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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    Aug 4 2013: This a hard question to answer for me since I am half Chinese and half German. I was born and raised in Michigan and taught great values from my parents. I moved to Huntington Beach, California 12 years ago. When people ask me where I am from, I hesitate to answer because Huntington Beach is in Orange County which has a certain stigma of snobby self center people.
    I agree with what Simona Rich posted that when people are particularly proud of their country of birth or residence, it puts limitations on them. I myself am very proud to be an American, but I am very open minded and love to travel the world while meeting and talking to new people. Doing so has only expanded my mind and opened my eyes to different cultures.

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