...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Heimat


A long long time ago, in a country far far away, I enrolled in German classes. One of the lessons, I remember, was on the German concept of "home": Heimat. It refers to a place where you feel a sense of belongingness and a sense of self. It is not necessarily a childhood home, or a residence, or a homeland. I guess if you take the sense of the saying, "home is where the heart is", that's Heimat.

Having now two nationalities and two homes — the place of my past and the place of my future — it's sometimes hard to come to terms with questions about my "home". How "Filipino" is being born Filipino? How "Swede" is being a new Swede? Sometimes I feel more Swede than Filipino; but sometimes when I talk really fast I realize that I slip in a few Filipino interjections. In my mind, maybe I think I'm talking to Pinoys. I think of my Swedish apartment as being "my home", but I also talk to my family as being "back home". Maybe it's a feeling that will always stay with you. I mean, look at the title I chose for my blog!

Marcus and I always said that "home" was where we had each other. I live a stone's throw from where he lies, and I think that this is how I want to have things. But when Lea visited me for three weeks the past month, I realized that she "brought" home with her too. Her visit actually felt like sharing a room again at our parents' house — including the experimental cooking! At times like that I really feel how positive it is to have two homes, and how places and people, though half the world apart, can share a room in your heart where you feel at home.

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P.S. I know I've been too lazy-slash-demotivated to update the blog lately but I'll come back to you with some camping photos and, if I have enough guts, pictures of me as a Mexican drunk and a Jedi knight. Hard to explain. Just come back later ;-)

Lea and I on our windshelter weekend

4 Comments:

Blogger Vicky G said...

hi joy! so nice to see you writing again :) and it's true what you say about "home," i've been thinking about it too since i moved away. but then i'm moving back to manila next month so home=manila again. :)

p.s. lea looks so much like your mom!

cheryl

7:12 AM

 
Blogger Ahoy! said...

Oh yeah, talk about Lea looking like mom!

- Mom's high school photo looks like Lea. Several people actually thought it WAS Lea.
- Mom and Lei were going to ride the MRT with mom's senior citizen card. The guy over the counter asked whose picture it was! (I guess my mom still had black hair when the picture was taken).

2:06 PM

 
Blogger Lea said...

Haha Joy!

the senior citizen card thing was embarassing!! hehe

thinking about what you wrote, i guess it's lucky that some people get 2 homes (sense of belonging in 2 places). some people never get to feel 'at home' in a place even if they've been there for decades, or believe the way to fell at home in another place is to lose or cut ties with their past home.

anyway, thanks for the time in Sweden!! I felt that your home was my home while i was there--housework included hahaha!!

4:00 AM

 
Anonymous kayni said...

i am new to your blog.

i also have aplastic anemia and undergoing treatment at the moment. i feel connected when i was reading through your letters to your husband. i'm so sorry.

as for me, the battle continues.

8:45 PM

 

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