Trick Question: Where Do You Come From?
I arrived yesterday afternoon in sunny Lisbon, Portugal for the Shift Conference where I am giving a talk. Lisbon, for what I have seen so far (the modern part), is a very beautiful city and I'm already loving it. As I arrived, I joined up with a few Shiftians and we started introducing ourselves.
After the name bit, we very naturally came to
What do you do? and
Where do you come from?. I always find the
Where do you come from? to be a rather tricky question, because in today's small world, people hardly know where they are from. Or rather, it all depends on how you ask the question.
When asked where I come from, I usually ask
Where from as in, where was I yesterday? or Where am I from as in where do I live? or Where am I from as in what is the nationality my passport displays?. I guess you could even add to that
Where am I from as in where my cultural roots are?.
Sure enough, there were a few of us with many different answers to those different questions. There was a born-Hungarian living in Italy working mainly in the US, a born Dutch living in Copenhagen, otherwise known as a European Dutchman and a Dane living in Copenhagen at the moment, having lived in Ireland, Florida and the UK. I was born in France, where my cultural roots are. Southern France to be precise. I come from Germany as in I was in Germany yesterday. That about sums it up.
And where do you come from?