I Guess I’m not in Jersey anymore….

I am originally from New Jersey, if you didn’t already know. However there is no significance in that fact but in the culture with-in. My entire life has been in an area of diversity both racial and religious. Everyone was generally aware of other cultures, religions, and customs. However I have learned over the weekend that type of social diversity is not always the case in every country. I was volunteering in Extreme Makeover Home Edition in North East Columbus on Friday going into Saturday morning. (Yes I volunteered for about 18 hours). However I met different people from throughout the state as I was there. I should also add that I had Henna on my hand. Now its not a big deal however everyone I talked to that took notice had no idea what henna was. Not exactly the response I was expecting. I could understand people asking me about the design but not what it was, being it is widely used at carnivals and fairs. I was even more surprised that more people asked me if it were part of a tribal ritual, though it may be argued as one at at very different academic setting, I was bewildered. In addition no one had heard of Hinduism. Actually I was the only (excuse my racist grouping) non-white person there. I was also the only non-christian person there. Now that is not something I have a problem with but I was just bewildered at this. Now one situation that really bothered me was a young man, who was extremely outspoken, and to my observation not a worldly person, said the most annoying thing. He had asked me if I had watched Slum-dog Millionaire. Before I could answer he was spitting out “information” form India. He made it a point to say/ask that in India there are no states, they are, according to him, called slums. Even before I could correct him or inform him he went on to another “piece of information.” Finally when I was available to say a word and inform him of his mistake it was almost as if what I had said couldn’t be the truth. I am not going into some of the religious conversations I had with others, however these were much more accepting and light-hearted. I guess our “melting pot” or “stew pot” is still mixing.


One thought on “I Guess I’m not in Jersey anymore….

  1. Your post was quite interesting to say the least but i am not shocked by it because the same thing happened to me at a work confrence in Boston, when not one person knew what Henna was among educated and well traveled people.

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