Indigenous Caribbean Network

For people who have lived in more than one country or for people who have grown up between cultures, where is it that you feel most welcome?

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I feel must welcome when im not surrounded by bricks concrete and mortar, when im in the great out doors an surrounded by nature it deosnt matter which country im in because my heart is my home so its where ever my feet are standing. but its the borders and restrictions on who owns what that makes me uncomfortable.

Community is important to inrich us to feel comfortable where we reside weather that means you are tiano, european, chinese or a martian lol....

I think community is important but as humans we have become to competitive..
Thank you for your thoughtful answer.

I to feel most comfortable when out in nature. From the time my children were infants they have been brought to camping trips, learned to swim in waterfalls before they could walk, and have spent many days mountain hiking, kayaking and SCUBA diving.

It is our recent change of communities that has brought this question to my mind as my bilingual, bicultural children figure out how they fit into the tapestry of our new community. I have discovered that it is no easier for them than it is, or was, for me. Being of two cultures can leave you feeling as if you belong to neither, when you switch back and forth between countries like we have.

It seems we miss the one culture while we are living in the other. Sort of a greener grass on the other side affect??? The reaction for us has been to incorporate both cultures, which has been the cause of the "neither of here nor there" feeling. These are my observations of the effect on my family and I wondered if in fact it was a common occurrence amongst those who are accustomed to what I call ''culture jumping.
In short the only way I can think to reply to the feeling of "niether here nor there" feeling which in truth as a youngster I felt very strongly growing up in the UK is abit korny but I have grown to overstand is true is the age old saying that variety is indeed the spice of life.....

In the times we are living in where a individual ( taking a deeper look at this statement in divide dual....... lol just playing ) like obama may in time hold such a position we must look to the future of sharing are enviroment together as this beautiful world behold all are feet and in the grounding for where we all are nurished.

I think fusion is the the key to are future together.
Yes, we can learn to adapt, yet at the same time there are issues such as abandoning our true selves in order to acculturate or assimilate, because while I myself may honor my friend of another culture by acknowledging his differences and respecting who he is by celebrating our similarities, there are too many others who make a practice of demanding you loose who you are in order to participate, receive, or just be within that circle. When we talk about becoming friends with people like that, I dont waste my energies on them. What is more difficult is when we have to deal with teachers, or systems in which we are required participants, such as the recent case of the Native boy who is being asked to cut his hair in order to attend kindergarten.
http://www.houston-press.com/2008-07-10/news/a-native-american-fami...
It is fortunate for that family that this is out in the open and can be fought. However, many of us, and our children must deal with more subtle forms of discrimination or oppression.
To comp[licate matters, when I question wether or not I feel welcome in a place, I am continuously refecting uopn the fact that I am of both places(or neither), and both places are complicated, pluralistic societies, which requitre adaptation on the part of most people in order to function successfully within those societies.
I am perplexed as to how to arm my children with the skills they need to combat the onslaught of negative reinforcement they recieve while trying to navigate between cultures. I want them to be proud of all that they are and represent. So, I wonder more than ''where'' people feel welcome as much as ''HOW'' they feel welcome, and what they do to achieve that.
~perhaps this comment should have been the original post. :-)
The case of this little boy it is quite shameful that in this day and age, a child and his parents could find there self in such a situation.

Its very true that lots of instatuitions in the U.S and through out this world still very much have inbedded such customs to attack a persons individuality.

In truth the passive fight against such ignorance is still very much alive but this is the nature of some societies which will allways be full of obsticals for the true of heart.

But we must understand that this fight is neccesary in are times because the world is still being wounded by such people who would like to uniform everything, we must not be discouraged by such people more motivated to be strong in what we believe. In my veiw the creator made us unique for the very purpose of supporting one another.

I have always had to deal with such aggresion in my day to day life but it has in truth made me very strong in my resalutions and fueled my spirit to walk in a correct and upright manner, Indeed i do fear the same will be fought by my children but this is the situation we are faced with by forging the love of strong family bonds i have faith this will be overcome.

deep wounds have been made buy people who wish to stamp there ignorant views on those who are true of heart i feel it will take time for this to heal.
Thank you so much for recounting your experiences and sharing so much of yourselves. This has opened up talk with my children as we discus each of your comments and how that applies to them. The moment in which they enter school this fall, they will begin to learn for themselves what they must do. They are old enough to remember the change when we first moved to the island 7 years ago. Now that they are back, it is something of a reverse adjustment to a culture they were half part of when they lived here before. I can see some adjusting better than others. Joaquin has the greatest difficulty learning to read in English. These comments are leading to discussions that will better equip them for their new adventure.
peace&luv~c
I call myself "non-indigenous" for a reason: it's a long time since I felt rooted anywhere. I am definitely one of those "grass is greener on the other side" types and I always look back at the last place I lived in as being the best place one could live in. That kind of attitude keeps you constantly disconnected and alienated from where you are, makes you dissatisfied, and nostalgic, and you end up being a rather unhappy person.

I can only reconcile myself to one strange and unexpected "fact": that I feel most at home, in my mind and in my body, when I am in Trinidad, either when I am there in person or there in my thoughts. I owe so much to Trinidad, pretty well everything that is most significant about my adult life since I was 20 years old. So though I was not born there, not raised there, and would never pass myself off as a Trinidadian, it has become the only place I really feel at home in.
call yourself what you will my dear, but it seems to me that the land that calls to your soul IS your home. though you may not be indigenous to trinidad, you certainly are her child. she knows it and so do you.
would you call my cherokee son whom i have adopted, NOT my own? certainly not, for he drank from my breast the same as the others.
when i call for my children he is sure to come.
is it not the same for you?
respectfully~c
That can be a difficult question to answer...often we have to "undo"SO MUCH first,before we can then find out where we would be most comfortable-or at least,where and what gives us the most meaning.For me,it's been a long and very painful road-I will admit that because it is so true,and it's made me who I am today,I am better equipt to guide anyone who is going through similar experiences.I had to do a LOT of research-and discover,through trail and error that most of what I was reading were lies from the English about our people!...it gets deep,save more for later!
There are a few ways...you can feel such a connection to a culture(yet I wonder why not one's own?-sometimes it's that one does not know-ao we have DNA tests,and we usually find at least 2 different races)You can feel such a connection to a culture,that you ADOPT it,or "They"adopt you-Native or African,or from India,Iberiapre-roman Iberian indigenous tradition-predominantly Celtic-"Celt-Iberian" it is known by-wherever you feel called.I suggest that you REALLY learn as much as you can about the cultures that you KNOW are part of your DNA FIRST!It's important in my belief that we please our ancestors-sometimes we have to help them make adjustments..to each other!-to our choices-but we need to TUNE-IN,to really try to make actual contact with them-"misas espirituales at home(I believe everyone should have an ancestor altar!,PUT ONE UP AND ATTEND TO IT!),or in community misas with a GOOD medium present.My aunt in possesion would blow the conch shell,as our Taino ancestors did-and I never knew what that gesture was till I got much older-"Oh,Taino!!!"It can be a long process,but you have to ENJOY IT!-it is full of surprises,good and not-so-good,wonderful and full of meaning, joyful,tears of joy,tears of longing-then of FINDING!,etc.,etc.To really find,one must really search!,right?
thank you for your comment on tuning in and making contact, because DNA is one part, and cuture is the other. Without the culture, what good would the DNA be, no?~c
Taigey my brother,
Thank you for your warm statements,I glad I can help sometimes!Continue being the "Spiritual Warrior that you are!

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