Identity + Place, Part II: Run on Sentences


It’s part two of theme week on Small Answers, where we have two stories discussing identity and place, and how these concepts overlap and diverge (read the first piece here).

Today’s author is Duyen. For Duyen, the question “where are you from?” has always felt weighty. Duyen was born in Vietnam, moved to Southern California as a child, and now lives in New York City. Her memories of each place are tied to many and varied  things – TV shows, relationships, sounds, flavors – and she finds connection to her past in unexpected ways.

The question “Where are you from?” has never had a simple answer for me. Growing up, I was never sure if the asker wanted to know where I was born or where I live, and now, I wonder if they want to know where I was raised.
It seems like a small question, but for me it holds a lot of big answers. It asks how I identify myself and what shapes me—is it the country and culture my family is from? Is it the place where I made my first friends? Or is it where I feel most at home?

So, where am I from? (read more…)