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The Homeless Belonging

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Lifestyle & Philosophy

The waves in the lives of my family have always been quite unique. I am starting to understand that changing challenges in my generation are nothing new to my parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. From Persia to India, from India to Suriname, from Suriname to the Netherlands. Crossing the Indian, the Southern Atlantic and the Northern Atlantic Oceans. By horse, steamboats and airplanes. What great risks they have taken. How much they had to leave behind. So much they could gain. One thing has always characterized their journeys. Nothing is for sure, but they would surely do the best they could to make everything possible.

I never read about these stories at school. About the largest democracy on earth with the oldest world religion and one out of six people of the planet. About one of the most racial-ethnically diverse countries that furthermore is covered for eighty percent with parts of the most important and least affected rain forests on the globe. Where more than seventy-five percent of the crucial U.S. bauxite imports came from during World War 2. Surely we would hardly learn anything about slavery or colonialism. What ever was far away was not 'our' way unless framed as the Golden Century entrepreneurship.

But what is becoming most interesting to me nowadays are the personal life stories, histories of the previous generations. The little country where I was born in seems to place no significance on these. Nevertheless, they touch, warm and break my heart. The sacrifices, the taboos, the tragedies, the accomplishments, the pride and the joy. Those generations were all pioneers in considerable ways. I carry no legacy of any established status quo. Nor do I have any shame about the lack of wealth and prestige in past times. Some times we do wonder about our grandfather’s stories, referring to our ancient royal ties of a long forgotten kingdom. However, whether true or not, it is ironic how mere greed would have caused its destruction. I have never been taught by my parents to become rich or that it would make me a better person. They did stress how this journey of generations has always had a clear goal in mind of becoming able to get the best out of life some day, for some future generation. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for those who knew they would not be the one. I cannot imagine their strength nor their suffering.

Never before have there been so many opportunities. I may not be the one who has crossed an ocean, yet compared to the history of this country I have crossed in an incredible speed numerous boundaries. Surely mine have not been free from struggles, still I am the first one to have not experienced any poverty and to have doors wide open to any type of education. Marriage is an option, sex is my business, my company is my choice. Nonetheless, even within my generation apparently I also remain unique therefore 'within' the historical community and 'outside' it. It seems to be a constant in my life: the misfit in society. Lacking a sense of home at or of belonging to a specific designated group with written and unwritten rules of acceptance and rejection. Too often too much worth is placed on things that do not tell anything about some one’s character and level of respect. It seems a bitter irony that refusing to deny what my family has fought for, is a battle. Not simply only one with society or generations, but also a confronting one within these.

On the other hand, I finally have the honourable chance to practice what I believe, which is historically both a right and a privilege. Some say that G’d is in the detail, and whether one is religious or not, perhaps the meaning is to look beyond those outer taken for granted differences …so you should actually make an effort to notice what was supposed to not fit in the picture. It is called life. Finding sameness has been a mission impossible for me so far and perhaps I will never find it…. Alternative appreciation of originality and simplicity still needs a bridge from two sides however. A beautifully imperfect building process worthwhile for the present...


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Don’t shy away from confrontation or conflict. Like the muscles in your body, which won’t grow or stay toned and ready for action without pressure and a bit of pain, your spirit needs conflict in order to transcend. As you grow stronger in your spirit and your confidence, it will be harder for people to manipulate or intimidate you.

Anthea Paul