Every single person has their own unique identity and culture. When it comes to talking about identity I also have my own doubts and questions. I was born in Nepal so I mostly consider myself as Nepali but since I was raised here in Hong Kong I feel more at home here in Hong Kong. However, to make my identity even more confusing I don’t even hold a Nepali, or a Hong Kong Passport but a British passport. Basically, I was born in Nepal, raised in Hong Kong but hold a British passport. So, the biggest question I ask myself is where do I actually belong? I can still remember the first day I arrived here in Hong Kong. It is truly baffling how much of that moment and how much of where I came I can still remember considering I came here at the young age of ten.
At that age, I did not really understand the giant leap of faith my entire family had taken by moving to a new country because everything to me seemed like toys on a shelf; new and exciting. Although I consider myself blessed to be multicultural and having double the insight into the world, sometimes there was this feeling of not fitting in especially when you don’t speak the local language of place that you have been living in for more than 10 years. It feels like straddling a line that on one side is where I came from and the other who I became after moving to the Hong Kong and what I will become when I move to the United Kingdom in future. I think it is important to keep some of the things your culture has to offer as well as accepting new aspects of where you happen to live.
For instance, despite living in Hong Kong being a Nepali we celebrate all the Hindu festivals and on top of that, we also find ourselves celebrating the local Chinese festivals such as Chinese Lunar New Year, Mid- Autumn festivals and so on. There is so much you can offer to others as well as yourself. Who you are will always be something that stays with you regardless of where you live and I think understanding that has become the hardest part. I am all Nepali, Hong Konger and British.
Today, when people ask about my cultural identity, I usually tell them that it depends on which country I happen to be residing or visiting. I’ve learned to nurture the best cultural traits of both. For example, Hong Kongers are individualistic, while Nepalese are family oriented and dependent. I’ve combined the two, learning to be independent while still highly esteeming my family. Also, Nepali has a relaxed attitude almost too relaxed but Hong Kongers tend to be too stressed about work, school, and family.
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