one interesting CULP exchange relayed by my son

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by educateme, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. educateme

    educateme Member

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    My son had a CULP trip to South Asia.

    This is something he shared with me.

    One of the local military officers told my son "You don't look like an American!"

    My son is bi-racial: half Far East Asian and half Caucasian. He could pass as a light skinned Hispanic, a light colored Sephardi Israeli (Israeli with middle eastern origin), a European with a Latin origin (Mediterranean), etc -- a multi purpose diversity candidate :)

    In many part of the world, they still think of Americans as Caucasian. Furthermore, in this country where my son was a CULP participant, there is such a premium for a light skin color even men were using bleaching cream for the face. My son said there is a real status difference along the skin color line

    My son's answer to this observation by the local officer: well, in USA I look just as much American as anyone. That's the beauty of my country. In fact, if you were part of the US Army, you would look just as American as anyone else, and will be respected as such.

    I was very proud of his answer. I think he made USA look good!
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    A nice story, though sadly I don't know that the respect for one another quite crosses the color boundaries as fluidly as he described. Not yet, anyhow.

    Speaking on behalf of my Jewish wife, I have to point out that Sephardi Jews are actually a line of Jews who hail from the Iberian peninsula, and do not have middle eastern origins. The word "sephardi" is actually derived from the Hebrew word for Spain. Many did settle among arabic-speaking Jewish communities in the latter centuries (mostly in North Africa and some in the Middle East), but their bloodline is a mix of Spanish and Portugese Jews.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    perhaps you are both correct. From wikipedia:

    A Sephardi Jew is a Jew descended from or mixed with people of, modern Spain and Portugal before their expulsion in the late 15th century. This includes both the descendants of Jews expelled from Spain under the Alhambra decree of 1492, or from Portugal by order of King Manuel I in 1497, and the descendants of crypto-Jews who left the Peninsula in later centuries to North Africa, Asia Minor, the Philippines and elsewhere around the world, and the descendants of crypto-Jews who remained in Iberia. In modern times, the term has also been applied to Jews who may not have been born Sephardi (or even Jewish) but attend Sephardic synagogues and practice Sephardic traditions.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    educateme; during the mid 80's I worked in ecudor. Part of my job was in the big city and the rest was in the Amazon. While I look like the stereotype of an "American", I was working/visiting places where they had never seen a Caucasian before. Some some them on some limited television that was in some places, but many had simply met a "White Guy". 2 of the guys I went with were hispanic and black. Neither was different or unique to the people we were working with down there. I definitely stood out. Whether it was in a small village or in the big towns/cities at the local grocery store. When I walked in, everyone stopped and stared. And it wasn't a language barrier. I speak spanish.

    In the same breath, most people think of Africa as being dark skin. Yet, going to the country of South Africa and seeing the many white people can make you realize that stereotypes can be very misleading.
     
  5. educateme

    educateme Member

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    scoutpilot,

    my husband is an ex-IDF (Israeli Defence Force) pilot with an Ashekenazi (European) origin. We have been to Israel multiple times by now (2 out of three years on the average)

    Among the contemporary Israelis, a "Sephardi" is considered a Jew from the likes of Iraq, Iran, and other Middle Eastern region and Northern Africa.

    May not be strictly correct based on the original meaning of the word, but the contemporary use of the word is for the Jews with an middle eastern origin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yes, there was a large diaspora of sephards in the Middle East, though the important distinction is that they come from there in modern times, but they do not have middle eastern "origin" (i.e. they are neither Arabs, Turks, nor Persians, but descended from Spanish and Portugese blood)

    My wife is Ashkenazi though many of her colleagues, surprisingly, are Sephardi. Sort of rare, especially in the South.
     

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