Many people comment that they don’t think of me as a “white girl”. Maybe it’s because I listen more than I speak, or that I’m more collectivist and caring then most ‘Americans’ are. Maybe it’s because I’ve picked up cultural habits from my environment at a young age. I started thinking about this more in-depth recently, and have come to a few conclusions regarding why:
1. I have grown up with multicultural friends all my life which, in turn, has led to my social circle containing very few white Americans
While a child, some of my best friends were Jewish, Pakistani, African American, Indian, Asian, and Spanish. In middle school we moved out to the boonies where most of my classmates were white, a running joke being that all of the black people were related (and, from my knowledge, not in a racist sense. They really were). Needless to say, I felt a bit out of place at first.
I soon met my best friend, who is Iranian, and I was soon at every Persian event in the Washington, DC area. Before I knew it, I was dancing at Sizdeh Bedar and Chahr-Shanbeh Souri, eating kabobs and tahdig at family dinners and hanging out at local hookah bars on the norm. I undoubtedly picked up values that overlapped with mine from this immersion, including respecting elders, the concept of time being fluid, dancing no matter your age, and many customs and language terms I hadn’t thought of before, such as the various views on the “Americanized” Persians and views/stereotypes of other cultures. Continue reading