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 14 2013: I have this problem almost every time I meet someone.

    I'm half-Japanese, half-American (Swiss, Sicilian, German, French, Austrian .... etc. = mutt).

    I was born in Boston, lived there for 4 weeks, lived in California for 2 years, Tokyo for 10, and Connecticut for 8. Went to college in Baltimore for 4.5 years while living in Connecticut, and moved to New York also during that time, 5 years ago. I now live in New York, but out of all of those places my heart resides in Connecticut.

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