where are you from?

more than any other question this is the one I get the most, Where are you from?
Sometimes I'll ask those people to guess.  And the responses I get are from all over the world.  Although I get India and some south american country a lot.  And then when I speak a full sentence - well then I get either the USA or some other English speaking country.  It's always interesting.
Anyway on this day today,  my home country of Papua New Guinea is celebrating 41 years of Independence.  We've come a long way as a nation.  I've come a long way as a person.  And no matter how far I've traveled and places that I've had the privilege of living in, I am a Motuan.  A Papuan.  But most of all A Papua New Guinean.  And I'm proud to be an islander from a small island at that,  but so rich in diversity and culture.

the photo above is me proudly displaying my heritage. Because I am a motuan.  I am a Papuan. But on this day and every other day I am a Papua New Guinean ... and whether I like it or not an ambassador of my country.
My niece wrote this piece a couple of days ago on facebook and I thought I'd share it today. Because she summed up everything about our country.  where we are from, where I am from........
I come from the “Papua” part of “Papua New Guinea”
But people don’t know of the Papuan part or the New Guinea
They only know Papua New Guinea
They don’t know that there are four regions
And that our looks and languages and customs differ
They only know we are uniquely diverse
They don’t know some of us have Afro hair and while others have curly or straight hair
Or that our skin colors differ from black, white and brown
All they know is that we are Melanesian
That’s why I choose not to confine myself to a particular provincial group because you then develop an ethnocentric mentality
So ask me where I’m from and I’ll tell you I’m from PNG
Because at the end of the day I write down my citizenship as being a Papua New Guinean NOT a Papuan
(Alythea Jae Siraba)

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