Stay Grounded

“Living abroad got me thinking
about what it means to be Tunisian. Am I African, a Middle Easterner, or part of the Mediterranean Sea countries? I often have to explain where Tunisia is because not many people know, and so being in Japan has made me reflect on my roots. It’s also made me appreciate my own culture and heritage more. Tunisians are so open-minded and approachable. One time back home, when I was on the metro with a colleague, a guy jumped in on our private conversation about politics. Then another guy chimed in. By the time it was my stop, there were 15 random strangers having a heated debate. Maybe that was a bit over the top, but now I kind of miss it because here in Japan, people can be so silent. Sometimes on the train, I literally have to restrain myself from speaking to the person sitting next to me because I have to respect Japanese rules and etiquette, being a guest in their country. I can’t just come up to people out of nowhere and make them share their life story. That’s why it was a bit hard for me to adjust here in the beginning. Good thing I have a fellow Tunisian friend who keeps me grounded. Whenever I feel like I’m too far away from home, we go have Tunisian food and talk for hours. That connection with someone from home definitely helps when you’ve been living in a foreign country for so long.”

Daikanyama, Tokyo


【翻訳:Yuri Moriyama】

Published by


Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s