A Place to Come Home to
I remember receiving “love for homeland” education throughout my school years, as well as getting bored from the lessons, stating the only idea over and over again. At that time, I thought I would never love my country if they would asked me to one more time. And I never did, as it was written in the textbook. I never had that heroic idea that I would do my best to make my country great again and die for it. In fact, the more I was told to cultivate devotion to the place, the more I loved the idea of cosmopolitanism. This year I came home after three years living abroad and I still cannot find a word to describe the feelings I had. I felt home, though I never had that strong sense of attachment to my homeland. I felt welcomed though I had lost almost all of my connections back there. I felt nostalgic in a way I had never expected: when you don’t know the way, but you subconsciously know the right direction and cannot get lost. I loved the streets, the people, the food, the places I knew that had always been there. But I still could not say I loved my country. There is a theory about narrowing down the concept of place, making it easier to feel patriotic about. Simply, a person, describing himself as a patriot or not, may feel warm about his state, but the feeling for his province will be stronger, about his town – even stronger than that, and about his district – even stronger than anything else, and finally he just loves his house. and it also goes the other way around. Love for one’s own place can be spread over the whole country but the density becomes transparent. Such a simple concept as patriotism has million of aspects to cover after all. I guess the main thing I realized during my little home trip, is that more than I love my home, I love the acknowledgement of having a backup. As long as I have my old town, my family there and confidence that I am native there, I will always have a safe backup place to heal.