My Mixed Identity: A story of a Kazakh in London

Hi everyone! My name is Yuliya Kogay, I am 22 and I am here to blog about my experience of life abroad for the Eurasian (Russian speaking) community. My posts will be in the format of “How to” and I will try to give my tips about migration, studies, job search, work, lifestyle and communication abroad.

I am curious about the role that media and in particular social media play in our changing world. This massive shift in the processes of identification and communication, in the spheres of science, politics and education, and in everyday decisions is something that makes me both thrilled and excited. As a person with the mixed identity, I am a part of this process. That is why I got inevitably fascinated by Sharehoods the moment I came across with the project.

My diverse background and current lifestyle make it more and more difficult to define myself within certain national categories or labels as… I am much more. I don’t consider myself an expat for it carries a meaning of someone who left his home forever, whereas I just have two homes instead of one. A year ago my adventurous and romantic spirit of a nomad brought me from Kazakhstan to the UK, where I met hundreds of people who arrive from everywhere around the globe and similarly acquire that mixed identity.

I came to London to do my Masters degree at LSE, and soon realized that I am strikingly different from people from other cultures. Starting from the food I eat and the volume I speak and finishing with the way I organize my studies and do work, I have discovered the difference in the things I haven’t even thought people could do differently. It would be so much easier if I had an opportunity to read such kind of blog.

But without an advisor or an expert around, I basically had two options: to stick to my old identity and bury myself in a small circle of friends or to acquire a new one and become someone else. Instead, I mixed both. I’ve learnt to spend weekends outside the town, read newspaper in the tube, make small talks everywhere possible; but I still enjoy my national cuisine and prefer drinking tea instead of coffee, I communicate in Russian with my Kazakh and Russian peers and I still find it so bizarre to have beer at say 4 p.m. Learning from other cultures but not forgetting yours is probably my best tip about living abroad.

So here I am: to share, to learn, and to communicate. Join the conversation.

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2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Artworthy.

  2. […] Переезд в другие страны зачастую предполагает не только смену жилья и занятия, но и ассимиляцию с местной культурой. У кого-то это получается целиком и полностью, а кто-то наоборот предпочитает вариться в своей национальном котле. Свое мнение на данный вопрос я выразила в этом посте. […]

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