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Why anyone would think I'm from Poland? Ethnic iD, and perception.


papagarth 3 | 20
11 Mar 2010 #1
I am a mixture of ethnicities and nationalities, and so have been mistaken for being one or another, from German (part, but not much ) and Irish to Mexican amd Argentinian - the last on the way I speak Spanish, more than my looks. But the most puzzling was being asked if I was Polish - I assumed as an immigrant - because I'd henna'ed my hair and beard, wearing a 'Greek' sea cap, Turtleneck shirt, gold plait chain with a copper-inamled piece I'd made - this was in the early 80-s, when Poland was cracking down on just about everything.

I've since wondered why anyone would think I was from Poland, under such circumstances ?
1jola 14 | 1,879
11 Mar 2010 #2
Although there are Polish Gypsies, I don't think you qualify.
OP papagarth 3 | 20
12 Mar 2010 #3
Gee, Gypsy's one thing I've not been mistaken for - nor had I heard of redheaded Gypsies :)
* I did assume everyone knew what henna does to hair, besides smell !
Allison
12 Mar 2010 #4
* I did assume everyone knew what henna does to hair, besides smell !

Gross!
plk123 8 | 4,149
12 Mar 2010 #5
henna isn't really read unless you are color blind.
Darun 1 | 55
12 Mar 2010 #6
nor had I heard of redheaded Gypsies :)

Some gypsies do color their hair and put some eye lentils, but this doesn't make them less gypsies. There are other aspects they are recognised by. Thus having red hair and blue eyes for example, doesn't prevent anyone from mistaking someone for a gypsy if he's a bit "tanned".

What you have passed for, depends on the people you come in contact and their experiences with other nationalities.
I usually pass for a Russian though I am very far from it.
Allison
12 Mar 2010 #7
I usually pass for a Russian though I am very far from it.

Lol Ridiculous. I don't have a drop of Russian blood and some guy mistook me for looking Russian.
Darun 1 | 55
12 Mar 2010 #8
That was my point exactly. When you're mistaken for something that you are clearly not, it all comes down to the experiences the person doing the mistaken part, has had in time. It's as subjective as it can be.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
12 Mar 2010 #9
I was once travelling from Bugaria to Macedonia on a bus, withan American friend. At the border a guard came on and spoke to the driver. My friend laughed, "The guard just asked if all the passengers were Macedonian and Bulgarian. The driver said, 'No, I've got an American and a Finn as well."

Seems I was the Finn-for-the-day.
OP papagarth 3 | 20
13 Mar 2010 #10
Tevek, that is part of why I posted : such mistakes can be funny; I think the person actually asked if were from Poland - I was about 19, so hardly likely to have been permitted to just up and go to Berkeley - maybe she thought I was a student - but I wasn't dressed like the average European student I'd seen around that time - the turtle neck was my father's originally, and not even in style - sort of a pseudo faux late beatnik bit; Darun, I'd never heard of redheaded Gypsies, even black haired ones are uncommon here, I didn't say they don't exist - more to the point, I never assumed my style of dress at the time was anything like that used by local Gypsies, or any photos I'd seen of Gypsies in any reputable book or magazine. I'm easily tanned, in forearms and face, and haven't completely faded since 1980 - but, except when I was on certain medications, have never been that [emphasised] tanned ; there is someone who thinks I'd fit in in another part of the world where Indo-Iranian people do use henna regularly, but then he thought an Afghan woman had a 'typical Jewish nose ' - so, I discard his judgement. - this also goes to show that physical types cover a lot of ground, so to speak - I might add, I once knew three Hungarians and each was different - so you never can tell !
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
30 Jun 2012 #11
I am a mixture of ethnicities and nationalities

Are you a Polish Jew? My granddad is a Polish Jew, and he still tries to pass as a ethnic Polish Lithuanian.
Ironside 50 | 11,048
30 Jun 2012 #12
Well, maybe because he is a ethic Polish Lithuanian (whatever that means).
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
30 Jun 2012 #13
He is not. He's a Jew with one Slavic granddad.
Ironside 50 | 11,048
30 Jun 2012 #14
Don't you think that he knows better ?
By the way Lithuanian are not Slavic !
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
30 Jun 2012 #15
I was referring to his Slovakian granddad. And yes,he knows better: that's why I'm not lying like he does.
Ironside 50 | 11,048
30 Jun 2012 #16
Why would he be lying ?
Ironside 50 | 11,048
30 Jun 2012 #18
That would be a question not an answer !
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
30 Jun 2012 #19
I'm asking you why I would be lying. What makes you think that I'm the liar?
Ironside 50 | 11,048
30 Jun 2012 #20
No, my question is - why would your grandfather lie about that ?
Ironside 50 | 11,048
1 Jul 2012 #22
Do you want to change this discussion into a childish game ?
Why would he lie ? Do you have any reason not to believe you own grandfather ?
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
1 Jul 2012 #23
I have several. Where would you like me to begin?
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
1 Jul 2012 #25
- He's lied in the past.
- He murdered his mother.
- He's hiding from a relative that he or she was adopted into the family under less-than-savory circumstances.

Shall I continue?


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