A migrant’s dilemma — What colours do you wear?

I am a first generation migrant. I moved as an adult from the country where I grew up (A) to the country that I now call home (B).

A few months ago, A was playing B in an international sporting event. The stakes were high and the media coverage intense.

A few days ahead of the game, a colleague at work asked me — “Now that you are in B, who do you go for? A or B?”. My instinctive thought was — A.

“Both are great teams, but in this case am going to support A”, was what I ended up saying. The context demanded that. I could not have gotten away with a mono-syllabic response.

But why? Will there ever be a point in time when I will stop wearing the colours of A at a sporting event?

In many ways country A defines me. A big part of my past belongs there. My memories are sprinkled in many playgrounds, homes, schools and people’s hearts. My sporting idols are from country A. It is my identity and most of it is marked with the free spirit of a child, the support net of a mother and the cockiness of a bachelor.

Country B that has accepted me whole heartedly is what I now call home. My present and future belong here. Real life started in country B. Self-awareness took shape. Life revolved around kids. Friendships fewer and deeper. Aspirations were tinged with anxiety. I love country B. My kids know nothing else, but country B.

I got home and asked them. “Hey, A is playing B in an game next week. Who are you going for?”. “A”, said one. “I don’t know, depends on who will win”, said the other.

I was surprised. Maybe I passed on a spirit unknowingly. The colour that adorns your passport can be different from the colours that glow your heart.

What do you think? If you were/are a migrant, do you go for A or B? Am keen to know.

Dad. Husband. Friend. Mate.Son. Curious about the business of tech. Passionate about photography. Student of life.

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