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.