Who Am I?
It has been challenging to navigate my identity for the past few years as my cultural differences have become clearer to me.
When asked, it is complicated to explain where I am from. Is it Finland, Estonia or both? For me, being Estonian feels natural. I speak the language, and I value the things that are common between us Estonians: an appreciation for nature and a strong sense of independence and culture. However, I distance myself from being Estonian when it comes to values. I don’t appreciate the appalling Soviet values, which are based on segregation and oppression of both minorities and women. In Estonia, many still believe that women should stay home, men should bring the bread to the table, and sexual minorities should be cured.
Being Finnish is different. Finns love ice hockey, sauna, and are seemingly cold on the surface. A very strong love for Finland is also a part of being a Finn. Which is something that I have never connected with, although I was born and raised in Finland.
I have always found joy from connecting with foreigners rather than Finnish people because I often feel like I have more in common with someone from France than Finland. I think this is also the reason why I love to travel, as I get to meet people with stark differences compared to Finns. For many years, I have wondered what it feels to belong somewhere. Perhaps in the forthcoming years abroad, I will come closer to understanding what it means to belong.