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Patil Khakhamian - Brazil


June 5, 2018

Home has always been an ambiguous word for me. Is it where I have grown up? Is it where my ancestors come from? Is it where I am living at the moment? Or is it even somewhere I might end up in the future?

For the past few years, I have been questioning the topic of identity and how to define home. It is a topic I still often stumble on throughout my life.

Having suddenly experienced a host family in Brazil completely distorted my somewhat already distorted notion of home and family. It taught me that family is not only limited to blood and whoever who knew you since childhood, but to those who make you feel like home. This is where the topic of home steps in. Home for some people may not be a place but the people that they surround themselves with. This may seem obvious to those who travel and change their settings occasionally, but it is actually a more complex topic. Think about it, how would you feel if your parents sold the house where you have spent your childhood? But how much is a place worth without the people with whom you have shared those memories with? Memories stay with us for as long as we keep them, but unfortunately even they can get distorted in our minds.

A place once considered as “home” might not give you the same emotions once you revisit them. Being a graduate of an international school taught me this. Once I went back to visit the school that was home for me for 2 years, I felt that something was not the same, the people with whom I had shared so many memories, who have made me laugh and cry and with whom I have shared classes, rooms, secrets, parts of myself… they were no longer there. It was no longer the same “home”. It was an empty vessel. The only thing left was the memories of home.

As I have mentioned above, “home” is a quite ambiguous word for me. When I think of home, I think of my childhood, I think of the numerous sunsets I have watched from my balcony in Lebanon, I think of my motherland Armenia, I think of UWC Dilijan where I have spent 2 years of my life that felt like 12, and of course, I think of Brazil, I think of all the people that made my experience special.
Home is a lot of places, home is where I feel I belong, home is where I feel loved and accepted, home is not only the good memories but also the ones that made me grow, home can be a place but also people and memories, home is relative…

Patil Khakhamian