Sunday, July 02, 2006

Surrounded by Saris

Or burkas. Or maybe both. Probably both. And turbans. And possibly something else entirely.

For a girl that grew up in what I considered a very muli-racial town I find myself in unfamiliar surroundings. A fact I've just recently had driven home, while driving, um, home. (That was really bad and not intended.) I am surrounded by women (and men) garbed quite un-American.
Yes, I know that America is the melting pot, but you know what I mean. I wonder if "sinner" runs through their minds while I skitter past in my denim shorts (which incidentally cover my rear, a rare feat these days).

Everywhere I turn there is another woman wrapped up in silk from head to toe in this nasty almost 100 degree (plus humidity) weather. I've almost discerned the reason.

I live within walking distance from both a Hindu Temple and a Sikh (Temple?). (Haven't seen any Islam meeting houses, but maybe I just haven't been down the right street because I guarantee I've seen burkas.) Of course I moved into this neighborhood because it was walking distance from MY church, so I totally get it. Especially since I always see them walking, walking, walking, and occasionally on a bike. Never driving (though surely they do).

I don't say this to complain. I like diversity. Especially since my family itself is diverse. I just suddenly feel like I did back in middle school when, in a moment of wondering, I counted the white faces in my year book and proved to myself I really was the minority, it didn't just feel like it. But back then I was surrounded by Vietnamese, and Mexican, and South American, and Indian and Chinese, and Korean. And they dressed, for the most part, like I did and we tried to communicate. Hence, melting.

I'm not getting that now. I'm getting blank stares, or not a glance. Silence for a "hello."

I'm not feeling any melting going on. And the weather is prime for it.

What's going on? Is it me? Or did we quit melting? Someone give me some hope here. How can we keep America great if a lot of what it is known for is becoming extinct?

1 comment:

kpjara said...

It really is sobering how we continue to come together...closer and closer, only to segregate and beg for "our own space".

I wish I knew the answer...the only thing I know is do what Jesus em' where they are!