Posted by: | January 12, 2009 | Comments Off on Origins


Originally from Turkey, my family immigrated to Ottawa, Canada in 1995 and proceeded to raise me among fellow immigrant Atatürkçü Turks. Despite living in North America for 14 years, I don’t identify myself as a Canadian (all of our family friends are Turkish), nor as being the modern version of what “Turkish” is (often, immigrants’ values are stuck in a time warp – reflecting their nationality and ideals at the point in time which they left the country). Undeniably, by living through and maintaining the 4 pinnacles of what I believe are essential to culture (language, music & dance, food, history), the idea of Türkiye elicits more emotions, and saudade (profound nostalgia) than Canada could ever elicit from me.

With my enthusiasm to pave an identity, I opted to or was forced to learn other languages besides Turkish in order to determine what identity is in other cultures to somehow develop an understanding of my own. English was learned by watching 60s and 70s T.V. shows (I Dream of Jeanie, Happy Days) with my grandmother (obviously, it was her that was the queen of the remote) while we lived in Atlanta. French was forced upon me by my parents during the early times of being a freshly landed eager immigrant, where they try and embrace every single aspect of ‘culture’ (or non-culture), before realizing that there wasn’t anything special about it in the first place. Finally (and still currently in progress) learning Portuguese and Spanish were more decisive choices influenced and originating from my closest friend whose views on latinidad as a lifestyle, raison d’être or whichever clichéd phrase you want to call it fascinated me because of its certainty. This version of latinidad, being the antithesis of “Turkish”, East meets West, Secular meets Religious, European vs. Middle Eastern (i.e. Identity Crisis), is particularly alluring because of its unwavering confidence.

Second year, faculty of science. Currently undecided on a science major (all the options are so attractive). Once decided, I’ll pursue either a double major or dual degree on some topic in science with latin american studies (since “B.A and B.Sc in______” is more aurally impressive).


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