dignity. Explain it as something that took centuries and generations of knowledge to craft, because it did.

I don’t have respect for people like that because its one thing to look down on another culture, but it’s a completely other thing if you are looking down at aspect of yourself. Whether or not you admit it, that culture and it’s tradition are a part of you and you are putting someone elses shit above your own?

You are changing your name, your religion, your traditions just so it fits nicely into western culture? Why? Why is it so hard to be proud of your heritage, even the parts clashes with western culture?

Stop confusing modernization with westernization. Nothing is weird, because there is no standard way. The only thing that is a standard on this earth is that you are born and that you will die, everything in between is free game. Theres no standard of politics, way of practising religion, or way of running a society. So to use western culture as some sort of cultural role model is something that I am so frustrated that I see children of immigrants do, and many (not all) times their claim to be from the western country their parents immigrated to is a reflection of all of this. It has nothing to do with claiming the land you were born in (rightfully) as your own, but more of why you want to claim it so bad.

Its sad that westerners never acknowledge how close minded it is to view the world where your way is the only way, but its even sadder that children of immigrants, who are directly exposed to another way of living are incapable of comprehending that there are so many equal ways to view politics, traditions, and culture.

Please, start seeing the men and women in your “back home” country just as intelligent, advanced, and forward-thinking as westerners. The current state of their country does not define their level of intelligence. They have their own poetry, their own art, their own scientific theories, their own comedy and their own stages of life. If they want something to be changed, they have the power to do so.

And honestly, the world is much more beautiful when you start to realize that everyones culture is equal. Because you will start to see more art, you will see more theories, and you will start to see different outlooks on the world. It’s true what they say, travelling does humble you. Because you will start to realize how insignificant you are in respect to the rest of the world.

Kinda unrelated but that reminds me of this really great comic I saw on tumblr:

This is probably why travelling is such a dream of mine. So many different cultures, traditions, and people to learn from. And this is also probably why I get so frustrated at people who are so closed minded. The world is WAY too big for us to think we have some kind of superiority.

But why am I even writing about this in the first place?

Because this is my blog, I can write what I want to.

Lol, jk.

The reason why I am writing about this is because the topic of culture, society, and identity has been in my mind a lot lately. because I am finally getting a chance to travel again, allhamdulilah, and I’m getting to chance to visit Somalia, my home country, for the first time, inshallah.

I have a Confession of sin to make

Ok, can I open up and share a secret? I am actually afraid. Lol. Like hella afraid.

You’d think flying to a third world country that’s recovering from a civil war, famine, and drought is what’s making me so afraid, but it’s not. What I am actually more nervous about is that my identity might be robbed from me.

Looool that sounds so dramatic, but it’s true. Identity was never something that I struggled with growing up. I always, from a young age, considered myself Somali and nothing else.

I always felt as if Somalia was my real home, and that Toronto, where I was born, raised, and lived my entire life, I always saw it more as my adopted home. And just as an adopted child should, I felt extremely grateful for Toronto for raising me, educating me, taking care of me, because honestly adopted parents really don’t have to take on the job that they do.  But, going “back” and living in Somalia is a goal of mine some point in the future, so the idea of me hating it or feeling out of place is kind of scary.

Tick Tock Goes the Clock

As my flight to Somalia creeps closer, I am starting to feel this fluttery feeling in my stomach…Identity is something I never struggled with and I really don’t wanna start now.

Going forward, I am interested in what my reaction will be heading to Somalia for the first time. I wonder if my perspective of it being my true home will change once I get there.

What’s keeping me confident is this famous lyric in a Somali song which goes:

Haybad Waxaad Ku Leedahay Dhulkaaga hooyo // Hantiyeey macaan waa midaan, hooy lagaa oraneey

“Where you have dignity is in the land of your mother // What truly belongs to you, a beloved possession, (ie: the land) , no body can shoo you away

 

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