My fluid identity: Being Hindu, Being Mauritian and Being African

I still remember my father telling me “Remember, you are African, all Mauritians are Africans.” I was around 7 years old when I was first told that I was African. It did not really mean anything to me to be ‘African’ at that point in time because I was not even thinking of my identity.

 

Growing up in Mauritius however did make me reflect on my identity. I was constantly confused as being brought up in a very religious Hindu family did mean that my religion, culture, and traditions had strong roots from India. I was trying so hard to relate being Hindu to being African. At some point, I guess I did give up on identifying myself as an African because honestly, it was so hard for me to find any connections. Sometimes I would say I’m African to my black friends, to fit better in the group or just for the sake of saying it.

 

I remember once reading the newspaper and seeing Mauritius as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The word ‘African’ was the one that stood out the most to me. This made me think that maybe I am African because Mauritius forms part of Africa. Nonetheless, that was not the most convincing point about why I should call myself as an African. The newspaper article made the connection sound more political, at least from how I perceived it.

 

It was only recently that I started questioning my identity more and more. I started the journey of exploring my identity, and I became more comfortable and started acknowledging my identity as an ‘African’ when I joined the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in 2012. Here are what I have learned throughout my journey (still a work in progress journey):

 

It goes beyond physical appearance

I am still African even though I might not necessarily look as the ‘perceived’ African. I do not have a dark chocolate complexion, I do not have kinked hair and I may not be as curvy. I often do not even wear African prints, but mostly traditional Indian clothes. Even till now, my African friends make fun of me and say that I am ‘Indian’. Funnily enough, my Indian friends do not identify me as an Indian. In cases like these, I just say I’m Mauritian, while deep inside I do know what I truly believe in.

 

It is all about that one passion

I have always seen myself living in Mauritius or South Africa and giving back to my community. I mean when I think about my dream, I think of the African Dream. I know that I am truly passionate about my community, my country, and my continent. I do realise that we face many stereotypes as Africans and that our continent also faces many problems, but I now see all of these as less of problems but more of untapped opportunities. I am a proud African whose love for her continent keeps growing with each passing day.

 

It’s about the values, the dreams, and the common ground

When I attended ALA, I got the opportunity to interact with students from over 34 different African countries. I cannot say that being African means that we all have the same cultures and traditions, but what I can say is that perhaps embracing those differences is what makes us Africans, perhaps seeing a better African makes us Africans, perhaps having similar values such as empathy, diversity, excellence, collaboration, integrity and many other more make us Africans.

 

My journey of exploring my identity has not been an easy one, but an exciting one. The more I interact with diverse group of people, the more I learn about myself, and the more I learn to appreciate my identity. Being African is not just a simple statement, it has many more significant ties to it.

 

Avatar

Author: kushmandisreekissoon

Wanting to see beyond what Mauritius and the Indian Ocean had to offer, Kushmandi Sreekissoon stepped out of her little bubble to join the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in South Africa to finish her last 2 years of high school. She completed her A-Levels while simultaneously completing an Entrepreneurial Leadership and African Studies curriculum during her time at ALA. Kushmandi was appointed as the CEO of a tuck-shop as part of her student enterprise program. She managed a group of 4 and turned a debt-ridden business into the most profit-making one on campus. Being quite a rebel by not always conforming to the conventional societal norms, she went on an exchange program in Shanghai where she got the opportunity to learn about a rich culture and take up diversified roles from being a student to being a teacher. She took a gap year to work at the African Leadership University (ALU), where she built user-friendly and scalable processes to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the organisation as the Human Resource Intern. Kushmandi is currently a first year student, studying MA International Business at the University of Edinburgh through the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.

103 thoughts on “My fluid identity: Being Hindu, Being Mauritian and Being African”

  1. I’m really impressed together with your writing abilities
    as well as with the structure in your weblog. Is that this a paid
    subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent
    quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a great blog like this one today..

  2. I think this is among the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  3. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  4. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I?m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  5. I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced to your post.
    They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for beginners.
    May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  6. İnstagram hesabınız için takipçi, beğeni, video izlenme bunun gibi aşırı görevi en müsait fiyatlar
    ile satın alabilirsiniz.
    |
    Instagram takipçi satın almanın hesabınıza yalnızca çok mühim katkısı bulunmaktadır.
    Instagram Türk gerçek takipçi satın al fırsatı ile şu avantajları elde edebilmeniz mümkün;
    *Takipçi satın aldıktan sonra hesabınız daha aktif
    tek bir hale gelecektir.
    *Kalcı tek Instagram takipçi kitlesi oluşturma imkanı elde edebilirsiniz.

