Identity

Bismillah,

This topic is proudly presented by yours truly and my eldest, Z. Read on to know.

I am currently reading Culture Map by Erin Meyer. I am only on page 20-ish when I encountered a very interesting passage. It came from one of her interviewees — someone who came from two cultures (Italian and American), but was raised mainly in Germany and continued his education in the US.

That someone reminded me of Z. My kids are Indonesians by birth, but they were born in Singapore, and now they are being raised in Germany. I don’t know where they will go for university, but that’s story for later.

Anyway, I decided to ask Z.

Me: Z, what do you think? You are an Indonesian because Mama and Papa are Indonesians — but you were born in Singapore and now you are raised here in Germany. Do you think you are an Indonesian, Singaporean, or German?

Z: I think I am both Singaporean and German

Me: Why?

Z: I am Singaporean because I was born in Singapore and I speak more English than Indonesian. I am also a German because I am now here and I go to KiTa (kindergarten) in German and I speak German.

Me: Okay, I understand.

I am not surprised that he identifies more with being a Singaporean and German. His culture values in the future will always be influenced by those two especially German. But, I have other thing I want to emphasize at him.

Me: I understand your answer. However, you have your number one identity.

Z: What is it?

Me: Above all those, first and foremost, you are a Moslem. No matter what nationality you will have in the future, you will always be a Moslem. That’s your number one priority.

Z: I see. Okay, Mama.

Whether he really understands it or not, I don’t know. Identity is important and for me, it empowers you. And that’s the thing I want my kids to have. To be empowered and to be true to their identities.

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