Exploring the Diaspora and the question of belonging

When we think of belonging to a country, what do we mean? The country where we are in the moment? Where our parents lived and were born? Where we were born? There are so many variables, and so many ways of holding different nationalities within ourselves. I come from Ireland, my linage on both sides is Irish as far back as I know and I feel profoundly Irish, yet I can feel a familiarity in the strangest of places. I live in a country where, since the late 1700’s, and the ‘Great Hunger,’ people have left in their thousands and settled all over the globe. The estimated number of Irish diaspora is thought to be 70,000,000, people claiming Irish roots and Irish pubs are to be found in many nooks and crannies of the world.

The term diaspora originates from the Greek “diaspeirein”, meaning to scatter or sow. The history of the dispersal of Greek peoples and ideas has significantly impacted the economic, political and cultural formations of Western nations, influencing modern conceptions of democracy and citizenship.

Today, migration and emigration continues for many reasons and this great melting pot of nationalities shows up again and again in constellations. Presenting as issues like longing for place, desire to belong, longing for home, the inability to settle anywhere and the inability to fully thrive when your country of origin has been excluded.