art · books and reading · culture/multiculturalism · Hispanics/Latinos · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism

Friends of Other Races?

This month’s issue of Glamour magazine poses an interesting question: “Do you have friends of other races?” And then, more poignantly, do you have CLOSE friends of other races?

I don’t want to offend my white friends. But I might. Here me out, though.

I have always been someone who has had friends of other races. Close friends, in fact. Growing up, my group of friends resembled a meeting of the United Nations. Among the countries represented were (of course) the Dominican Republic, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Pero, China and Korea, etc. And this was all before I began attending a downtown arts high school where my population of friends grew exponentially more diverse.

But ever since entering the Jewish community, I’ve found myself craving more friends of color. Seriously almost slobbering from the craving. Craving, especially, friends with Dominican cooking skills. I am experiencing, for instance, a significant drought in Hispanic friends. But I’m working on it. I did attend my second ever Jewish Dominican wedding last week.

I think that having friends from different races (and different classes) has always been an eye-opening experience. Not that I’ve ever really been sheltered but I loved learning about different cultures firsthand: learning that my Bengali friends ate with their hands at home, trying my Chinese friend’s latest treats from Chinatown and learning all about Judaism from Jewish friends, which put me in my current predicament, of course.

Living in an Orthodox Jewish community and not being exposed to much else, I find myself feeling increasingly sheltered from people of other races and cultures.

No, I don’t have any REALLY CLOSE friends of other races and honestly, I don’t like it.

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