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"Common" doesn't mean that it's not a problem.

When we meet a new person, we want to know more about this person. To be blunt, the actual question, which would be suitable for this purpose, is “Who are you?”.

However, we commonly ask “Where are you from?”. This question wants to know more about our origin. Is this the right question to explain ourselves?

Our life experiences are connected mostly to places which create our memories. Our experiences depend on areas, where we were born, where we grew up, where we have been etc.

Where are we now? Where can we be ourselves?

This is a game to rethink our common questions. All the questions in the game are taken from actual conversations.




Allport, Gordon W. (1979) The Nature of Prejudice, 25th Anniversary Edition. New york: Wesley Publishing Company.

Amjahid, Mohamed (2017) Unter Weißen. München: Hanser Berlin.

Garner, Steve (2017) Racisms: an introduction. Second Edition. London: Sage.

Hall, Mal (2016) Bring Half Black and Half Asian, Stand-up comedy, Laughs TV Show, [video online] Available at: [Accessed 27 March 2018].

Hirsch, Afua (2018) ‘This country of mine always made me feel like I didn’t belong’, Financial times [online] 26 January. Available at: [Accessed 19 April 2018].

Huynh, Q.L., Devos, T., and Smalarz, L.(2011) Perpetual Foreigner in one’s own land: Potential Implications for identity and psychological adjustment. Published in final edited form as: J Soc Clin Psychol. 2011 ; 30(2): 133–162. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 20 April 2018].

Lee, Daniel Sanghoon (2017) Woher kommst du wirklich her?, [blog] [image online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2018].

Lee, You Jae (2014) Hier bin ich ewiger Wanderer, Heimatkunde: Migrantionspolitische Portal – Heinrich Böll Stiftung, [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2018].

Lie, John (2011) Modern peoplehood: On Race, Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Identity. UC Berkeley: GAIA Books.

Lyer, Pico (2013) Where is home?, TEDGlobal [video online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2018].

Sachverständigenrat deutscher Stiftungen für Integration und Migration (The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration), (SVR-Forschungsbereich), (2018) „Wo kommen Sie eigentlich ursprünglich her?“ Diskriminierungserfahrungen und phänotypische Differenz in Deutschland (“So, where are you originally from?” Experiences of discrimination and phenotypic differences in Germany) [pdf] SVR-Forschungsbereich. Available as German at: Available as English at: [Accessed 21 April 2018].

Safi, Omid (2017) The problem with asking “Where are you from?”, On being [blog] 18 October. Available at: [Accessed 23 April 2018].

Selasi, Taiye (2014) Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local, TEDGlobal [video online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2018].

Tanyılmaz, et al. (2016) Respect guide - a guide to treating others respectfully, I-PÄD: Initiative intersektionale Pädagogik, [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2018].

Vera Larrucea, Constanza (n.d.) In: Westin, C. eds. (2015) The Integration of Descendants of Migrants from Turkey in Stockholm. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. pp.79 - 80.

Yanabu, Leanne (2015) Where are you from? A self-documentary on origins [blog] Available at: [Accessed 4 April 2018].

Yusuf, Abeer (2015) what is home? Growing up between cultures. TEDxTerryTalks [video online] Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2018].


What can we learn from the question