NPR Part 4 on Identity | Pico Iyer’s TED talk: “Where do you call home?”

Today I happened to turn on (NPR) National Public Radio, to hear Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episodes on Identity, of which I knew nothing about.

TED, Technology,Entertainment, Design

TED Technology Entertainment Design Ideas worth spreading

This one featuring Pico Iyer’s TED talk about his perspective of “where one calls home”. It certainly grabbed my attention, the topic alone, since I’ve lived in quite a number of different places, among different communities in several countries. This particular presentation by the writer Pico Iyer, regarding “what do you call home?” is quite intriguing because of the way in which he eloquently describes his intimate understanding of the situation of having no particular identification with any one place.

He realizes at one point after living in numerous countries and having had his parent’s home burn down, that “My home would have to be whatever I carry around inside me.”

He calls it a terrific liberation in fact, since he speaks of how his grandparents grew up in a community, in which their whole sense of home, community and enmity, was assigned to them at birth. They didn’t have much chance of stepping outside of this.

Pico Iyer, TEDTalk, Identity

Pico Iyer’s TEDTalk on Identity

Nowadays, some of use can choose our home, create our sense of community and fashion our sense of self, by stepping beyond the black and white divisions of our grandparent’s age.

The number of people living in countries other than their own, is currently 220 million.

It is one thing to have ‘moved around a lot, and quite another, when one is fleeing their country – which is happening at alarming rates these days, with political refugees seeking asylum from the violence in their homelands. Yet, listening to Pico’s smiling voice articulate examples of people who are by birth, of two different ethnic backgrounds; living in a third country that is neither of their parent’s homeland, ads an additional subtle twist.

Perhaps this talk will be soothing to anyone who hears it, to reassure us all that home is what one carries within ourselves.

Iyer’s final statement: “Home is not where I sleep, but where I stand“.