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  • Felicia Siahaya

My true identity was already there

Identity is the inner course of my body. The uniqueness that’s in my body identifies me, myself, and I. I’m not talking about my appendix, my ribcage, or my other organs. I’m actually talking about my soul. Where my soul comes from, I really don’t have a clue. But, wherever it might be, it’s where my identity has started.

The journey of my identity

Identity is a very unique phenomenon to me. It’s who I am. To me, my identity can be split into 3 parts; spirituality, education, and my surroundings.

Originally I’m from the Moluccan (Spice Islands) and Indonesia. My grandparents were born there. My parents were born in the Netherlands. So am I, of course. I was raised with the Western culture with the Christian religion. My mum is Christian, my dad is a Muslim. But, that doesn’t mean anything to me. I respect religion. But, the rules and practical situations that are fundamental in religions, don’t really identify me as a person. The reason I think like that is, because of the difficulties that I had to go through, the fights, the arguments, the pros and cons of raising kids with two religions. It was the most difficult task my parents ever had. Will it be the Bible or the Koran? I can hear my younger self saying. Both religions feel good, but how am I going to raise myself with two religions, while my mum's religion says, that Jesus is the son of God, while dad's religion denies that? To me, to believe in God, that’s already enough to clarify my true identity, without going to the mosque or church. I also don’t wear a crucifix or something that shows that I can identify myself with a religion. To me, I believe, when my heart is pure and full of love, that’s already enough for me to say I believe in God. Because to me, God is a synonym for love. Pure love. The inner peace in my body identifies it.

On behalf of that, my parents raised me both Western and Asian. My mum was more Asian. She taught me to focus more on my family and identify myself more Moluccan than Dutch, while my dad raised me the opposite way, Western. He wanted me to be more autonomous and individual. Do more things that I like, and create myself without relying on my family. But, my dad told me never to forget where I come from and who raised me.

When I was a little girl, I always thought that identity had to do with how I dressed. The older I got, the more I knew that it wasn’t about how I dressed myself or the way I looked like. To me, it doesn’t matter that I was born in the Netherlands or the fact that I have Asian roots.

I can truly and, proudly say, that I found my own identity, with the help of those who raised me and the people I chose wisely in my life, who taught me life lessons, and who always will be a big example to me. And of course, we don’t have a choice where we will be born, or who will raise us and where. But, we do have a choice who we want to become and who we truly are. Because eventually, I choose to be me, Felicia.

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