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.

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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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