Multiple Identity Crisis
It was the summer before my junior year of high school that my life changed. My mother, along with my stepfather, younger brother, and sister had moved to Oregon. My older sister and I stayed on Maui, although it took a lot of convincing and persuading my mother that I could handle it she eventually let me stay. I originally lived with my Uncle for a few months. It was those few months living with my Uncle that I really experienced a change inside of me. My Uncle, Samson Harp, is renowned in the state of Hawai’i as one of the, if not the, best tattoo artist. He is also renowned for his place in the Hawaiian community. Contrary to belief, there are not a lot of people who withhold the knowledge of Hawaiian language and traditions.. When I went to live with my Uncle I learned how to understand the language as well as speak bits and pieces of it. My Uncle would bring me along with him to “Hale Mua” which is directly translated as “the house that moves forward”. Hale Mua is a “club” in a sense, while at the same time it is also a “dojo”. Hale Mua is a place where Hawaiians can learn their culture and traditions, language, history, fighting, and war strategies, for example. Being part of Hale Mua required me to be respectful, humble, selfless, and independent. Learning the language was hard because we weren’t in a classroom with teachers. The elders spoke it and if we wanted to understand what’s going on we had to catch on as fast as we could. Sentence structure, pronunciation, and spelling were completely foreign. I had to learn how to take orders, which I wasn’t very good at, and know when to submit and let go of my pride. It was a lot of hard work, to make such a big change but it was worth it. I had to let go of my old ways in order to become, what I now realize is, a better person. This was the start of a brand new me, I had grown and shaped a new “identity” for myself. What is Identity? Identity is the fact of being who a person is. If identity is indeed fact then it is indisputable, it cannot change. If it cannot change then people cannot change who they are, however most of us know of people who change and start to see the world differently. Paul Heilker talks about “genres” in his essay “On Genres as Ways of Being”. He claims that going through different events in our life and being required to do something out of our norm, in most cases, causes us to change our ways of being in order to meet the requirements of what is asked of us. Ways of being is what Heilker says when talking about people’s way of behaving. These different ways of being, or “genres” is “how” we are in the world. It is very important to have genres and identities. Genres and Identities, however, are two very different things. What is that difference between the two and why do we need both? Identity and genre, in my opinion, are two different things. The need for both are important, however. How we think and perceive things, how we act, and everything we do make up our identity. It is what makes us act, behave, and perceive things differently from other people. Identity helps us to be individual and unique. I believe that identity is simply who we are as people. Genre, on the other hand, I think of as style. Movie or book genres are based on the style of the content. If the content is scary than it is of the horror genre. If the content is all love and emotional than it would be the romance genre. Therefore, I think of a person’s genre as their style, and just like a movie or book can have multiple genres, I consider the fact that people have multiple genres as well. My theory about the difference between identity and genre is that we have an overlying identity that defines, in a sense, who we are, and at the same time we have temporary identities that we portray to others, which is our genres. The difference is one is who we are and the other is how we act depending on...
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