Benjamin

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2,264 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
“Building a home is something you do. You actively pursue that.”
Benjamin
Occupation: 
PhD student in Anthropology
Current Country: 
Canada
Country of Origin: 
United States

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“Going to Canada as a US-American was almost unpredictable – it’s so similar, not many Americans come here. I guess a lot of US-Americans don’t think about Canada that much. Yet it is still different, the political system for example. What is considered conservative here, would still be liberal in the United States.

When I was in my early twenties I enjoyed moving around a lot, but now I’ve been living here for more than four years. That’s the longest time I've spent in one place since I left high school. I’ve settled here and married a Canadian, so I will apply for residence.

I can be happy in both countries, but I still feel like an American. I don’t feel foreign, maybe only when people speak about politics and history as they are different for both countries.

I think the perception of people is interesting: If you stand out, you’re a migrant, if not, you can do whatever you want.

My parents were immigrants to the United States. They went there from the former Soviet Union just two months before I was born. So to me home is where my life is. Building a home is something you do, you actively pursue that.

I grew up a little differently, we spoke two languages at home, ate different foods. And some of the cultural differences within American society I experienced, rather than having them explained by my parents – because they didn’t know themselves.

Being a migrant just means you’re not terribly tied to a place. For me it’s important to stay in touch with certain people, wherever I am in the world."

This is a story by Christine Strotmann

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org