Expatriate: The new nationality!!

At the age of 5 when my teacher once asked me: “So master Gaurav! Where do you live?” Very innocently I replied – “Ma’am! I live at home.” J I know this was probably the last answer she had been expecting but today while I got nostalgic standing at the balcony of my room in Dubai I realized that this actually triggered a sequence of events afterward whose sense I could make today. This question was again asked to me by my school bus driver after two years and I replied “Street No. 3, Sector 14!” That served the purpose. A few years down the line in my 10th class, I went for a District level chess competition where, when I was asked the same question, I replied “Street No. 3, Sector 14, HISAR”. That served the purpose there! A couple of years more and again I mentioned the same thing while I was filling my competitive examination forms but this time with one more connotation “Street No.3, ……, Hisar, HARYANA (State)”. Today, if I post a letter at my own address from here, I write: “Street No. 3, Sector 14, Hisar, Haryana, INDIA”.
Strange, isn’t it! The same home, same location but with each phase of life, the address line grew bigger and broader. That might not look unusual to many of us but isn’t it reflecting the true picture of human development and the phases of globalization with that? And this has not just happened to me but probably to everyone who is reading this blog. The words after ‘Street No. 3’ have taken a generation each to evolve. Our ancestors were not as global as we are today and extrapolating on the same lines, our coming generations would also not remain limited to what we are today, in terms of geographies, cultures and “the address line”.
But what next? We already have more than 250 countries in the world today; surely not many (or rather none) would emerge in future. Then what would bring the change? While I was trying to find the answer to that I observed that there is an interesting trend that is gaining prominence now and that is the increasing number expatriates! Look at Dubai, Spain, Canada and other such countries. The expats are astonishingly high as compared to the local national population out there. There are people living for years in those countries who were born at a different place and there are people who have been changing their countries every 3-4 years but haven’t stayed in their home country for that much time in their entire life. What should be their nationality? How do we address them? The term “expatriates” is gradually taking the place of the nationality for such people. If 83% of the people in the city like Dubai are expatriates, you call it or not, they truly reflect the flavors of ‘nationality behavior’ beyond the physical borders of nationality. They live with people from different nationalities, they share their happiness, their sorrows, their ‘food’, their festivals with them and that’s exactly what we do in our home country with ‘our’ people.
‘Expatriate Nationality’ is currently another hidden aspect of ‘gloconomics’. Today it is only the cross-cultural, cross-border nationality coming up.   Thinking beyond imagination and looking at the way science is taking leaps, I don’t know if I would have to further expand my address to “Street No.3, Sector 14, Hisar, Haryana, India, EARTH” while posting from Mars!! Or rather just write ‘home’!!!

*Picture taken from www.impactlab.net
*The addresses mentioned above are hypothetical and do not exist in real. :-p

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