Monday, October 19, 2009

Isolation

Living in suburbia Utah for the last couple of years, I sometimes forget there's another world out there. For my surprise date with John, I went to a Kosher deli in Salt Lake to pick up some authentic Kosher challah and salami. John doesn't have any Jewish ancestry, but we did go to a Yom Kippur party on our first date and I wanted to keep things similar to the original day. As I walked into the deli there were a couple guys to my right chatting in Yiddish with the store owner. All were wearing Kippah. The glass shelves under the counter displayed various religious articles that I've seen in Schindler's List and read about in The Chosen, but that I've never seen in real life. I suddenly felt very ignorant and a little ashamed as I realized that I didn't know a lot or at least remember a lot about the Jewish religion. In our community we're surrounded by people mostly of the same faith and cultural background as ourselves. While that homogeneity can be comforting at times, I miss the variety of thought and knowledge I grew up with in another state. Armed with my loaf of bread and chilled cold cuts, I marched toward the door vowing in my mind to read more about other religions and cultures. As I turned to say thank you to the men, a poorly garbled "konicihwa, domo arigato" followed by some muffled giggles reached my ears. I did a double take. Sometimes I forget I'm Asian here. I guess the Jewish boys don't get out of their community much either.

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