No, but, where are you from from?

and the rest...

Identity, heritage, ethnicity, “Where are you from, from?” These are terms I hear a lot. As humans I believe we all crave a sense of belonging, so we link ourselves to groups that we feel represent us.
But, does representation mean being put in a clearly marked, labelled box?

A rough guide to my heritage:
My mum is from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
My Grandparents are Argentine and Welsh.
Further back, my ancestry is Turkish and Italian. 
I’m also 1% Cypriot, (I did a 23 and me, so it’s all been proven, thanks to some saliva in a test tube). That means when “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” finally gets made into a musical, I’m in right?
Oh, and yes, they are all Jewish.

Outside the Casa Rosada

On the other side, my dad is from Liverpool (slightly less exciting than South America).
My Grandparents were from Liverpool
And further back, my family fled the Eastern European Pogroms, fleeing places such as Lithuania and Odessa (Now in Ukraine, was once a part of Russia). I think when they came over on the boats, they were hoping for Ellis Island and a glimpse of The Statue Of Liberty. Liverpool and the Albert Dock must have come as a shock. 
They may have been belting out "Piece Of Sky" on the River Mersey like Barbra Streisand did in Yentl...I digress. 
Oh, and yes, they're all Jewish.

My Grandma sent me this to me when I became obsessed with my ancestry about 10 years ago.
She would have loved Fiddler in Chichester.

They say Jews always have a suitcase at the door ready to move, well if there was any family that proved that theory, it’s mine.

My question is, why do we have to pigeon hole ourselves into one box to represent our identity? I’ve found that I’m either exactly just one thing, or not quite anything. So where does that leave me? Other than having a full blown identity crisis.

I mean look, I don’t speak Spanish, so I’m about the most fraudulent Latina there is, but my lack of language doesn’t take away from my heritage, or does it? Every time a Latin casting comes up, I call my mum and repeat the guilt trip of “Why didn’t you speak to me in Spanish?”
I really really tried to learn, but after my B in Spanish GCSE, the shame of not getting an A scared me off. 

What's new?
Oh FYI, I don’t speak Hebrew either. It may be my peoples mother tongue, but you try reading from right to left, I still use my hands to show an L shape when i’m driving or just in general trying to navigate around, Hebrew was a lost cause.

With being a complete mish mash, here are some of the best comments I’ve had regarding my ethnicity...

“Argentinians aren’t really Latin, they're so European.” (Last time I checked, Argentina was at the bottom of LATIN America, but ok).
Contradicted by
“Are both your parents Jewish? How, If one is Latin?” 
Oh, so NOW I am Latin? Even I’m confused.

“Were you born in Israel?”
Ah yes because Jews only came from the depths of the Sinai desert after they crossed the red sea. 
Watford General is slightly less glamorous.
I can't win.

Jerusalem - my school Israel Trip 2005
I love the fact that every generation of my family has a story to tell and I love that I can’t be put in a box.

We’re all people at the end of the day, “people who need people,” (sorry couldn’t help myself) we should be proud of our genetic make up. Our identity should be used to educate others and not divide us.

I'm a Latin, Ashkefardi*, Eastern Europian, Italian, Sort of but not British woman.
(Ashkefardi - Ashkenazy and Sefardi, it's a Jewish thing. That's a whole different blog).

Maybe I need to write my own show. Eva Peron meets Tevye kind of vibe?...I think it has legs, any co writers out there?
 I’m in!

Gracias mi gente ✌🏽 



  1. Love your style of writing and your honesty x

  2. Hey Emma! We are citizens of the world. Once you understand that, you'll see borders don't exist...

    I'm Euge. Your cousin from Argentina ;)


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