Friday, April 5, 2013

In Denmark for 25 years, but not feeling like I am a part of it...

In Denmark for 25 years, but not feeling like I am a part of it...

“I’ve lived in Denmark for 25 years, but don’t feel like I am a part of it.”

That’s what I heard a few days ago. Can you imagine living in another country without feeling like you’re a part of the society, of the culture?...

My first reaction was: “What?? How is that possible?? It must be really hard!

But what do we really mean by “being a part of
a country, culture, society”?

Are we trying to say we don’t feel like home here?

Or do we feel an urge to belong somewhere, and that somewhere would only be our home country?

Or is it more about having different cultures and society than that in your home country, and not being able to like or to get used to the new ones?


We can make as many assumptions and ask as many questions as our imagination can let us do. But the truth is that most of us feel in need to IDENTIFY themselves with something, whether it be a certain culture(s), society, country, group, characteristics, etc.

“Social construction of identity can be defined as a process where individuals construct their identity. As stated by Giddens (2001) Human infants are born without any identity. They must be transformed by their parents, teachers, and others into cultural and socially adept animals.” 
source: WriteWork)

While in earlier traditional societies we would be given certain roles, nowadays we seem to be expected and able to create our own roles.

 “What to do? How to act? Who to be? These are focal questions for everyone living in circumstances of late modernity - and ones which, on some level or another, all of us answer, either discursively or through day-to-day social behaviour.” 
(source: “Modernity and Self-identity: Self and  Society in the Late Modern Age” 1991 by Anthony Giddens)

Many would identify themselves with certain groups or characteristics, rather than regional cultures and societies, i.e. for example, “I’m beautiful” or “I’m smart”, and stick to these identities as determinants of their life and self-being.

But the question is DO WE REALLY NEED IT?

Are we in great need to belong somewhere?

I would say, not really.

Why would we be?

Are we scared of being face to face with ourselves, with our true being? without trying to fall under a category, to be associated with certain characteristics?

Once again:


The question is if they really “must be transformed by their parents, teachers, and others into cultural and socially adept animals”??

Surely, we need to know about the culture we’re growing in, about the society we’re surrounded by, etc. But do we need to be locked inside our multiple identities?

Should the decision on “who we are”, “what we are” and “what we should be” be made by someone else, including our ego? Why don’t we stay “infants without any identity”? Would that mean that we won’t have a face or values then?

Is identifying ourselves with anything really that important?

I would love to hear from you!! What do you think about it? How would you answer the following questions? Feel free to share your answers and thoughts in the comments below.

1. What do you identify with very closely? Which cultural values do you identify with? 
2. Why do you identify with the above?
3. Could you imagine yourself without identifying with the above?

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