As a minority, how do you feel when visiting your country of ancestral origin?

I was in the country of my ancestors once (that would be Czech Republic, but when my ancestors lived there - Bohemia and Moravia - their region was containing nearly "only-Germans" villages, the villages they lived in had about 99% Germans).

It was a weird feel, I could notice the distress of grandma (who also was on this visit) and who exclaimed "What did they do with our Country?" (at that time communism really pulled that area really "down"). At the same time I did not know this country AT ALL, it did not say much to me (asides from that I noticed that the few Germans still there spoke the same like Grandma, same dialect ^^). I only knew the village names from the family tree.

This was not my home anymore. It actually had NEVER been my home. It was now OTHER people's home. But it was still interesting to learn that this was the country from where my ancestors came. Interesting was especially seeing the birth house of my father. The owner even let us in and have a look (after we settled his fear and explained that we were NOT trying to get grandparents house back, but that we were just nosy, and Dad wanted to show us others his birthhouse, nothing more to it ;-) ). We had a chat with the Czech people now living there, and they were nice people. Can't remember about what we talked, though. 20 years ago.

As an English-speaking South African with mainly British ancestors, I suffered hugely from culture-shock when I first went to Britain to study in 1966. I thought it would be easy, because everyone spoke English, so I would not have to cope with a different language, and so I underestimated the cultural barriers.

After a couple of years there I began to get used to it, and found myself more at home in northern English culture than in the southern. Perhaps learning to cope with a different culture there made it easier when going to other cultures later - I felt more at home visiting Russia and Thailand than I had in the UK, even though the language was different in those countries. And i was chuffed when someone came up to me in Moscow and asked the way to the nearest Metro station, and I not only understood his question, but was able to tell him the answer. I felt more at home in Moscow after a week than I did in London after 6 months.

And when I met up with a black South African friend in London, who had also come to study in the UK, we compared notes, and discovered we had experienced much the same kind of culture shock, and though back in South Africa we lived 600 miles apart, in parts of the country with different cultures and different languages, when we arrived in the UK those differences were overwhelmed by the strangeness we felt in the UK.

In my experience, I met some of my friends who had so called, "Korean blood." Their parents or grand parents immigrated, or they were adopted. They just look like Asian. One of them told me her story. Her ancesters' hometown was Je-ju Island, one of the biggest and most beautiful island in South Korea. She went there to visit her bloods.. but she said she was always embarrassed or uncomfortable to keep silent with her long-distance relatives because she does not know them. In my opinion, long-distance relatives are not better than the short-distance friends.

As a Frenchman of Congolese descent, if I were to visit my country of origin, I would be willing to learn a lot about my history and learn more about my culture. I am also going to feel strict and frustrated because both the Congo and the Congo DR are some of the most corrupt countries in the world - these are societies that don't question anything about values, traditions and extreme levels of authoritarianism. To be honest,my feelings would be mixed.

Depends your personality and the actual situation of the minority in that country. Can be depressing or just a neutral kind of touristic excursion. And, in case there are still conections. like members of the same family or buildings or posessions of your ancestors, it can be very emotional.

I was born in the United States as an American Born Chinese and I never went to China until in 8th grade. I went to Guangzhou, China for a 1 week trip and I didn't really enjoy it because I was forced to visit my relatives and my parent's friends, but over time, I grew to love it and it felt like I was actually back in home where I belonged. I didn't make the full fun of my vacation and I miss it so I'm actually going back to China in the summer at 15 years old.

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