Spreading Roots Globally, Losing Roots Locally

Coming to Terms with Being an Expat as an Intercultural Identity

In: Intercultural Mirrors

Abstract

This is a critical reflection of self-identity based on the concept of the intercultural mirror. The author has taken a personal voyage of self-discovery and identity negotiation while living and working internationally in cross-cultural contexts. This research aims to identify meaningful intercultural communication and to better understand the development of a more complex understanding of self. Through experiencing and interacting with other cultures, making direct observations, and then contemplating self-identity, the author examines stereotyping, cross-cultural communications, and cultural values. Although specific from an individual perspective, the reflection is framed by a wider debate over the understanding of self as a reflection from others. Its major finding is that cultural values that come from original roots are further shaped and validated by global awareness and global orientation.