Friday, March 23, 2012

Ex Pats - Do we suffer from nostalgia?

The New York Times once again published an article of interest in their op ed section. Some may wonder that I consider myself a global citizen since my citizenship on the planet really only encompasses two countries. Under this definition of global citizenship, what is it that we call a German who lives in France or a Brit living in Hungry? Aren't the both members of the European Union? It's rather like a New Yorker moving to Los Angeles ( I know, highly unlikely).

Although the two cultures that I call home these days both speak the same language (well, kind of) and although most Americans really see Australia as the 51 state and a few Aussies see themselves that way too, it is nonetheless true that the these cultures are not more different than the culture of Louisiana is from that of Maine. Come to think of it, the English spoken in these two states is just about as diverse as that spoken by Aussies and Americans.

But the article is not about language nor about what we find funny. Rather, the article is about what we call 'home', what composes for us the comfort zone we associate with our birth community.

As many of you know I fled my Michigan birth community at age 21 and made a decision to never return. Have to admit, I reniged - tree or four times- in the intervening 50 years, but never for more than a week-end each time.

I don't miss home. I have no nostalgia associated with that place. And therefore, because this is true of me, I assume it is probably true of a number of other planetary citizens. I challenge the conclusions of the NY Times article.

On the other hand, the first two years I was in Australia for lengthy periods of time, I did sneak down to the Macca's for some 'french fries' on a few occasions - just a taste (albeit the worse sort of taste possible) of home - Not my Michigan home, but my California home where I lived for almost 40 years. I suppose you could call my desire for that taste 'treat' a bout of nostalgia.

You can access the entire article with the link below or just click on the title to today's blog. And you can agree or disagree with me by posting a comment here. That would be fun for me.
Happy reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/opinion/many-still-live-with-homesickness.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120322