Okay, as my first tweet states, my entire childhood I lived my life thinking that being Guyanese was like being a part of this super exclusive club that no one else was really interested in being a part of. It is probably super important to note that where I grew up as the epitome of "predominantly white society" where being exotic was being Filipino. If you weren't Irish or Italian, you were an honorary member of one of those groups (honorary Italian, whoot!). Moving on, coming from a Caribbean country that couldn't be visited by a Disney cruise or didn't have a strong tourist lure was literally meaningless to my peers. Plus, slap on the fact that I have this super long Dutch last name that I don't even know what it means (not even joking, to this day... still don't know) and I was living the misunderstood child struggle.
|Pholourie (nom nom nom)|
So now that I have either made you hungry or question my size, either way you are thinking about "Why wouldn't people want to love this culture?" Okay, well first when you say you are from Guyana, the first reaction is "Oh is that in Africa?" So, I know geography is a dying subject but GHANA is a pretty well known African country. GUYANA should have an sensible person thinking about accents and questioning my sanity. People, don't show your ignorance and just say "I don't know where that is." I will probably respect you a little bit more. Okay, once we are past the initial not knowing where it is, I often talk about my experiences going there and the classic responses are:
- "Oh, you guys have electricity?"
- "You guys have cable television?"
- "Wait you guys have smartphones, wow!"
and my personal favourite comes from when I was a middle school and I had just come back from a long hot summer in Guyana. I was telling a classmate about it and she was like "Wait, what? Wow, no offense, but I thought people down there lived in huts."
Even though that moment happened in fifth grade or something, I have found a place with God. No, but seriously, if I had not found my place in God, I would be a criminal by now. Moving on. Nowadays, if people I know say they don't know where Guyana is, I raise an eyebrow and move on, because I don't know if I wanna talk to college students with geographical deficiencies beyond not knowing all of those random countries in Eastern Europe.
But let me talk about my college. Seton Hall University, thank you for introducing me to the refreshing multiculturalism that is your student body. I have met other West Indian people and even other Guyanese people who understand me and my struggle is currently only temporary when I come home. I no longer attend a school where I have to be adopted into another culture to be even remotely understood. Being in the magical secret club called being guyanese, is still pretty exclusive but at least now, people are in with me... and I know there are people who want to be in it.