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If you're of an ethnic minority, how do you react to someone saying this Watch

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    (Original post by effofex)
    You aren't from Sri Lanka. Maybe most of your nuclear family is, but you aren't.
    Well, I'm not English and basically they want to know where I'm originally from.
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    This happens all the time. I get asked this all the time by people of all races, no biggy.
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    (Original post by lukejoshjedi)
    As in someone not of ethnic minority, you've met, you're getting along and you start talking about personal things - your family, past schools, where you're from etc

    "So where are you from"

    You answer casually, seeing as you were born in the UK, nothing weird

    "No, but where are you from"

    You may think that's like straight from a comedy skit and it never actually happens but it does, anyway if you're asked that and you're from an ethnic minority, how do you / would you react?

    Anyone got real and funny experiences of a conversation like that they want to share?
    No, usually when someone's asking me where I'm 'from' I know they're referring to either one or the other, so I ask them which one they mean.
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    (Original post by bluebell100)
    Well, I'm not English and basically they want to know where I'm originally from.
    But you aren't 'originally' from there. By that logic I could be 'originally Persian' given that my paternal ancestors migrated across that part of the globe c. 2400 years ago.

    Surely this is like an American born person saying that he/she is 'originally German', rather than saying he/she is Amercan.

    You may be ethnically Sinhalese/Tamil/Moorish (or a mixture) but you are not 'from' Sri Lanka since you were not born there.

    So if people ask your ethnic group(s)/ancestry then you say your ethnic group(s); if people ask where your family are from then you say where they were born (could be quite alot of places if there's a diaspora); if people ask where you are from then you say where you were born.

    Since you are born in the UK and presumably hold UK citizenship, this means you are from the UK. Your ethnicity doesn't come into that question.
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    This is just a problem with the English language. There are normally many different words with a similar meaning which can be used in combination to portray the exact message you intend. But in this case I think it is different. Where do you come from is actually quite a vague question, with many possible answers; "my mother", "the UK", "Manchester", "Europe", "Poland". There should be distinct ways of asking the question so you get the answer you are looking for only, such as "Where do you live" and "Where do you originate from?" I think "where do you come from" is asked to foreigners means what is your country of heritage, but if asked to locals it means like what city etc, which can obviously cause confusion and offence to people of different heritages who see themselves as "English".
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    I know what you mean but I wouldn't really get offended
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    i react by telling them where i am originally from. i am obviously not native to england.

    i dont understand why some people get uptight over it though, its kind of stupid. i asked this question to my friend where she was from because she had a foreign name and was very dark. and she was like 'im english'. and then i was like 'oh, but what about originally?' and then again she said she is english, and actually specifically said she was 'ethnically' english too. then some other guy was like 'ok what about your parents?', and so she was like 'my dad is from jamaica and my mum is from sri lanka'

    i just thought wtf. i mean we are friends, im just asking a simple and offenceless question, and she knows what i am asking so why does she try to dodge the question? im just curious, if you are dark brown and have a foreign name, like obviously someone is bound to ask out of curiousity where you are from, especially if they are your friend! and she must be dumb to think she is 'ethnically' english too.
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    (Original post by effofex)
    But you aren't 'originally' from there. By that logic I could be 'originally Persian' given that my paternal ancestors migrated across that part of the globe c. 2400 years ago.

    Surely this is like an American born person saying that he/she is 'originally German', rather than saying he/she is Amercan.

    You may be ethnically Sinhalese/Tamil/Moorish (or a mixture) but you are not 'from' Sri Lanka since you were not born there.

    So if people ask your ethnic group(s)/ancestry then you say your ethnic group(s); if people ask where your family are from then you say where they were born (could be quite alot of places if there's a diaspora); if people ask where you are from then you say where you were born.

    Since you are born in the UK and presumably hold UK citizenship, this means you are from the UK. Your ethnicity doesn't come into that question.
    umm its different if your family has only been recently in a country compared to your family living in a country for hundreds of years and fully assimilated. and btw, a lot of americans still do say they are 'originally german', and in new york many people still identify themselves as irish, and ESPECIALLY ITALIAN.

    im from jerusalem in palestine but i am still armenian. that is the culture i was raised in and that is the language i speak. im not gonna go into a sissy fit if someone asks me where im from though
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    Nope, I can't see why anyone would be offended because of that unless that person who asked you said it in 'who do you think you are? English?' tone.
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    It's not racial abuse at all. White people get so touchy about it and don't bother asking, whereas freshies are surprised at how British I am
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    (Original post by >Anna<)
    I don't get offended by things like that really. You just tell them your ethnic background and they either say something like 'Oh, cool' (they probably have no idea about Armenia) or they have more questions. It's mostly just curiosity. The way it's said can affect how it should be taken though.
    I know where is Armenia.
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    Im from NI, as im sure most people know there are two communities that often self segregate but because everyones white a few people like to ask certain questions to find out your background very often this is subconcious.When I meet new people sometimes the first question people, due to may age, who dont know me ask is "what school do you go to?" rather than the logical where are you from because our education system is largely divided along religous grounds. People will ask you this even if they live at the other end of NI and there is a 99% chance they wont have heard of it because often catholic schools have "saint" in the title and this is used to differentiate. Both communities ask this question and in a situation where im sure someone is probing into my background before I know them I polietly say "im from xxxx town its near xxxx" because to someone i just met my religion shouldnt matter. They realise they have been probing and blush and i find it quite funny.

    I think this is similar to ethnic situations, but if im visiting realatives in the UK and their friends ask me my background (and its happened alot) Im certaintly not indignant because in this situation people are just curious.

    It just shows that every situation where a probing question is asked that can be percieved as rude, the context and tone has to be considered as most times its just a simple polite question.
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    (Original post by Gemma :)!)
    This. People get curious, but because of "PCness" they don't feel as though they can ask outright, so just hint at it, which may make them seem a little dim.. but they're probably not.
    this
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    (Original post by lukejoshjedi)
    As in someone not of ethnic minority, you've met, you're getting along and you start talking about personal things - your family, past schools, where you're from etc

    "So where are you from"

    You answer casually, seeing as you were born in the UK, nothing weird

    "No, but where are you from"

    You may think that's like straight from a comedy skit and it never actually happens but it does, anyway if you're asked that and you're from an ethnic minority, how do you / would you react?

    Anyone got real and funny experiences of a conversation like that they want to share?
    I've had this many a time. I just say "The UK. Like I just said. Are you deaf?"
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    I don't really get asked that but I wouldn't be offended or anything. Plus it's pretty obvious I've got Pakistani heritage..
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    (Original post by SirRamAlot)
    I wouldn't be offended, I'd just say &quot;you mean my ethnic origin right?&quot; or something along the lines of that and then answer.
    This
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    Meh, I wouldn't care. I'd just say I'm a rare breed. :sexface:
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    I get asked that all the time - esp by international students. Don't get that offended by it because more people prob want to know, just a bit scared to asked. Although was told that my name sounds too white for me to be of west indian Descendant. That was a bit of an offensive thing to say.
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    (Original post by yousif92)
    Yeah just tell them straight. Despite what ethnics may think, 99% of "white" people are not racist but simply curious...
    This.
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    I'd say I'm from Iraq if that's what you mean.
 
 
 
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