Everyone is delivered a card in life and sometimes put in situations out of personal control. How one reacts to the situation is up to the individual – and from there Home is created. We always long to “Go Home” whenever unpleasant situations arise. Change seems to be one of the biggest fears we have. For a lack of better words, it is simply fear of the unknown.
I’m Gianni, a TCK of Indian ethnicity; born and raised in Hong Kong. I studied at a German-Swiss school under a British curriculum, and lived in both Brazil and the US; it’s safe to say I have felt very confused at times.
“You live in Hong Kong but you don’t speak Chinese?”
“But you don’t look Chinese?”
“What accent do you have?”
These are just some of the basic questions thrown at me. Nothing a humorous reply can’t solve. If ever in doubt, smile.
As I have spent most of my life in Hong Kong, I should be considered “local”. However, the definition is so broadly stereotyped and varies on the perspective of the individual. Daddy’s rich kid, the shy Chinese girl, conservative thinkers, iPhone lovers, Canto Pop stars, Gwei-los hashtagging #852 on Instagram. Take your pick.
When forced to move location or put in a different environment, the human mind and body have no choice but to adapt. It is our survival instinct to do so. If we fearlessly change the space within ourselves and create the environment that we want around us, then we are consciously creating Home wherever it may be.
Essentially we have done this unconsciously our entire lives. We are born into, raised by, and surrounded by groups of people who make us assimilate to the social norms around us. However the mistake we humans make is that the stimuli of pleasure we create – comfort, safety, feeling of belonging – are external, not internal. Hence the disappointment we face due to the attachment we create.
Home to me is an internal state of being. You are your Home.