This research explores connections or “bonds” amongst human beings beyond various boundaries. It seeks “trans-border humanity” in the midst of differences, conflicts, transformation, and proposes new visions for the future of a changing world. In search of trans-border humanity, I examine cases of music that has travelled with migrating peoples around Northeast Asia, and beyond. As a shared human activity, music often appeals to peoples with different ethnicities living in different places. The case studies of travelling music exemplify shared sentiments, memories, and human sensibilities that illustrate chains of humanity beyond historical, cultural and geopolitical distances. Trans-border humanity identifies human beings in diversity and multiplicity rather than in a single attribute, such as nationality and ethnicity, and proposes alternative views for places and peoples that preserve expanding networks over imagined barriers.
Current issues in international politics often highlight the “differences” or “contradictions” in asserting national legitimacy and benefit. However, through this research, I argue that we certainly share a common humanity amongst apparent differences. It is extremely important to assert trans-border humanity that exists beyond various boundaries of nation, ethnicity, religion, and other imagined barriers. By realising and respecting trans-border humanity, we can enable constructive “conversations” for mutuality and global cooperation rather than pursue “negotiations” primarily for one’s own benefit. I believe that this research on trans-border humanity will inform a new and innovative location of knowledge that guides us to the future of shifting world in globalisation.