Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

Thangachi’s Corner: What is your background?

By Editor - February 27th, 2015

Thangachi's Corner: What is your background?

Where am I from?

That’s the question I posed my grade four’s last week when one of the girls walked in at the beginning of the period, readily prepared to burst into tears.

And it’s certainly a problematic question, isn’t it? After all, by “from”, I could be referring to the geographical location from which I arrived to Canada. Or perhaps I mean the country from which my parents immigrated here. It’s an altogether tricky question, especially when taking into consideration a rather diverse community made up of various cultures, languages and religious beliefs.

Who am I?

By Editor - March 15th, 2010

Who am I?

I went out with a friend over the weekend, and we had a nice time. He’s Brazilian and I met a few of her other Brazilian friends. One of his friends asked me “Are you Sri-Lankan?” I replied, “No, I’m Tamil.” His reply was, “isn’t that a language, not a place.” And, I told him, I do not identify as a Sri-Lankan, and I’m from Tamil Eelam. Now, explaining this to someone who is out of the loop in terms of current events is a bit difficult, but I feel I get into this conversation every time someone asks where I’m from. I gave him the short answer that I’m from Tamil Eelam, and that is the traditional homeland of the Tamils before it was unjustly colonialized by the British and then wrongly handed it over to the Sinhalese majority. So I asked him back, where he is from, and he said he’s Canadian (even though his parents are from Brazil).