“Where are you from?” is a question I used to proudly answer to when I was younger. Although I always had to clarify, “no, it’s not in India. It’s a small country right next to India.” But as I got older I found the question tedious and sometimes puzzling. It wasn’t just because I became a balance of the two and thus couldn’t understand the need to differentiate between them, but also because I found I could answer that in so many ways. Am I being asked where I “originally” came from? Where I was born? Where I grew up? Or where I moved to in the United States, making it my pseudo-hometown? Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia. Long Island, New York. If you ask me my nationality, it’s American. Bangladeshi-American, if we want to employ hyphens and specifics. I was born in Dhaka, spent a greater part of my childhood in Bangladesh as well as Saudi Arabia. And then New York. And now I’m a resident of Connecticut. A Connecticutian, if you will.
Yes, I’m “Bangladeshi-American.” But that is only a portion of who I am, where I’m from, what I’m all about. I’m a human being – of the Human race; I’m of the Earth. That’s really all that matters to me. You just want to know where I’m from to see if I might have an accent, if you can define what kind of interests I might have, what kind of family I might be from, and what kind of person I likely married. But it really just doesn’t matter because I’m not of one race or two – I’m of all the races combined, just like the rest of you are.
Race is irrelevant.