There are many ways of belonging. We might belong to different social groups like to a family, a circle of friends or be a member of a formal group such as being a Finnish citizen or a student at the Kuokkala Comprehensive School. When we belong to a group, it can say something about our values or interests. We can also become attached to a certain place, such as to Jyväskylä or feel a connection beyond the limitations of language or nationality.
The opposite of belonging is exclusion. To be excluded might be the conscious choice to separate oneself from a group, or it could be the group’s definition which excludes others.
Belonging to a group or place might change or transform. Sometimes belonging might feel so self evident, that we only recognise belonging when our connection is a risk. Then again, sometimes it is hard or impossible to say where we belong.
It is also possible to belong to several groups and/or places at the same time. Perhaps, in the bigger picture, belonging is when a person feels a part of nature, their environment and somehow at one with the universe.