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2016 Convention Stories

Finding Home in an Ephemeral Homeland

Aakriti KapoorAakriti Kapoor
Alpha Upsilon Eta Chapter
University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada

Even before I delved into analyzing the theme of “Finding Home,” I was intuitively searching for a home in Minneapolis: just a day after landing, I made a Twitter post stating, “Every time I leave Toronto, it makes me realize why I never want to leave Toronto for good.” No matter how beautiful Minneapolis was, it simply wasn’t home. Interestingly enough, I was conflicted to call Toronto home only a few months ago. I was born in Delhi, immigrated to Toronto at age ten and since then, I have been navigating my space in search of a home. When I first moved to Toronto, the new city felt like a stranger I never met. My family and friends were far away, the TV shows were different, even the sky wasn't the same colour.

Story Picture

I’ve learned in order to find home, one must leave it first. When I was living in India, I never questioned what “home” was — it was only until I left that I longed for the familiarity of Hindi, the smell of street fritters: the solace of fitting in. Similarly, I had to leave Toronto to be able to call it home. Last summer I packed my bags and spent two months alone in Europe. Before my European escapade, I was wary of being asked, “Where are you from?” I was born in Delhi, lived in Toronto, but neither city felt like home. However, my travels allowed me to proudly claim my Canadian identity every time I was asked this inevitable question, while also feeling comfortable enough to discuss my Indian heritage. Canada is a country of mosaicked cultures, and looking at the xenophobic emotions across the different countries I travelled to, I felt immensely proud of being Canadian. It allowed me to realize how unlike the places I was visiting, Toronto allowed me to be both Canadian and Indian simultaneously.

I’ve come to realize home isn’t necessarily a fixed destination; the idea of home is ephemeral. Not only can home be comprised of multiple places, home is also sought in the moment of losing home: like how we realize how much we love something when we lose it, we find home when home is taken away from us. Home is a concept that is found in the travel time away from it — and perhaps that is why we are constantly in a quest for it.