Emma Raducanu & the Illusion of Nations
This post is quoted from Dr Guido Gianasso, PhD.
A new tennis champion has emerged. Her background is simply fascinating to observe. She is indeed an enigma and an image of the modern world.
Emma’s father is Romanian. Her name is Romanian and she even speaks Romanian fluently. Naturally, she is considered Romanian by millions of Romanians. But Emma has never set foot or lived in Romania.
Emma’s mother is Chinese. She speaks fluent Chinese. A recent youtube video shows her speaking Chinese. Therefore she is considered a Chinese hero by millions of Chinese. And yet the Chinese seem to forget that the China abhors international marriages.
Emma was born in Canada but has lived most of her life and trained in the UK. Because of this, she is considered British by most Brits and was publicly congratulated by the Queen.
Interestingly, the British public that now celebrates her success is the same people that voted Brexit. The British public wanted to make it difficult for East Europeans such as Emma and her father to live in the UK.
The reality is that Emma is not Romanian, Chinese or British. She is much more. She is the outstanding result of the combination of Romanian talent, Chinese work ethics and British openness and sport infrastructure.
At a time when many countries are going back to very ethnocentric models and policies, Emma is the best evidence that National identities are fading and we must embrace a bigger universal mindset.
Emma Raducanu is the future of mankind and hers is not an isolated phenomena. Many countries today are a dizzying mix of ethnicities.
When Pia Wurtzbach won miss Philippines, many Filipinos celebrated. At the same time, I felt confused. Was being half German the only way for Filipinos to win?
Megan Young another Filipina of mixed heritage. She Won Miss World in 2013. Catriona Gray who is half Australian won the Miss Universe pageant in 2018. There are other Filipina of mixed descent who have gained honor for the country. But what staggers me is that these are recurring situations. Would they have won if they weren’t half foreigners?
I remember the impact of Catriona Gray. Both Australian and Filipinos want to take credit for her Miss Universe win. That was a paradox. She would have won as the Australian contestant.
When I went back to reflect, I concluded that it’s the meanings I place on the events that either bring me joy and pride. The same event brought me sadness if they lost.
In the end, its the stories I tell myself about who I am. It is the meaning I make about the event and not the events themselves that seep into my identity. So I step back and detach from the event because the very thing that bring me joy can bring me deppression when they lose. I agree, we humans need a community, a race to belong. But I also don’t ant to forget that I am part of the bigger family of the human race and race is just a story I tell myself.