The identity crisis in foreign education

The Reporter
The Reporter

(Reporter)Filling out an online horoscope chart, Ruth Mengistu, 23, types in Italy as her place of birth.

This might not have been a surprise if she was actually born in Italy, but she was born in Ethiopia. Her only association with the country is through the school she attended for 13 years; the Italian School in Ethiopia.

For Ruth, identity is an elusive subject, something you can choose, and she identifies with being an Italian. From the language she speaks to the men she dates to the music she listens to, her life is filled with Italy. She cannot deny the fact that in many ways, she cannot relate to “typical Ethiopians.”

All her interest is in being a “global citizen,” which, in her definition, means being closer to Europe. Ethiopian music, history, culture, rituals and customs are forgotten in her head, with only the city of Florence and its scenery vivid and romanticized in her head. Her career of choice, a freelance interpreter, comes from her love of the Italian language. Read more on the Reporter

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