TED Conversations

Kate Torgovnick May

writer, TED


This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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.

Related Talks:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 22 2013: I almost cried listening to Pico's talk because he understands one of the biggest challenges in my life: defining who I am geographically. I am a college student, so I am constantly moving. In the past two years, I have had over five addresses. I grew up Ohio and always spend a couple weeks there during the year, but I go to school in Illinois. Spring semester, I studied abroad in Wales and spent more time traveling through European countries than actually studying in Wales. Last summer, I worked in Alabama. This summer, I'm working in Houston. I have no idea where I'll be next summer or after college is over.

    Wherever I go, even when I was traveling through Europe, people wanted to know exactly where I was from in the United States. After a lot of thinking about this idea over plane and train rides, I decided my home is not where I lay my head down at night, but where I know I could lay down my head. It's about people and community, as Pico said. I have homes across the US from California to Minnesota to Massachusetts to Georgia because there are people there who care about me and would be happy to make their home my home too.
    • thumb
      Jul 22 2013: Morgan i feel for your plight and amazed to know your answer which i believe can become a catalyst of change. " I decided my home is not where I lay my head down at night, but where I know I could lay down my head".

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.