What's my identity?

Mi chiamo Clarissa, sono nata in Gran Bretagna, ma durante la mia prima settimana di vita, i miei genitori Patty, da Bellagio, and Adam, from Northern Ireland, Scotland but really Devonshire; loaded me in their little car and drove me to Lago di Como.

Lí, sono crescita con la mia sorellina, tra le montagne e il lago, l’italiano e l’inglese. People always asked me “ti senti italiana o inglese?”. Rispondevo a seconda di dove ero: “Mi sento piu inglese perche sono qui con voi e mi chiedete questo” oppoure “I feel more Italian, when I’m in England”. In reality, I felt like a blend of England, Italy, Mandello, Bellagio, Somana, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Argentina was creating my identity, making me feel, in fact, a citizen of the world. I never felt I should establish which country I BELONG TO, or which is the most important language for me, since I never thought I would ever desire to stay in one place and embody my identity in one specific culture.

A 17 anni me fui a Venezuela por un año de intercambio. Allá aprendidí el español como una “gocha”, como dicen en el dialecto de Mérida, la linda ciudad de lo Andes a dos horas de El Vigia, un pueblo finchero donde vivia mi familia anfitriona.

Back in Italy, I finished high school and my 7th year of French; I went to Maastricht, to study European Studies in English.

Empieze estas paginas en los meses pasados en Jakarta, Indonesia. I did an internship at the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia last semester. The most wonderful part of this experience was being able to walk around the delegation and hear all the languages that were spoken: Bahasa Indonesia was naturally the favorite language, while English worked as the official means of communication in an international conversation between colleagues. French is the main language in which the Delegation communicates with Brussels, but it’s also heard in the corridors outside my office when the Belgium and French interns and attachées discuss over coffee and Indonesian candy.

Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Danish bilateral conversations popped up at any place and time inside the offices, when the right combination of people met up to discuss deadlines, meetings, issues, but also evening drinks and embassy events. Most of the international staff in the Delegation was multilingual, so that when us interns, in making our way back to our respective desks after lunch, would, for instance, bump into Diego Sanchez, the security manager; I would speak to him in Italian, Mariette in French, Mariana in Spanish, and Kathi in Bahasa Indonesia. This way, Diego, who liked to think of himself as our parent since he was responsible for our security; built a close, personal relationships with each intern, winning our trust and affection.

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The Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN. Diego is the first man on the left

One Comment

  1. Cari Zarco Lens
    April 16, 2015

    Me gusta mucho como has intercalado los idiomas! Qué suerte la tuya el haber podido aprender tantos idiomas y conocer tantas culturas!

    Reply

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