Sunday, February 18, 2007

Between Known and Unknown Spaces

In my present job position as teacher, working with kids - of bicultural and bilangual Arabian descent, I am reminded of the broader scope of issues on adoption and postadoption.

What do I mean? Well - It seems from my layman's experience - that there is some sense of unspoken understanding and fellowship between the children and myself - which is based on our shared experiences of being a minority, yet feeling like part of the majority. Being in the present yet often being reminded of the past. Feeling ordinary, yet occasionally being treated extraordinary. Be it sitting on the bus or walking along the street - whether kid or adult.

So - are there relevant parallels between international Korean adoptees - growing up in a non-Korean culture, non-Korean environment - and immigrants/2nd/3rd/4th generation immigrants of e.g. Arabian descent in terms of dealing with e.g. identity issues, taking the role of the 'diplomat' when asked, "Where do you come from?", discovering one's own relationship with Korea or Arabian countries such as Syria, Palestine or Lebanon.

I would say that there are many shared issues - yet the most interesting one - is perhaps that sense of sharing, that sense of humanity - that whether Korean or Arabian by descent - there is a broader identity that can be shared across nationalities.


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