An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging.
Peter Skryznecki’s poems ‘Migrant Hostel’ and ’Feliks Skrzynecki’ both explore ideas about belonging, so does the film ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ (2009), directed by Bruce Beresford. Belonging is the feeling of integration within yourself and/or the places and people around you including family and friends. The aspects of
Interaction with others and the environment around us can enrich the experience and feelings of belonging. In the poem ‘Feliks Skrzynecki, the poet discusses how he forgot his first polish word and the determination his father showed to make sure he did not forget, ‘…I forgot my first Polish word./He repeated it so I never forgot.’ Here Skrzynecki displays interaction between his father and himself to make sure he did not let go of his Polish heritage which leads on to use a simile when he says, ‘After that, like a dumb prophet, /Watched me pegging my tents/Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall.’ The simile that is used represents the strong bond between the father and Skrzynecki, letting him find his sense of belonging by moving away, on his own. In contrast, in the film ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ (2009), as Li, main character in the movie, arrives in America and is being driven to his new home by his co-worker, Li is bombarded by high-rise buildings and immense levels of traffic as he looks out the window, camera taking a low angle up-shot of the buildings from Li’s view. Li embodies a dumbfounded expression on his face and is lost for words, which creates a distance between him and his sense of integration and attachment to America. This example exemplifies the idea that Li’s interaction with the world around him in America limits his experience of belonging.
When Li left China, he did not have any roots there except his family. The feeling of being close and having a connection to someone in Li’s new country, America enriches...