Existing and growing in a very multicultural environment it was always difficult until recently to distinguish and understand where do I belong and which mask is the most appropriate one. Moving from Russian to Israel then back and forth a few times created a puzzling self map throughout the years throwing me even further away from the “default”. to NYC.
The question of “who am i” and “why?” have been getting back at me whether I wanted it or not through out my whole journey so far. Growing up in a soviet rooted Jewish inteligenciya that was perceived as “too Jewish” in Soviet Russia, “not enough Israeli” in Israel to the “cool Israeli” when back in Russia. The journey of having to explain why we have a christmas tree and a chanukia standing one next to each other and the “no the fact that I lived in Israel does not mean I need to go to the army and one way or another does not make me less of a patriot or a supporter of the country I am a citizen of.”
Only in New York have I been able to fully accept the multi layered self and LET GO of the stigma.. the stereotypes which our magical society likes to clip on us.
Drama, experiment and thought has really helped me understand and grasp the “self” when I formed the NY Based theatre company Lost & Found Project which allowed me a long with other multi layered phenomenally talented individuals to explore the true meaning of “identity” and the consequences of nature VS nurture in its purity through the performing arts.
Perhaps our fears are the once that help and push us towards accepting the stereotype… I always preferred to fight it rather then accept which often is easier… when we see entire communities who come from one country and begin the settlement in a new one while promoting their own fear of looking beyond “what I know and what is true to me”. From changing the name from Anya to Chanie to Anna or Ana we are now back on track with the “fuck it” accept and let go… Therefore, i am my own culture.