Where are you from?
Where are you REALLY from?
Where is your family from?
What’s your heritage?
What kind of passport do you have?
Where were you born?
What’s your first language?
For the vast majority of the people I’ve met, these are easy questions to answer.
For me, not so much.
Even though I’m old enough to be considered a grown up, I’m what you’d call a third culture kid. I’m from lots of places and nowhere in particular.
I grew up in a bilingual household. I think (and even dream) in more than one language.
My parents and grandparents were all born and raised in different countries and speak different languages.
Between them, we have: India, Japan, Uganda, the UK and of course, Singapore.
If my family name didn’t already give it away – I was born and raised in Singapore. My passport is that beautiful shade of burnt orange and my comfort food of choice is Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Oh yes. Home is where the chicken rice is.
But you know that old cliché – the one about how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It really doesn’t.
True to form, I left Singapore in 2007 and lived in Australia and Israel before returning to Japan to retrace some of my grandmother’s old footsteps.
When I’m not learning or teaching a foreign language, my nose is buried in a book, or cooking dinner for the numerous guests of various nationalities that I’ve had the pleasure and honour of hosting over the years.
Mi casa, su casa. My house is your house.
Despite our differences, I’ve always believed that we humans are more or less the same, regardless of ethnicity, language and religion.
We eat, we sleep, we procreate, we work, we earn a living and then whether we like it or not, we have to embrace the great unknown at the end of it all.
So, to answer my opening questions. I’m from this beautiful planet that we all share.
As are you.
You can reach me at dipa.singapuri (at) gmail.com