Why Identity Matters: Importance of Identity

Identity is defined as “the distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity, or the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known.” Identity is something that defines who we are.

We have different kinds of identities, for instance, public identity, personal identity, private identity, national identity.

Our public identity includes our work or job. Your boss will recognize you as a hardworking man/woman who sits in the front desk, the waiter in the restaurant you visit every day remembers you as a teller in the bank across the street (just an example).

Personal identity is related to our family. You are bone and blood of Mr and Ms ABC, you were born in XYZ family.

Private identity is something that is only known to you. People from your professional and family life may have different opinion about yourself, however, no one knows you better than yourself. Facts only known to you create your private identity. Even though you say, you don’t cry, you cry when you feel pain. Even though you do not accept that you committed wrongs, you accept that you committed mistake when you are alone.

National identity refers to the country you were born. If you are born in Nepal, your national identity is Nepali. Likewise, some of the things about ourselves are well known to everybody knows. This is our public image. Some of the things about us are only known to our family, the members of our extended family, and relatives, this is our personal image. There are things about us that are known only to us. This is our private image.

National identity is as important as your personal identity. But defining your national identity is not an easy task. National refers to belonging to a certain nation, State or country. Identity means the distinct characteristics of an individual by which he or she is recognized or known.

National identity is the distinct personality of an individual in regards to a nation or State. National identity differs from country to country, thus, the characteristics that the British consider while defining their national identity are different from the characteristics that Americans use while defining their national identity.

National identity defines nationality. Nationality refers to the people having common origins or traditions in regard to the territory of a nation or State.  Nationality is the status of belonging to a particular country either by birth, law or naturalization.

You live in India, you belong to a certain faith (Hindu/Muslim/Jain/Buddhist etc.), you belong to certain culture (Tamil/Panjabi/Gujarati etc.), you belong to a certain region (Kashmir, Maharashtra, Bihar), you speak certain language (Hindi/Punjabi/Rajasthani etc.), how do you define your national identity?

The aforementioned example can be used as reference to any country. For example, you live in United States, you have a Green Card, however, you migrated from Pakistan, you speak Urdu, you are a Muslim, how do you define your national identity?

From the examples stated above, you can say we all have multiple identities. You are not just an American, you are also Black American, a Christina, a Californian, a banker, a family man. I am not just a writer, I am Nepali, I am a Hindu, I am a farmer.


One thought on “Why Identity Matters: Importance of Identity”

  1. Identity is must for a person living in a society or community. I am a muslim and I’m really feel lucky to be muslim. Thanks for your post.

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