Monday, April 5, 2010

Where do you belong??

Often, I am asked from many people of where I would like to spend the rest of my life in. Here's a little bit of an autobiography of where I have spent my life in:

Born in Republic of Korea in 1988
Lived in Republic of Korea from 1988-1990
Lived in United States of America from 1990-1992
Lived in Republic of Korea from 1992-2001
Lived in United States of America from 2001-2010 (Concurrently)

As you can see, I am what people would call, not quite a second generation but 1.5 generation, as I spent half of my life in each countries. To put it nicely, I have a deep understanding about both countries but otherwise, I'm neither a Korean or an American.

To answer the question asked earlier, I have gone through a series of vacillation as both countries had so much to offer for me. Namely, I went from wanting to live in Korea-US-Korea-US and then at the moment, Korea. You can see that I'm not a obdurate person at all.

It's truly a difficult decision for me to make as choosing one country means I have to abandon the other. Sure, there's the fact about me not being able to retain both citizenship (as Republic of Korea does not allow dual citizenship at the moment. This however, is changing) but I firmly believe that there can be no such thing as being true to multiple nations and verging yourself into it.

So what determines one's nationality? Is it Jus Soli or Jus Sanguinis? I think neither. This may be true if we are discussing legally but clearly, this is not the case (If not, a person must consult with an immigration lawyer). Perhaps then contributing to a country as much as possible to make it yours grants you a free pass? This argument is certainly invalid in the United States and to some extent, Korea. Otherwise, you would see many illegal immigrants becoming naturalized. They put up money, hard labor and often their lives to make the country theirs.

Adhering to Jus Soli, although it may be an "accidental inheritance", could you argue that the people feel some sort of spiritual bond to their "motherland"? It sounds convincing, but still a very shaky point. Otherwise, United States should give their land back to the Native Americans or Korea should get the entire part of Manchuria back. This of course, is politically unsound and ludicrous to even consider.

I will finally answer the question that began this post which hopefully should also answer the question posed about what nationality is: As of now, I would like to spend the rest of my life in Korea. It may be a country with messed up problems - those far greater than US itself, but it's a country I feel that I belong to. Previously, I have rejected the idea of living in Korea because I have only considered the negative aspects of it. But I felt foolish for neglecting the positive aspects of what this country had to offer for me.

I'm still very young and inexperienced about many social affairs. I cannot be firm in my decision quite yet, as things may change down in the line. But it never hurts to dream and work as hard as you can at it. I'm something of a Utopian in a sense.

Beauty of Korea.. only those who has been there can truly see it.

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