Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An awkward conversation

A friend and I were chatting to a woman at a party recently. The woman, noticing my friend's sari, asked her where she was from. I thought it was a reasonable question but my friend was shocked by the question. Eventually, after a period of silence, she told the woman that she was Australian. Trying to smooth out the awkwardness, I added "she's from Western Australia."

4 comments:

Andrew said...

I think it has now gotten to the point where it is impolite to ask that question. It usually comes out at some point anyway, without asking. Even twenty years ago a workmate who was a second generation Australian but with dark skin, would get exasperated at the question. She always replied, Queensland, which was true.

Victor said...

I hope this is not treading on your toes Ad Rad but asking that question is a bit like someone assuming you could not be an Australian citizen purely from your looks.

I used to get that a bit in my younger days.

Adaptive Radiation said...

I agree. I get asked the same question from time to time but it doesn't bother me as much anymore. It takes 5 secs to tell someone my cultural background and the fact that I grew up in Canberra.

Mann said...

Whenever somebody starts speaking something at me in a foreign tongue I always look at them with a mortified look.

They then apologise. It's ok, I'm glad they assumed that I was lingual. I just froze because I heard the word 'clogs.'