The process of “blonging”
November 17, 2006, 2:27 pm
Filed under: identity, intercultural, philosophy, pidgin

There is no such thing as a pure identity, isolated and self-originating, no identity-in-itself. Identities – past and present – are a result of a process of mutual pidginization: transforming one’s own to be understood by the other, mirroring the other to express oneself, understanding by recognizing transformed pieces of one’s own in the other.

All identities are essentially pidginized, because the purpose of an identity is never identity itself but identification, the process of becoming an entity that belongs.

There is one word among the many hybrids in pidgin languages that expresses perfectly the basic idea of pidginization: TO BLONG. In Shanghai Chinese pidgin it meant both “to be” and ” to belong”, conveying the closeness of these two terms. Identity is a pidginized entity, to be is to belong.


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I appreciate your insight into Pidgin Languages, I just wrote a paper on them and I gotta say – I’m all for the Tower of Babel. Bueno Trabajo!

Comment by charity

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