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 How then does one come to understand and read two books on culture and identity, cultural theory and activity theory, diaspora and racism?
 VARELA (1996) suggested that the true test of a (natural) science is individual experience.
If we use this dictum, a good cultural theory of identity and personal experience should be able to explain the rather different experiences expressed by BHATT and SENOCAK, on the one hand, and my own experience, on the other.
Not only is Vancouver ethnically diverse but people increasingly report multiethnic origins.
According to the 1996 census, over 38% of the population in the Greater Vancouver District reported more than one ethnic origin. Or, who do others understand me to be after reading the autobiographical notes?
Understanding and explaining are enfolded into one another, close and yet distant as the different parts of the trajectory of a fly or two randomly chosen pieces in the dough of a baker (PRIGOGINE 1979, SERRES 1983).
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And yet, while I am writing, I realize that the story I really want and have to write is an "incompossible" (DERRIDA 1998, p.7) story, one that is impossible to compose.culture, identity, autobiography, activity theory, cultural theory Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2.1 Meanwhile, everything begins 2.2 Culture, activity, and identity 3.Lived and Constructed Cultural Identity: Autobiography 3.1 Pluricultural experiences and identity 3.2 Racism: Markers of difference 3.3 Diaspora and religious boundaries 3.4 Multiculturalism, pluriculturalism 3.5 Person, identity, and lived experience 4.I deeply feel, and think of myself, as Canadian, involving all the sensibilities that are often attributed to them in the context of multicultural society and the tolerance for others, in "othering the other" (KAYA, p.108), that go with it.I do not feel split but rather, after having lived the two halves of my life in Germany and Canada, feel in a foreign country when I visit Germany.In its completion, this story, the one you are reading right now, remains fundamentally incomplete, not in the least because it takes your own understanding and explaining to complete.This text itself is a testimony of the interaction between understanding, always mine, and the texts I read, always the others'; the text is a coming together and interaction of Self and Other. Introduction 2.1 Meanwhile, everything begins I am citizen of a country, in which politicians and citizens use "multiculturalism" as a source of pride, an accomplishment, and a project. In Vancouver, one of the country's biggest cities, a language other than one of the two national languages (English, French) is spoken in more than 50% of homes.[ The poet had left her native Gujarat and moved to the United States where she received her masters degree in English and, though she moved to and now lives in Germany, she continued to write in English and Gujarati."Being bi-cultural," so the text on the back cover suggests, "is a mixed blessing," for being attached to both cultures, BHATT cannot do without either.Such questions could be stifling perhaps even stopping one from writing at all because of the chicken-and-egg problem that they pose, especially when we ponder for too long.Yet in a dialectical worldview, contradictions and aporias are allowed and expected to be central to our human condition.