Oh! That's a tricky question!
What do you mean?
- Where am I born?
- Where am I living right now?
- Where did I live?
- In which neighborhood do I live?
And by extension, most of the time you want to know:
- Where does your accent come from?
- What do you do here?
You see? Tricky!
How am I supposed to answer that?
That's a question American people love to ask. A lot!
I don't know exactly where it comes from (!). Why this urgency to know where people are from?
Maybe because the country is huge and people travel a lot so nobody is from where he's living. Maybe because the country is founded on immigration and people come from everywhere. Maybe because people need to feel that they're from the same town even if it's almost a 4 millions square miles one. Maybe because you'll feel instantly closer to the person if you discover that you've grown up in the same neighborhood. Maybe it's just a polite question where people don't really expect a real answer. Maybe they just want to know where your accent comes from. Maybe it's a genuine question because they're interested -curious- in you.
I don't know the real reason, but for me, it's a major headache to answer!
If the person who's asking is the one who doesn't feel comfortable and feels the urge to know where/what my foreignness is from, then why should I be the one who feels out of place?
I'm born in France, raised in multiple countries of Africa, lived in France, in England, in Canada and now in the US.
I'm Canadian. I'm French.
I speak English. I speak French. I speak Spanish.
My family and my friends live around the globe.
I've lived in 4 African countries, 2 European countries and 27 different countries.
My home is where I am now, where I feel good and happy.
I'm a citizen of the world and I'm very proud of it!
And actually, the real question to ask me is not: "Where do you come from?"
The real question is: "Where are you going?"
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