J'ai trois amours.
imomus' article last week on multi culturalism is really worth reading. (Here it is)
He makes Josephine Baker an ambassadrice of multiculti, and her song "J'ai Deux Amours" its anthem. (Here she is, 30+ years after its release)
To become multiculti, I jump out of the monoculture I was born into, but I don't jump so far that I lose contact with my "savanna" altogether. Because if I lose touch with my roots, my origins, and just melt in the melting pot, difference itself is destroyed. We return to the idea of oneness, the monolithic, and the lack of respect for difference. There can, after all, be no foreignness without acknowledgment of difference, and the right to stay different. If there's a right wing threat to multiculti in the form of ethnic cleansing, patriotism and so on, there's a left wing threat to it in the idea of the melting pot; the idea that racial or cultural or national differences should become meaningless, or be deliberately ignored. An ignored difference is not a happy one.
Interestingly, he ends with the depressing point: Loving two [countries] is just too hard. Is it really? Of course it's not! It's the "melting pot" itself that is irrelevant. There is no melting pot! I've never felt as though I was in a melting pot - isn't it a bit too US-glamour? No one has ever described where I grew up, the borough of Lewisham, as being a melting pot, for instance. At school we were told that London is a multi-pluralist place, where differences overlap sometimes. I was ok with that then, and also now. There is difference everywhere! How can it be meaningless?
I guess the underlying question, is one of belonging. It is it too hard to belong to two countries? It's not hard to have two passports, that much I know. But how can cultural possessiveness be tested? Difference is easy to spot in the UK, but what is "British"? (I wouldn't know, I haven't taken the test.) If it's essentially about assimilation, like parts of imomus' article suggests - then that's easy, and I'll end with a quote from Buckminster Fuller:
99% of who you are is invisible and untouchable. It is your ability to think and go beyond your form that determines the quality of your life.