No Heritage

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

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Photo Credit: Thenappan C.

 

Every time you meet someone new there is a process of getting to know the basics which includes boring and unsubstantial small talk.

On my face appears a smile, but  my thoughts are, “Can we just skip to the part where we are already friends?” or “Please let’s speak without you making awkward, unbearable chit chat. I don’t feel like explaining my whole life story.”

But what is annoying, but ultimately entertaining is when we have both reached beyond exchanging names, occupation, etcetera, etcetera, and segway into, “WHERE ARE YOU FROM?”

I’ve had to explain my diverse, and confusing background a numerous amount of times that for my own cynical entertainment (and curiosity) I’ve made it into a guessing game.

I love seeing how wrong people are, but right at the same time. I’m an enigma, and so is everyone like me. A byproduct of mass displacement rooted in the scruples of white supremacists of the 1800’s. An ethnicity birthed upon another land and its bearers leaving it to grasp onto its surroundings, in the process forgetting its home.

I’m basically leading up to the part where I say, “I’m Guyanese”. OOPS! Wait, American-born Guyanese…just because my mom doesn’t want me to forget the American part.

For those of you who don’t know what ‘Guyanese’ is it refers to the people that live in a small country located in Northern South America; bordered by Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. And in fact, is the only ‘English’ (I say ‘English’ because it is actually creole/broken English) speaking country in all of South America. Our people hail from different ancestries and can be considered among many things. I am a first generation Guyanese American whose descendants are from India and that is how I am West Indian, Caribbean. The West Indians that live in Guyana and Trinidad are the progeny of past generations that were tricked by the British and brought to South America to work as indentured servants on sugar cane fields.

West Indians have Jamaican-like accents, have a western influenced lifestyle while keeping Indian traditions, and can be followers of the three majority religions of Guyana (Islam, Christian, and Hindu; philosophies include Buddhism, Confucianism).

Me? I am Muslim and because of that I identify with other cultures…

So where am I going with this? People like me have no heritage. We just are a little bit of everything.

***

I’m rather intrigued by people who like myself whose parents have had different homes and have cultures they are proud of. And! completely enthusiastic about those who have  cultural pride, and are seeking more than what racism tells them they supposedly are. I’m hoping to educate others about the contributions minorities have made in hopes of educating a person or two.

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5 thoughts on “No Heritage

  1. I think it’s really cool that you relate to so many different cultures! That’s the awkward thing about being African American with no connection to Africa. You don’t really have a “heritage.” So I love learning about other people’s.

    • Thanks. But see a lot of people don’t really relate the way I do. Many refuse to acknowledge their ancestry and to them being Guyanese is just being Guyanese. And can you elaborate? Why is it that you have no connection?

      • I could possibly get more information from my grandparents, but on both sides of my family, my parents don’t really know anything about anyone on the family tree born before the 20th century. We know we come from slaves, but not from where in Africa they came. I keep going back and forth on paying for a DNA test on ancestry.com , but even if I do and find out specifics, there’d still be this emotional distance, or so I assume

      • Well I always felt ancestry.com was always catered to people who hailed from white, European backgrounds because many of those old European families actually kept records of their lineages to show their proud nobility and heritage. There are DNA tests you can run I’m sure of it. I’ll send you a link to something you really might find interesting.

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