Home is much more than the place where one lives permanently; it is a special and emotional place filled with love and memories. It is a place where people go for comfort and to rest their body and mind. It is where their most personal belongings are kept and a place they feel accepted by the people that live there.

Many people have trouble answering the question, “what is home?” They usually define it as the physical place they live or the house they dwell in. However, for most people, this is only a small part of what home really means. A more correct and complete definition of home is the feeling that comes when you are with the people who make up your family and their close friends. It is the place where you can be yourself and not worry about judgment from others.

Besides its being a feeling, home is also a safe haven from the strange and dangerous outside world. This is why so many people try to create a sense of security in their homes by restricting access. This, in turn, can lead to feelings of being walled in and a loss of freedom.

In some cultures, such as that of the Tiv of Nigeria, home is a sacred symbol of wholeness. It functions as a sort of mandala, containing within itself all opposites. Spatially, it represents the kin and domestic group and is governed by genealogical laws that govern hut location and compound arrangement (Owen and Hayward 1984).

The spiritual dimension of home may involve prayer, meditation, recitation of religious texts, or other ritual activities. Generally, such practices are intended to invoke protection and blessings. The cult of the household gods and spirits, for example, involves rekindling the sacred hearth fire every morning. This fire is a symbol of the home, and all domestic rituals are performed around it (Peters 1986).

A sense of belonging is another important aspect of home. The feeling of being at home is generated in part by social identity, which refers to the knowledge that one belongs to a particular group and the emotions associated with it. The feeling of belonging to a group is reinforced by the act of orientation toward a home, which in turn leads to the cognitive representation of the idea of home (Tajfel 1981).

In many cases, a person may have more than one home. It may be a specific dwelling, a place in a town or region where he was born or grew up, or even a country on this planet or elsewhere in the universe. Typically, he can easily recognize these different homes, as he has a firm and stable memory of their familiar qualities. This stability is the basis of the concept of home, and it is why so many people are attached to such a strong emotional bond with their place of origin. The idea of home is thus a complex, multidimensional concept that includes the physical, temporal, and affective dimensions of dwelling (Douglas 1984). It is a concept that helps individuals differentiate between a temporary abode and a permanent one.