Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Home Is Where The Heart Is

The recent celebrations of Easter here in Athens where tradition and a sense of identity are so strong have once again reminded me of my lack of one. I am a product of a mixed marriage, so genetically I am half Anglo Saxon, half Arab. However, just to add to the confusion, I was brought up as a child of expats in the Arabian Gulf. Having spent my childhood in a foreign country where I had no relations and to which I didn’t really belong meant that I have never really felt that I belonged anywhere. I have never lived in my fathers home country and only started living in the UK in my late teens. I am also of a minority faith, so you can imagine the pull of cultures and identities that goes on inside me.

The plus side to all this is that I am a citizen of the world, I can pretty much fit in anywhere, but I still miss that sense of completely belonging to a people and a culture. I have visited my father’s home country on several occasions and the cultural differences between myself and my cousins are enormous and very apparent in our life expectations and values. I actually identify with my British roots more strongly and consider myself as British as British can be. My somewhat unorthodox religious beliefs, however, make it difficult to feel completely accepted in what I consider to be my home country. My struggle to fit in eventually lead me to Greece. I suppose I thought that at least here I would be an official foreigner, with no false claims to belonging. However, I did not count on the fact that I would fall head over heels and actually want to feel like I belonged here. Sometimes I think I must like to make my life complicated, after all what is a life if it isn’t a life less ordinary!!