Tuesday 9 October 2012

Where are you from?

One of the biggest changes I've seen in the girls since they've been here is a growing sense of identity based on where they're from. Going to school with kids from a huge mix of nationalities and cultures has definitely made them question who others and themselves are.

Before we came here, they knew they lived in Sydney, Australia, but they didn't really have any idea what that meant. Now, I hear them in the playground, at the pool or where ever, asking people "Where are you from?"

As the vast majority of people who live in Dubai are from somewhere else, it's not an unusual question and they're getting a lot of different answers.

"You're from Ireland? We've got friends from Ireland. I'd like to go to Ireland one day. My friend drew me a map so I could get there."

They're learning that words they say and things that are common to them are unusual to other people.

"Mum did you know that some people call afternoon tea a snack. Remember that when people come to play," Lil told me the other day.

Coming into contact with all these new cultures has Lil wanting to travel. "Mum, I'm really into going to other countries at the moment," the little traveller, who's only been to two countries, told me.

They're also demanding that I sing Waltzing Matilda for them every night and they ask: "What's a jumbuck?" "What's a billabong?" "Why only in Australia do they call it a tucker bag?" They like telling people they're Australian. They're discovering that it's a special part of who they are.

I love seeing them soak all this up like the little sponges they are. I love that they have friends from around the globe, who eat different things for lunch and speak different languages. That being different isn't a bad thing, it's just different.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this all shapes them.


  1. I was having this conversation with an American mum recently… her and her husband are from different coasts in the US so her kids think of her parent's place as 'home'. At least the Mr and I come from Brisbane, even though we haven't lived there for 11 years. In Frankie's mind, we're now from Dili! To her, Darwin is done and dusted!

    The scariest thing about international school is the accent… I'm already getting "Mom", "No" and "Working" all in American accent (and her teacher is an Aussie! But her two besties have american accents).

  2. What a fantastic perspective- and sense of identity - for your babes to be acquiring.
    Another positive for embracing change.
    :-) x

  3. There is a new richness in their life that will become a part of their character forever. They will see the world through a thousand eyes instead of just two. They will know that 'where you are from' means everything and nothing. They are very lucky girls indeed. x

  4. Wow, I can only see this as being of great benefit to them as they get older Corinne. Being so knowledgable and well rounded when it comes to another nationalities and cultures, I'm certain it will take them far. So cute that they are proud of their Aussie roots too, they're beautiful little advocates for us here down under :) xoxo

  5. sorry *other*, not another nationalities and cultures.


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