Caught between cultures…

I am a girl of the world. I will always say, at heart, that I am Scottish. I was born in Edinburgh, and I lived there until shortly before my seventh birthday, where I joined the English city of Stoke-on-Trent, and was forced to change my accent and my habits to suit my new surroundings. I was bullied by classmates and teachers alike for my accent – one teacher told me that I couldn’t read properly, despite being an advanced reader in a school were my accent was as common as mud. I adapted, as the young do, and lost my sense of self for a long time.

I can never call myself English because I’m too hurt by what happened to me in my younger days.

That’s not, of course, to say that I don’t like English people. It’s just one of those clashing hypocrisies that you can’t overcome, because there’s always that part of you that still smarts at the memory of your younger years. I have never hated the English, and I am more than happy to be categorised as ‘British’, but there’s a line. And I will not cross it.

I find myself more inclined to be called American, before I’m called English. My friends have often joked that I am more American than English. I was swamped into the culture from an early age, and I gorged myself on everything from Disney to CBS to ABC whilst I learned the good and the bad of television. I can recite FRIENDS back to front, and have had the collection on episodes on VHS from the time in my life when I began to understand what they meant when they spoke in their rapid, hilarious ways.

I have loved the books and the movies and the music, in almost the same way that I have loved British things, but there’s just such an abundance of America going around that it’s difficult not to get swept up in the greatness of it all.

Well, you know, some of it’s crap, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love it.

I’ve even lived in America, and returned to much mockery because I’d developed something of a Yankee twang.

But Americans are so forthcoming about their heritage, that it’s almost impossible to meet a person who is merely ‘American’, and I’m sure they’ve got the right end of the stick. In this day and age, we are no one race of people. We migrate and immigrate and procreate across the globe, and why shouldn’t we? Sharing cultures and languages and architecture and lives is a part of the human experience, and I am happy to embrace that lifestyle.

Well, you know, English quip aside.

I love this clash of cultures we live in, and I am grateful that I can think like an American, whilst living a thousand miles away, because the world has given me the opportunity to know what an American is.

 

Until next time!

Live Long and Prosper.

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