Your Perceptions Could be Wrong

With only a few days left of winter break, I decided to call one of my new coworkers and invite her to lunch.  It is amazing to me how ignorant we show ourselves to be before we get to know people.  Let me first give you some background: I think that many Indian women are beautiful, have long dark hair, brown coffee skin, and of medium build.  There are many natives from India here in Qatar but the ones I’ve noticed, bobble their heads when speaking, have a recognizable body odor, and are mostly low income.  This was my impression until I met Omaimah.  Omaimah is from the northern part of India and when I first met her, Indian did not come to mind.  When she told me she was from India and I responded with, “Really, I would have never suspected”, she said, “Why, is it because I don’t bobble my head?”  I was so embarrassed, as I should have been.  Which leaves me to question: How often do we judge people or a group of  people before we get to know them?


This is Omaimah, fair skinned, big eyes, long dark hair (got that right), smells nice, does not bobble her head, is pretty well off and a teacher from India.  She’s beautiful and thoughtful and she has taught me, and she doesn’t even know it, not to judge a group of people before I get to know at least one of them.  Everyone from one country do not all fit in the same box.  I want to apologize to the universe and say thank you Omaimah.

Has something similar ever happened to you?

Read my next post to find out how lunch went, with a real Indian, at a real Indian restaurant…

Author: phillygirl77

I've lived my whole life in Philadelphia. Daughter of a teacher, I later became one myself. When I heard about teaching overseas, I jumped feet first. Finally told yes, my two boys and I prepared for our new life abroad. Join us on our journey in Qatar!

2 thoughts on “Your Perceptions Could be Wrong”

  1. Sis you are too funny, but so right lol It’s funny that two men from different nationalities have given me pause at judging different cultures/race as one lump group. Brian which we fondly called Roger was the first man. For a long time I didn’t realize that he was Jamaican while my best girl friend dated him in school. It wasn’t till they were going to be married that I realized he was a native Jamaican. He had learned to use the american accent as his way of speaking unless he was around his family. I never once saw him as the way too aggressive, ridiculous man I previously thought all Jamaican men were. Although, spending plenty of time in Jamaica I realized I was correct in my view of many of the men but I did learn not to generalize them, they clearly weren’t all the same:0) Then there is my favorite..Jeremiah, my daughter’s Hispanic love:0) I was awakened one day, hearing a hispanic man beat the crap out of his girlfriend in front of my aunt’s house in North Philly after which he proceeded to expect lovin from her as if he had not just badly hurt her. It was then, I decided I would never deal with spanish men because they were all way too violent and disgusting. Well, my daughter introduced me to the one spanish man that would totally correct my view on considering all in one race are the same. Jeremiah has made a place in my heart with his love, kindness, gentle spirit and humbleness that will continue to happily remind me that all members of a race are not the same;0) Thank Goodness that we have the capacity to learn from others.

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