Posted by : VANITY Blog Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Being “you” is easier said than done especially when you are adjusting into a culture that you are unfamiliar with. As a young migrant, it can be tough to adjust to cultural differences between your adopted country and home country while you are trying to map out your identity as an individual.

As an immigrant, it is common that you are first identified by your racial background – a part of a greater whole – a culture with its own ways and tradition. But aside from that, you are also an individual molded by experiences and stories strengthened through time.  All of these can be a lot more complicated when you are parachuted into a new life – a new culture that may be different from what you are used to together with new experiences that shapes your new personality. And even then, there is a bigger question:

How are you going to fit yourself in this new culture or society with their own ways? How will you find a way to keep ties to your roots, fit into this newly introduced culture all while you keep on growing and mold yourself as your own person or as an individual?

It is fairly easy to get lost with these questions as it is a lot to take it all in at once. But each individual has their own ways of dealing with it. Some just go with the flow; some manage to paint it all together in one canvas – a mosaic with vibrant colours clashed together as an art. Sometimes it is a tug of war. It is a battle between keeping your identity and losing it in order to fit in and even then, there is no assurance or certainty that you win the game.

Finding balance is the key to answer the question. It is important to realize that being in a new place or country does not necessarily mean forgetting your roots nor does it require you to completely ignore the new ways of living and continue your old ways. Your roots, culture and tradition will always be yours and there is no shame of being proud of it. The same goes for trying out new things and exploring this new culture in front you for it expands your horizon and will let you explore greater things and experiences that will later on help you to become your own person and become a part of a larger community that is molded by individuals just like yourself – each with their own experiences and stories to share.

Trying to fit in does not mean forgetting.  Embracing your adopted country does not mean turning your back from your home country. Sometimes it is a matter of putting pieces together to create a bigger picture. It is a way of building bridges and opening a door to new possibilities and vital connections that put both aspects of old roots and new ties into a well-rounded individual with the capacity of living in the best of both worlds.

As far as individuality goes, it is a story with an endless possibility and the course of its progress is entirely up to the person holding the pen: you. So let your pen find its way to your paper because sometimes, being ‘you’ is a story written one page at a time.


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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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