What is my Ethnicity?!?
The year was…let us just say the mid-90s. It was one of those days when there were not that many customers at the bank, especially no one came to open accounts that day. Or so I thought.
When it is almost closing time a couple walked in and came to my desk. I greeted them and found out they wanted to open an account. They look so typical of what people would think ‘white people’ were like in the 70s and 80s. They reminded me of the lady who asked me if I went to school on an elephant or a Camel!
They both had constant smiles on their faces. Because of that, I had to show a smile constantly too. (Oh Boy! that hurt L… ) After they left I kept wiggling my cheeks.
During the conversations, the lady asked me, “What is your ethnicity…if you don’t mind?”…With that same unending smile. I said, “I am Indian”. She immediately said, “Oh, that is what I thought, I know a little bit about your ethnicity, I learned it in school”.
As soon as I heard that, all kinds of thoughts kept creeping up in my mind. Here is my thought process before she asked her next question.
[ I wonder what she learned about India! Other than camels and elephants! Or
Maybe cows and why we consider them ‘holy’!
Maybe why we have so many gods in Hinduism…a little over 300 million of them and still it is called monotheistic?
Why we bobble our head as a “No” when a response is ‘YES’ … ]
Alright… already, So the next question she asked was, “What tribe are you from, Chumash?”
Does India have tribes like Native American Indians? I know they still have castes and I think you mentioned they could have been mixed with various nationalities from ancient times..I could be wrong
It is getting better though. It takes time.
It has to do with the social structure based on the occupation.
For example: Priests, Rulers, Merchants, laborers, etc. Unfortunately, it only became harsh, and strict during the British Rule
I am sure they do. Almost every continent has tribes. Yes we do have castes. However, the caste system did not originate to belittle or look down upon anyone.
...and your response was?
Hmmmm!!!! I had to explain to her that I am actually Irish ☘️!!! LOL 😝