Territory is one of the things living creatures value the most. Humans have started wars for territorial conquest and dogs pee in front of each other to mark their perimeter. When thinking about territory, borders come to mind, and when thinking about borders we usually think about physical, imaginary, or real line that divides two physical places.
However, this got me thinking about how borders can be more than just physical place, and can transcend to the realm of ideas and culture. A borderland doesn’t have to be just a place where two places meet; in fact it does not have to be that at all. Borderlands can create a tense environment for people living in them because of the clash of cultures that occur in them. It is interesting to think about how territory plays a role in borders, because if people weren’t so concerned with territory, physical borders would not exist, making cultural clashes more difficult to happen.
An example that comes to mind is the US – Mexico border, where Mexicans who cross over to the US live basically in exile because they are not part of the US way of life. Mexicans who cross over the border and live near it have a hard time adjusting their lives to assimilate to US culture, but still honoring and respecting their Mexican identity.