Between Words of Identity

I claim myself to be a multi linguist who speaks seven languages and has strong cultural inclinations, with desires to know many. And I also claim myself to be a free individual who has not been programmed into the system of society.

I find these two aspects in strong contradiction with each other: the part about having cultural inclinations and speaking multiple recognised languages and the part of freedom to think on my own out of my own. Because to be cultured is to belong to a cult, a part of a herd. And to speak a commonly recognised language is to structure the brain thought in order to relay it to others and exchange them. This again required the existence of the ‘other’.

I have wondered too many times if humanity can exist indeed simply as individuals. Or if we can all live without identities for example. Because the very necessity within myself to define or claim myself to be something indicates that I need an identity created with reference to the others, the society. I believe that this need to create an identity based on the others is a part of the basic human instinct that aids him or her in the process of surviving in a society. I believe it to be as natural as hunger or thirst or even the human drive to reproduce.


About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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