On Homesickness, Authenticity and Cultural Proximity

Few days ago I have seen a beautiful music-video by the french duo The Blaze.

The story goes kind-of like this:

Algiers (Algeria) — A young man returns home to his family and friends. He is changed, but he still feels part of the community that he missed so much. He is exploding with energy, as he feels reborn.

The video is so intense that it made me think about a few things.

1) HOMESICKNESS IS A BITCH

Many of us, we leave our own countries to look for a better life: sometimes we find it, sometimes we don’t.

One thing is sure, though: we all feel homesick at some point. There’s no way around it.

Yes, we miss the family, the friends, the food.. but it’s deeper than that.

It’s in the details: the lady at the bakery, your favourite Cinema, the jingle on the radio. All those little familiar things.

Homesickness is a real bitch, if you know what I mean.

2) BORN TO BE WILD

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The Blaze — Territory

I love the way they dance on the rooftop. It’s wild and vigorous: a natural way to externalize and process emotions.

Something we have lost, controlling too much of our behaviour because of the fear of what other people might think of us.

We have lost the freedom to express ourselves authentically.

Which is ironic because worst-case-scenario we get to know ourselves for who we really are and people might love us for that.

3) CULTURAL PROXIMITY

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The Blaze — Territory

I couldn’t help but notice how closely they live to each other.

When I visited Morocco, which has a similar culture, I was overwhelmed by its narrow, crowded streets filled with loud people approaching you all the time. I thought “these people are too intrusive”.

Conversely, when I lived in Sweden, I was impressed with the wide, empty streets and it’s quiet community. I thought “these people are too reserved”.

Obviously, that’s a personal judgment based on my set of references.

To facilitate empathy towards people of a different culture, a good thing is to observe how they take up the external space, because most likely it will reflect on how they take up the “personal space” as well.

Anyway, enjoy the music and the video. Hope you like it as much as I did.

Dario

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