Where are you from? (A poem on identity puzzle)

Doesn’t matter where I am. I am always asked the question “where are you from?” Since in my case the answer is a long and complicated story, I try to come up with a quick and simple answer. So far I haven’t found the right answer to satisfy people. Here is a poem I wrote on the subject.

Where Are You From?

Last time I went to Mexico
I told everyone I was from China
Silence followed
Startled looks and raised eyebrows
A few opened mouths
Made my hilarity, their conundrum

In Spain People are bolder
They dared question me
When I said I was from India
I got asked
“But how come your name is Elen
and not Indira?”
“Oh! I don’t know
I rolled my eyes from side to side
“I never thought about it
It is a good question though
Please go ask my parents”

No matter where I go
I never say I am from Zimbabwe or Tanzania
A broader case of probability
Would ruin my mojo

But sometimes, I like to push the boundaries right to the edge
Just to experiment with how much I can get
Without sustaining an injury

When I lived in Jerusalem
I told,on occassion, I was from Nazareth
Which is only an hour and a half drive to the north
In Nazareth I said I was from Jerusalem
And in both places people would Aaaaah!
“Aaaaah!” they would say:
“I knew you were not a local
I saw it from afar
This now makes perfect sense”

I do enjoy playing these pranks
They are terribly fun
But what I secretly long for
Is to one day arrive in place where
Nobody asks me:
“Hey! You! Where are you from?”
Not even once

where are you from?

Life can be complicated for people who have multiple nationalities. You speak several languages. You can see things from multiple perspectives. As a result, you are not sure where you belong. Constantly longing to belong to one place or another. Constantly failing.

Turned “Where Are You From?” poem to a video

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