I'm a Canadian Southern Belle

I'm Canadian, born and raised, but my grandparents come from all around the world. I never really had a fully realized 'background' or culture growing up. I'd say I was Canadian and people would respond, "but you're from where?".

Canadian culture is a mishmash of everything, and I love that. But trying to find who you are by looking to your roots is near impossible, when your roots are buried all around the world.

When I was 13, I started digging.

I tried Judaism first, because much of my family is Jewish (from different parts of the world, mind you). I learned Hebrew. I observed Shabbat on Friday nights. I even had a Bat Mitzvah. Judaism resonated with me, but it didn't feel entirely right.

I explored my great-grandmother's Polish/Russian heritage. I enjoyed the vodka and matryoshkas and pierogies, but that's as far as it went.

Pagan, Native, French, French Canadian, German... Something was still missing.

Then I discovered the south.

A place where a girl could be feminine, romantic and sweet, as well as strong-willed and brave. She could be stubborn, a little bit rowdy, could wear boots with her dress and eat deep fried everything if she wanted-- but she would always make time for her family and friends, her spirituality, and to offer a hand and a cold glass of sweet tea to anyone who needed it.

The cities and the tea are steeped with history. The people are friendly. Culture and hospitality are fundamentally important. I can appreciate that.

I realize that as a non-American, and being politically almost as far left as many Republicans are right, I don't entirely fit in. But that's okay.

My southern-ness and my Canadian-ness and the rest of the puzzle pieces that make up my identity can co-exist.

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