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Tell us your opinion: What does home mean for you?

Familiar landscapes, sounds and smells, a common language, family or friends – home has a different meaning for everyone.

For many people, the notion of home is strongly connected to one particular place: their place of birth. But, as an old English saying has it, “home is where the heart is”. Or as the German singer Herbert Grönemeyer says: “Home is not a place, home is a feeling!”

Everyone knows what it feels like to be homesick, to miss one’s home. At home, we feel like we belong and are secure. Home can give us orientation and serve as a safe anchor in these fast-moving times. But there are many people who feel homeless because they have had to leave their homes.

We have asked Germany-Alumni what home means to them – here are some answers:

  • Ana Riza Mendoza from the Philippines

    “For me, home is a feeling of belonging, where the heart feels comfortable with all its surroundings. This does not necessarily have to be birthplace of a person. It is where I feel secure and a place I always want to go back to or stay for long periods without ever being bored.

    The Philippines are my homeland and I will always consider Germany to be my second home. It is always in my heart. I love everything about it. Home is a place that plays a big part in your life.”

    Ana Riza Mendoza from the Philippines

  • Leo Mutisya from Kenya

    “Two important manifestations have to be achieved for me to consider a place home: comfort and security. That means I am comfortable enough to be able to perform my duties to society, and secure enough to have peace of mind and body. Once this is achieved, familiarity becomes a key ingredient.”

    Leo Mutisya from Kenya

  • Rachida Zoubid from Morocco

    “A foreign country can become familiar and develop into a new home if the change of values that you experience abroad is in accordance with your own principles and wishes.

    Home is a place where you feel safe and secure; a place where you experience emotional warmth and feel yourself surrounded by love and affection; a place where there are no constraints on your development and where you don’t have to constantly fight for your own rights; a place where justice, democracy and equal opportunities are implemented. Germany is a second home for me.” 

    Rachida Zoubid from Morocco

  • Arturo Mariano Figueroa from the Philippines

    “I am always excited to be at home because I know that all my stress will disappear. I can develop new thoughts and eventually see things from another perspective. At home I feel I have the complete freedom to think of new things. Yes, though I only stayed in Germany for a short while, I felt like I had “less stress” and felt like developing new ideas.”

    Arturo Mariano Figueroa from the Philippines

  • Novel Meilanie from Indonesia

    “For me, home does not necessarily have to be a physical place. Home is where I feel comfortable as a family member, as a member of society, as a friend and a citizen. A place where I feel secure. Comfortable I mean also that I feel deeply involved with my surrounding. I am happy when my neighborhood is fine, and I feel sad and concerned when my environment is not supported or is damaged, unsafe, uncertain and so on.

    Indonesia is the place I was born, where I know home as land and water, as a physical place. Indonesia also means memories of my wonderful childhood, a place where my own family and friends belong to. They are part of my life. Germany is the first foreign country I ever lived in. A country which later became part of my life, just like Indonesia. My later visits to Germany were like coming home and I felt so secure there, due to its certainty and stability. I know Germany like I know my hometown. In Germany, I found a new family and friends, and being together with them feels like home.”

    Novel Meilanie from Indonesia

  • Alejandro Giraldo from Colombia

    “I have never been to Germany, and although I love my beautiful home country and its wonderful people very much, in my mind, I identify with Germany. When I watch those big expensive birds with their luft-hanseatic bird fly over my head and I can only see them from afar, I feel a kind of homesickness: My culture is there, my old and new songs, the old stories and fairy-tales and the most beautiful language of all. My heart yearns for them and so I set my inner clock six hours ahead.

    But I have the great advantage of having two beautiful and beloved home countries. I am trapped in this big, beautiful paradise. Its people still have a lot to learn for it to become great one day. But ultimately, I am not quite at home in either country, because I feel like an outsider  in one and would certainly be regarded as a foreigner in the other.”

    Alejandro Giraldo from Colombia

  • Mary Ann L. Reyes from the Philippines

    “Home is where your heart is – peaceful, quiet and relaxing. It's where you find comfort and security. It's restful by the stream that calms your heart and mind.”

    Mary Ann L. Reyes from the Philippines

  • from Bosnia and Herzegovina – Photo (c) Julia Kühn

    “In the meantime, Germany has come to feel like home – my second home.”

    Nino Fejzibegovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Photo (c) Julia Kühn

  • Lily Wang from China

    “For me, home or the German ‘Heimat’, does not necessarily refer to a particular location. It more encompasses experiences, feelings, memories, and people.”

    Lily Wang from China

We would like to know what home means for you!

Beyond your birthplace, how does home manifest for you? Is it familiar people or personal things? Certain locations or treasured memories? Special events, habits or traditions? And to what extent can a foreign country – like Germany, for instance – become something like home?

We are looking forward to reading your statements in the Community!

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