What is my ethnicity?
The year was…let us just say 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 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
May be cows and why we consider them ‘holy’! Or
May be why we have so many gods in Hinduism…a little over 300 million of them and still it is called monotheistic? Or
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?”