I don`t feel like Norwegian, nor do I feel Pakistani. Recently I was asked what I`m doing on the 17th of May, which is the independence day here in Norway. I managed to say “nothing, I don`t really care”, haha… I`m not really sure what being Norwegian or Pakistani feels like, it`s not really a feeling I carry around with me all the time. I will feel a bit extra proud if Norway wins Eurovision Song Contest, but I don`t feel that proudness when Norway participates and wins in the Winter Olympics, for example. Perhaps it has to do with my enthusiasm for Eurovision. Anyways, living with two cultures can be difficult and indeed it is difficult, but I do have moments when I feel extra grateful for carrying with me two suitcases that are quite different from each other because it is an enrichment.
One thing that I have embraced with the Pakistani culture, are the colours. As a little girl, I would find Indian/Pakistani wedding ceremonies more colourful than for instance Norwegian weddings. The other day I saw the music video for “ghar mere pardesiya” and oh, man!! Not only do I really like the song and the melody, I like the clothes, the “desi”vibes (you desi people know what I`m talking about) and the Indian classical dance. I felt happy about being a part of culture which has all that. It is so traditional and cool.
In my daily life it can be quite frustrating, because I don`t really know how I`m supposed to balance the Norwegian and the Pakistani culture. I don`t call myself Norwegian or Pakistani, but both of the cultures are a part of my life. I live in Norway and face the culture here every day and I come from a Pakistani family at the same time. It`s kind of like my closet – I have “western” (which is a word I don`t really connect with) clothes and Pakistani clothes. It`s as if my wardrobe is two different worlds – that`s how my life can feel like sometimes and it`s hard to know how to embrace it all in my daily life. But when I watched that music video, I could feel that I was embracing the Pakistani culture that I`m a part of. How our long traditional dresses swing, how we move our hands while dancing, how the vibe is different from most of the music videos that are made in Europe. Even though it is difficult for me, I`m glad that I belong to the Pakistani culture, as well. I think of the times I`ve worn one of my Pakistani suits and been on the train and walking on the street. I`ve gotten compliments and looks and I feel so cool. And now I don`t even know why I`m writing this post, but I just felt like sharing this for some reason and here I am. I have a weird relationship with the two cultures I am a part of, but I have moments when I don`t think much about that and embrace some aspects that aren`t too complicated. It`s nice to embrace something and act like some of the comments from desi aunties don`t annoy me for a while, at least.
And who knows, I might just be able to dance my way through both of the cultures one day.