There were so many times in my life that I felt confused, particularly when people ask me things like, ‘Are you one of us?’, ‘What are you?’ and ‘Where do you came from?’ am I Yemeni? Or Indonesian? Or Malaysian? Some people even assumed that I was an Indian, based on my looks alone. I find myself being unable to answer these questions myself, leaving me dissolved in confusion, pondering the same questions as well; who am I?
My father was Yemeni and my mother is an Indonesian, meanwhile I was born in Malaysia, and was raised in Indonesia throughout my childhood, and spent most of my teenage years growing up there as well. I grew up with a mixture of Asian and Arabic culture at home, because my father prefers to live in a very Arabicized lifestyle, and my mother was and still is very used to her Asian Culture. While, I personally adored the European way of life.
By the age of 18 years old, I started my journey to find my true identity. I keep reading, consulting with others, traveling and doing whatever it takes for me to get an answer and a clearer picture about who am I and what are the elements that could possibly help me identify my truest self-identity. Despite my vigor, I found myself in an impasse, where I came to the realization that the answer was naturally given to me since the beginning of my very existence, which is that “I am a Human”.
The people tend to talk about the progress of human civilization as it develops, however sometimes they forget to talk about our humanistic progresses as well. One of the many uses of our vast scope of intelligence is for us to construct our sense of humanity, which is ironic for us to be struggling to find our sense of fundamental identity.
Our humanity can be firmly establish if it came from a perspective of intellectual and cultural independence alongside studying and clearly understanding the fundamentals of our identity. When intellectual humanistic development took place, and came to the realization that we are all one race, ‘The Human Race’, one community ‘The People of Earth’, and belongs to one nation which is ‘The World’, as that we may accept our true identity as ‘Human’, and develop freedom, justice and coexistence between us in our world.
Thus, I would like to use every possibilities and platforms that come my way in a peaceful manner to spread awareness to the people of the world about our natural fundamental identity. Furthermore, I hope that my presumed gentle and civilized words through this essay can soften the hearts and minds of the readers, so that you too also may spread the awareness and join the cause for a change.
Do not let pieces of paper, an ID card, skin colors, racial discrimination and ignorant perceptions construct our identity foolishly. Even if the current status quo can hardly be changed, we can start the change by educating ourselves about the concept of ‘Global Citizen’ and perhaps we can build a better future for our world.
Believe me, national identity is a puerile malady and it is the measles of humanity. Life will be more beautiful, colorful, and meaningful if you can break the identity barrier in your mind, and in that sense you may honestly, truly, and completely enjoy life. By that, hopefully there will be nothing to stop you to dissolve yourself in the kaleidoscopic diversity of the wonders of the cultures in the world today.