What Is Belonging

What is belonging? The dictionary tells us that ‘belonging’ means, to be in a right place, and to feel happy and comfortable with a certain group of people. However, when we use ‘belonging’ to relate to our life, it often means more than just a definition. Life is about belonging, and belonging is ultimately about acceptance. We choose to belong because we want to be accepted, and we decide not to belong because we want to belong in a right place. In the play, Educating Rita written by Willy Russel, and the movie, Strictly Ballroom directed by Baz Luhrmann, has shown us two great examples of how belonging would influence a person’s life and decision and demonstrated the relations between belonging and acceptance.
Rita, the main character in Willy Russel’s play, is a hairdresser who has been trying to discover herself though education. In order to achieve her goal, she has to give up where she used to belong, that is, life with her husband and have children, going to pub drinking and singing and speaking in improper language. There was a scene when Rita didn’t go to Frank’s party, then she went to pub to meet Danny, her parents and their friends. Everyone was so happy and singing with each other except Rita’s mum and herself. Rita’s mother said to her ‘There must be a better song to sing’ which gives Rita an indication of ‘there must be a different life to live…’   Rita has changed herself to be accepted, she has shifts her identity from a wife, a mother, and a hairdresser to an Open University student. She is so keen and eager to learn and to be educated, because she believes it can assist her to discover herself, to belong to where she wants to belong, and gives her a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Scott Hastings, the main actor in Baz Luhrmann’s movie – Strictly Ballroom, has been doing ballroom dancing under strict regulated rules since he was a kid. In the movie, all the dancers follow the ballroom dancing rules except Scott. Sometimes, we are forced to...