Christina/ December 19, 2010/ Culture

“Alien is where human beings are being hurt and humiliated. Home is where human beings have friends, tongue and hope.” (Yüksel Pazarkaya)

Maybe the meaning of the word “home” is most likely reflected if one does not terry the same. However, does the country of birth always necessarily equals home? If alien is, as the Turkish poet Pazarkaya describes it, where the human being is being hurt and humiliated, is it then possible that even parental home can be alien or any other place maybe outside the country of birth can feel like home? And what if alien is not created in the parental home but through war, poverty or prosecution? Is it in that case not normal and comprehensible that human beings are trying to find home at some other place and might be sucessful in that?

I remember a time in my life when I did not feel very happy for different reasons and when I did not feel very much welcomed in my home country. At that time I went abroad for a year as part of my studies. I went to some Arabian Country. Actually I was lucky enough to be welcomed with open arms and minds. During that year the Arabic World became a second home for me.

Since some time my partner has been living abroad due to job-reasons. In India. Naturally I visited him over there several times already. I admit that India does not provoke the same feelings in me as my sojourns in the Arab World did. I am more alienated by the Indian culture and lifestyle than by the arabic one. However, that is a matter of taste. Still, if one is willing and open to it you have every chance to get in contact with the locals.

Just two days ago were invited to a private party given by a Belgian guy who lives and works in India. Almost all other guests were Indians. It was a very pleasant evening, which was basically due to the fact that we were instantly treated as a part of the group. Discussions on Indian and German life(styles) were open-minded and cordially. I never felt alienated or redlined.

Three years ago we visited South Africa. The country is surely one of the most beautiful countries in the world when it comes to landscape. Unfortunately that does not apply to the coexistence of black and white people. When we came to Kwazulu Natal on our way to the Drakensberge, a part of the country which is mainly inhabited by the black population we got an idea what it feels like when you are two white persons in a black environment and instantly start to feel uncomfortable and being watched.

In course of the ongoing debate on integration in Germany which is held according to my mind quite one-sided as the migrant’s point of view is hardly being highlighted I often wondered if Germany means alien or home to the migrants? The language which is identified as one of the key elements for home by Parakaya is definitely learnable. Hope can be possibly derived from the believe in a different yet better future in another country. How about friends? Are we not supposed to be hosts to our foreign fellow citizens? And can we not even act as friends towards them to let the newly chosen home become real? Shift through your experience made abroad once in your mind. Alien or home?

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