My friend had a half middle eastern half czech wife. I wont specify the nationality as our community is small and people of this mix are somehow limited and known. What he once mentioned to me was : ” I had to get to know when she is an arab and when is she thinking like a czech”. It never hit me in this sense that the other side of a mixed child relationship has also to learn new cognitive techniques that’ll enable them to understand the mixed identity of their partner.
I realized at that moment, how important it is for me to know myself, as Socrates wisdom says : ” know thyself by yourself”.
For me to know myself, is a long philosophical aspiration and will take a whole lifetime until I fully realize all the versions of who I am. Till then, all I can say for now, is I need to know continuously myself, so that others can know me as well. If that is not achieved, I really cannot expect to be understood.
Apart from all stereotypes, I took a deep look into myself, do I notice when I am thinking “like a lebanese” and when am I thinking “like a slovak”. The switch between the two for me is instinctive, only do I notice the difference is when placed with the opposed culture, I realize things are ” middle eastern” when placed betweek slovaks, and things which are “slovak” when placed between lebanese. The tough part would be maybe to identify the things I have in common with each culture within the context of that culture.
Maybe that is part of me realizing the feeling of belongingness. A stranger to me. As I write now, it just came to me, that maybe I never felt I belong, because I was never able to correlate these things together as I did now while writing. “Another reason why writing is so good, so many secrets revealed, so many solutions found on spot”.
I will be taking my brain from now on, to a journey of connecting, and absorbing the sense of belongingness I have while sharing both sides of my coin personality.
Why I decided to call her a coin? The best reflection I can find so far is the bilingual coin that holds the same value within ,no matter what side you get.
So to answer my own question, when am I slovak when am I lebanese ? At most times, because I am me, and having these two cultures combined, made me who I am, I am not once slovak, not once lebanese, I am both always. All I can say, is at times needed, one side moves more than the other according to what is required, and it reacts to the trigger as it should.
My coin personality, we will have to learn a lot as we move about from language to another, from place to place, and between all these different people. All I can count on, is her being of the same value.
Much more to come, as I discover aspects of myself and toss the coin.
Leaving you with a 1971 lebanese “Qirsh” what means “shark” , a no longer existing portion of lebanese currency my friend turned into a necklace and gave to me before traveling, so it always reminds me of the value of “home”.