A Sense of Home

By | 1 February 2022

Home is not just pho or rice paper rolls
Or the textures of fresh herbs and crispy red shallots
Or even the taste of lemongrass infused in our palettes
It’s even subtler than the crunch of bread rolls or elephant ear stem
in our sweet and sour tomato soup broth

Home to many people like me and my family
May contain smells of fish sauce and pungent spices – to our senses not domineering
Sometimes it’s the case when its durian but other smells spread beyond the kitchen
For one, the hint of incense lingering when we do our honouring –
such peace it brings, remembering…

Beyond food, home is where you hear spontaneous karaoke, sad ballads, and your native
tongue spoken
A language you think sounds melodic, beautiful, poetic, and warm
Despite not necessarily knowing every word said, you savour the sentiment and its harmony
Sometimes love emanating from the warmth of the voice is just as sweet as it is soothing

See, home is the little things you cannot see at first, such as the sacred;
The unseen paths of our ancestors for which we continue on and give reverence
Traditions and stories shared across generations to which we give remembrance
Even existing beyond the confines of imperialism, communism, or any isms that tore us apart –
led us to war, and to seek refuge and a new start

Sometimes our homes are not within reach or no longer exist – sometimes we must uproot to find sustenance
It can unsettle us to move away from what we know and our comforts
For home is of many things all at once; taste, smells, sounds, sights, touch
See, home is not just where we reside, home is a place that nourishes us –
and more importantly, it’s a space where we can truly flourish…

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