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Where are you from?

I never know what to answer to that question, do you?

Is the “from” referring to where I was born? To where I’ve lived? To where I’m currently living? To where I feel I belong? – Mind you, I also ask others – and ask myself. 😉

In France, people ask me about my origins. Origins? Where am I originally from before being from somewhere else? It often comes with my first name: “Feriel? C’est joli/original, c’est de quelle origine?” (That’s a nice/original name, of what origin is it?)

What should I answer ? Tell people my life story? Or is it the history of my 1st name they’re interested in? Oh, and by the way, what’s an “origin”?

It’s almost existential: where did I originate from?

I sometimes answer Algeria because that’s where I was born (but not my parents although they’re Algerian). I sometimes answer France because that’s where my grandmother was born, I spent a lot of holidays in Paris, and I’ve been based in France for 15 years now.

But then there’s the issue of my sounding, and some say acting, American. I can’t answer “the US”, though. I’m not originally from there. I went to high school and college, worked there, and have many of the “cultural codes”, I love to go there and feel good there, but did I originate there? No.

I could answer Canada because I became Canadian - it’s actually the one citizenship I chose and worked hard to get. I studied, lived, and worked there, but it’s been a while since I’ve lived there.

Now, if people were to ask me where I want to live, my spontaneous answer is Spain. But I’ll never be “from” Spain.

So when people ask me where I’m from, I don’t know what to say... And then I received this video, and it blew my mind.