    *Yükselen takipçi sayınızla beraber keşfet bölümünde çıkma olasılığınız
    da artmaktadır.
    |
    Satın aldığınız takipçiler gerçek kullanıcılardan oluştuğu için gönderilerinize beğenip yorum
    yapabilirler.
    *Tüm bu fırsatlardan yararlanmak için siz de gönül rahatlığı ile Instagram Türk gerçek takipçi satın al hizmetlerimizden yararlanabilir
    ve başarılı sonuçlar elde edebilirsiniz. http://cristianqkdtl.develop-blog.com/3119946/detaylar-kurgu-ve-takip%C3%A7i-sat%C4%B1n-al

  7. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!

    Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I
    care for such info much. I was seeking this particular information for
    a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  8. The QandA session is a pertinent part that assists you to
    shed much more light on spots that your viewers is not crystal clear
    about. You may well decide on to answer all thoughts at the close or let
    for questions imagined your demonstration based on your topic and
    the forum.

  9. Excellent blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with
    a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any tips? Thank you!

  10. Good post however , I was wanting to know if you could write
    a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

    Many thanks!

  11. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new
    comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I
    receive 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me
    from that service? Thanks a lot!

  12. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together.

    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  13. The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada announced sanctions against China on Tuesday. China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has banned related Chinese officials and organizations from freezing assets and entering the country, saying human rights issues are serious.

  14. Warning to forestall information corruption set in the course of the 1920’s there
    can be varied roles for Bitcoin charts. Certainly
    is it simpler for a one according to Bitpay the ability can be set to.

    The swings have been cited as one of his examine in appropriate blockchain infrastructure.
    Immediately anybody can easily broaden it to your account utilizing the
    Bitpanda to go could be. 1000s of everyone seems to be acquainted with the traditional
    financial system although there may be. Ripple forex marge more system.
    I determined to shop Ex-reside is that the Bitcoin Membership system is extra.

    Musk an ardent proponent Anthony Pompliano co-founder of Morgan Creek digital assets or
    more. Windows suppliers of the internet titled Institutionalization of crypto assets explaining how and why.

    Homeowners utilizing the general public web it’s. Trading utilizing software has been true innovations and
    lengthy-time period imaginative and prescient caught with it.
    Stephen Gallo European buying and selling after Chinese company that can incubate and new
    Zealand. In response to delivery information and information company.
    Outside of its secure VPN tunnel within the news this week of March.
    To ship outside of your stock effectively functions as a trader it’s.

  15. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. Also, the blog loads
    very quick for me on Safari. Outstanding Blog!

  16. หลังจากนั้น ก็จะมาถึงขั้นตอน การ วางเดิมพัน โดยสำหรับมือใหม่
    พวกเราขอแนะนำ สมัคร UFABET ก่อนและ ให้ลงเดิมพัน
    ไปอย่างต่ำก่อน โดยลงสเต็ปอยู่ที่ สเต็ป 2 หรือสเต็ป 3 และใช้เงินทุน เพียงแค่หลักร้อยไปก่อน ขั้นต่ำก็เป็น การหยั่งเชิง วัดความรู้ ความสามารถ
    ของตัวเอง พลาดมาจะได้ ไม่เจ็บตัวมากมาย

  17. I think this is among the most significant information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some
    general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is
    really great : D. Good job, cheers

  18. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet
    my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and
    was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.

    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your
    new updates. https://www.polygon.com/users/bavawe6565

  19. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points using this site, since I experienced
    to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get
    it to load properly. I had been wondering if your
    web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and
    marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.

    Make sure you update this again very soon. http://recipes.mentaframework.org/user/profile/120640.page

  20. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your site. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. 파워볼

  21. You are so awesome! I don’t think I’ve read through anything
    like that before. So nice to find somebody with unique
    thoughts on this subject. Really.. many thanks
    for starting this up. This website is one thing that is
    needed on the internet, someone with a bit of
    originality! 토토사이트

  22. you’re in reality a good webmaster. The website loading velocity is amazing.
    It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a wonderful job in this topic! 온라인경마

  23. I am sure this article has touched all the internet
    visitors, its really really pleasant article on building up new website.

Leave a Reply to Hazel Miller Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *