Pico Iyer: Where is home?


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Last year, the latest reports from United Nations about international migration proved something surprising about the world today: more people are living outside their home countries than ever in human history. As many as nearly 250 million people – that’s a quarter of a billion – do not, or do no longer, live in countries they were once born or raised. Many factors contribute to such phenomenon. When a country’s economic situation is in dismal condition, a huge diaspora will ensue. If a country is plagued by wars or other civilian conflicts, millions of people will seek a safer place to survive, no matter what challenges they endure. Some choose to leave just because ‘they want to leave’; looking out for a better, more tranquil life, or somewhere that really supports their souls, dreams, and/or ambitions.

No matter what the reasons are, these people are increasingly identifying themselves as ‘global citizens’. They share a belief in the source of their origins, or ancestors; but in the end, with waves of globalization penetrating all aspects of life, migration is now an inevitable issue. There will be more and more people moving out of their countries, forming new communities, new mindsets, new cultures, and for sure, reshaping the world over and over. Earth has never been colorful like that before.

Pico Iyer, himself a full-blooded Indian, but raised in UK, working in US, and spending some time in a rural village in Japan, and also a travel author, shares his insight as one of 250 million international migrants, in this empowering TED talk about travel, moving out, and self-identity.

 

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