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Bicultural Dilemma

Author: 28 years old, Yemen
What is the recipe for long-term happiness? One crucial ingredient cited by many people is closeness in their social relationships. Very happy people have strong and fulfilling relationships. But if we feel rejected by those who are closest to us – our family and friends – it can sour our attempts to master the recipe for happiness. For me I had to leave my origin country that has been torn up because of the war to seek for good education in Egypt. First, I was suffering from cultural shock, depression, and loneliness. I was fed up, had little confidence, struggling for new society. Day by day, I changed to cope with the new society while trying to maintain my own culture. I started using the positive points in each culture to make my own identity. After 8 years of foreignness, I finished my studies and had to return back to my old society. Here was the shock. I did not feel like I belong to my country anymore nor to the other society I was in. I just felt rejected like my upbringing was a collision of multiple worlds. I faced criticism for stepping outside the cultural norms of my culture. I felt very sad and depressed. Later on, I realized that being bi cultural is what makes my personality and that without all what I have been through I would never be myself. I learnt that being rejected is not a measurement of how successful you are, and real happiness is not created by others rather by you, by believing and accepting yourself and being proud of what you have been through.

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