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When I was in first grade there was a poster in my classroom of children of the world in cultural dress. For some reason, the children from Thailand had very long fingers. For years I believed that they were born that way.
When I was a kid, I used to think that all animals reflected their owner's nationality. For instance, I am Portuguese so I thought my dog was Portuguese and my cat and my parakeet were all Portuguese. I believed the butcher's dog was Greek; the Pizza Parlor guy's dog was Italian and my best friend's dog was Polish. My father used to curse the parakeet in Portuguese every time it got out of its cage and "pooped" on the curtain so that only confirmed to me that the bird was Portuguese. Just a dumb Portigee Kid.
i used to think that the japanese were so cool with their fans all the time til a friend told me that they(the women) only did that becos back in those days they didnt have toothpaste so they had gross breath and the fans were there to cover their mouths and the smell and hide their yellow (unbrushed) teeth ;)
I used to believe that every person in the United States was left handed.
i used to believe that the reason why the chinese put their baby girls up for adoption because her parents didn't want to pay for her wedding.
I believed that Spanish people were cats.
Oh yes, it made perfect sense at the time.
One day, my dad invited one of his work friends (who was spanish) round to our house. The man had brought his cat. When the man came into the room where I was, his cat was standing next to him, so when my father said, "Look, this is my friend Manuel, he's spanish!" and pointed towards the man and his cat, I thought dad was gesturing towards the cat.
A year later, I started to learn spanish. Each day I would find a cat and try to speak to them in their own language: Spanish
I still have had no success communicating with the spaniards.
Chinese, French, German, English, Clownisian.
When I was 4, these were some of the world's nationalities. Chinese people in China, French people in France and Clowns in Clownisia. This was obviously the truth at the time.
When I was younger I use to think the term "Caucasian" was a term used to refer to Mexicans with a lighter/whiter complexion. It wasn't until I was around 8 years old I understood what it meant. Mind you I grew up in a community of mainly whites and hispanics. Talk about some really confusing conversations.
When I was young, I believed that because my mother was born in New Mexico, that I was part Mexican.
I was 7 or 8 years old when my parents told me we were moving to England and I was convinced that London would be a small village with fluffy, warm dry snow all over it. I was very disappointed when I saw my first London snow storm (a whole 3 mm of cold wet grubby ice. Yuck!)
I also learnt about other kids' beliefs. I went to a school in Slough, where a pretty decent number of nationalities were represented and yet when I told them I was from South Africa, the response was: "but you can't be African! You're not black!"
Other favourites were:
"Did you have TVs?"
"Did you live in a mud hut?"
"Do lions wander all round the streets?"
I used to believe that there were only two countries in the world, England and France. Everything in France was the opposite to how it was in England, so a frown meant they were smiling, and when they cried it meant they were laughing!
I used to beleive that there was someone just like me, in some far off place like CHINA or somewhere, and they looked the same, and had the same name, and did exactly the same stuff as me, at the same time. I thought that one day I would go to far off China and meet myself.
When I was in first or second grade, I asked a dusky-skinned girl what nationality she was. She told me she was Indian, and I told her something along the lines of that she couldn't be because Indians wore their hair in braids and she didn't. It wasn't until years later that I realized she meant Indians from India rather than Native Americans (who in old pictures most always have their hair braided). However, for years after that, she often, if not always, wore her hair braided, and I wonder now if she took my words to heart.
I used to believe that you can tell the Chinese from the Japanese by the way their eyes slant. Eyes of the Chinese slant downwards and eyes of the Japanese slant upwards.
At a younger age, everytime I heard the word "Palestinians" on TV or what not, I always thought they were saying "Palace Indians".
I remember my mom explaining languages to me while in a mall after hearing someone speak spanish. For some reason after that I always associated the Japanese with suits from the mall and thought you could tell someone was Japanese if they were wearing a suit.
when i was in kindergarten, we used to have this racial appreciation thing where every week we would celebrate and learn about a new race/culture through each other. so it was going to be my turn soon to share my race and culture, and i asked my dad what i was. he said i was scottish cuz he's weird. but really, i'm 100% chinese. yeah so i told my class that i was chinese...but scottish at the same time. so for the longest time (i think up until 4th grade), i believed i was scottish somehow.
i just talked to my brother, and my brother said that he believed he was part hawaiian for a while too. man. my dad sucks.
I used to believe that immigrants to a new country would eventually grow to look like the typical inhabitants of the country that they make their new home. For example, I thought that Chinese immigrants to the United States would eventually grow to look like "typical Americans" and no longer "look Chinese" after a sufficient period of living in the United States. That sufficient period, I envisioned, would be a few years or so.
My ethnic heritage became important to me when I was in second grade. My parents told me that I was "...mostly Scottish and French." I asked my mother what I was LEAST and she replied, "Chinese."
Quite truly, the next day at show and tell I announced to the class that I was a very small bit Chinese.
i used to believe that i am american.
i am japanese .