Monday, August 08, 2016

Where Do You Think You're From?

Where are you from, exactly? Or your ancestors, rather. Most people will assume that they are practically 100% Norwegian, Rwandan or Czech. Likelihood is that you are wrong. As I just discovered.

Travel portal Momondo recently launched their "DNA Journey", where they challenge travellers to use scientific ways to discover their trur ancestry. That means taking a DNA test, simply spitting in a plastic tube and having the saliva analyzed.

Where do you think you're from?
I agreed to go for it, assuming that I'd be pretty close to 100 % Norwegian, perhaps with a few percentages of European blood following pillage and plunder, rapes and kidnappings of a viking past I am likely to have.

But what do you know. My ancestors seem to have been rather active in such despicable activities. It turns out that I am "only" 74 % Norwegian, or Scandinavian. That leaves a fair amount of "foreign" blood. 22 % of that turns out to be Irish, coincidentally where the Vikings spent a lot of their time, something which seems to support the viking theory. Add another 3 % of British blood, and the theory is only strenthened (they also spent considerable time in Britain). That leaves a mere percentage point, which seems to be split between the rather big area of "Western Europe" (so I might be a tiny bit Swiss, Dutch or even Italian or Spanish) and Russia which adds a tiny bit of Russian, Finnish or Lappish.

My results, which are not necessarily 100 % accurate, can be seen in full on the Ancestry website.

So I guess I am not quite the Norwegian that I thought I was. Or maybe that is exactly what I am. Hardly no one in the world is a hundre percent this or that. Racists ought to think twice before spreading their propaganda too loudly.

Let's Open Our World, as Momondo puts it.

Do note that your DNA can be used for a lot more than determining where you are from. It can for instance be used to relatively accurately determine what diseases I am likely to get, and to even die from. That is info any life insurance company would pay a lot to get their hands on. Ancestry, the company Momondo has teamed up with, guarantees that the DNA will only be used for ancestry purposes. In terms and conditions we trust.