Pico Iyer in conversation: How blending cultures makes us unique

Originally posted on TED Blog:

In conversation about living in several languages and locations, Pico Iyer talks with a panel of Open Translation Project volunteers at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: Ryan Lash

In conversation about living in several languages and locations, Pico Iyer talks with a panel of Open Translation Project volunteers at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: Ryan Lash

In today’s thought-provoking talk, author Pico Iyer looks at the complex nature of the simple question: “Where are you from?” Because while his family comes from India, he grew up in the United Kingdom. As soon as he left school, however, he moved to the United States — where he was required to carry a card declaring him a “permanent alien” for years. Meanwhile, Iyer’s wife is Japanese, and her native country is the place where he tries to spend as much time as he can because it speaks so deeply to him. Iyer calls these diverse locations the pieces of his “stained-glass whole.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1789]Iyer notes that he is hardly alone — 220 million people live in a country that is not…

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