‘Here’ and ‘There’: Constructing the Idea of Home in (Lithuanian) Migration

  • Darius Daukšas
Keywords: home, migration, Norway


The article analyses the concepts of home. The analysis is based on field research data obtained from two Norwegian municipalities, one in the northern and one in the south-western part of Norway. Based on interviews, the article reveals the migrants’ own concepts of home. The results of the survey reveal three main concepts of home construction by migrants: home in Lithuania, home in Norway, and home as ‘here’ and ‘there’. The idea of home in Lithuania while permanently living in Norway is partly related to the migrants’ age and their social status, also on the degree of integration into the new society (older immigrants to Norway often work in low-skilled jobs and do not speak Norwegian or speak it poorly); they see their presence in Norway as temporary and based on economic criteria. The idea of Norway as home correlates with the (high) degree of integration of migrants into Norwegian society. Migrants who feel well received by the new society, regardless of age, call Norway their home. The idea of home as ‘here’ and ‘there’ is closely linked to the time dimension. Migrants often emphasize that after arriving in Norway, they seldom see themselves as having left Lithuania, until they gradually integrate into the new society and begin considering Norway as their home. Lithuania is often referred to as second home (more often associated with holidays, entertainment, etc.). The kin (mostly parents) are named as a bridge between Norway and Lithuania, which disappears when parents pass away. Various intermediate ideas of home construction are also possible. For example, identifying the place of residence of family members at the time as home or not being able to pinpoint where you feel at home. The discussed dimension of emotions in the construction of the idea of home also provides inspirations for further reflection on the construction of home as a constant process, which is dependent not only on rationally chosen factors but also on the socio-cultural environment and intercultural communication.