TED Conversations

Kate Torgovnick May

writer, TED


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For people who have a hard time answering the question: "Where are you from?"

In Pico Iyer's talk from TEDGlobal 2013, he looks at the complex nature of the question: "Where are you from?" Because while his family originally comes from India, Iyer himself grew up in the United Kingdom. He spent the next 48 years living in the United States. Meanwhile, his heart resides in Japan. He calls these the "pieces of a stained glass self."

As he notes, in our increasingly global world, it's not uncommon to be a half-Korean, half-German woman in love with Paris or a half-Thai, half-French man in Canada.

And so we're curious: what are the pieces of YOUR stained glass whole? Share here and you may see your answers on the TED Blog soon.

I'll share first: I am a half-Italian, half-Polish Jewish-Christian with a Russian last name, who grew up in the Southern United States and now calls herself a New Yorker.

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  • Jul 17 2013: Is hanging a hat still definitive? Whilst most of my 'pieces' are areas of the UK, there's as much cultural diversity between Wales, Yorkshire and Devon as there is between neighbouring countries on the Continent. National borders are lines on a map, and I have more in common with cousins in South Africa, or in New Zealand, than some people who share my street.

    Where am I from? Probalby the answer I like is The Internet - a country of swirling ideas with infinite room for immigration where you are who you choose to be, and you can unfriend anyone who chooses to be antithetical.

    Proud to be a mongrel!

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