Friday, August 17, 2007

Native Dress

In the Guardian, I learned that a Nobel Prize-winning native Mayan advocate was almost kicked out of a Cancun hotel for looking "too local."

While there's a lot to be said about ethnic prejudices in Latin America, this blog is not "Mayabiquitous," and in fact, the article got me to thinking about prejudices regarding clothing in our own community. Are we too quick to prejudge other Jews based on how "observant" their clothing is?

Generally, we're not kicking people out of hotels (in the US, anyway), but I get the feeling a lot of assumptions are made, and I'm not just saying that this is only a problem for the more secular/modern Jews.


Sherbs said...

Haven't you ever played the game "Guess the Jew" in the subway? It's quite fun. You can play with others (serupticously, of course) or by yourself. It's easy: you find someone Jew-y looking and discuss whether he/she is a Yid or not. Cause we all dress and/or look alike. And someone with brown hair, glasses, and pale skin is usually Jewish.

I'm not saying it's right, but it sure is fun!

The Pedant said...

After listening to my father speculate that Avril Lavigne was actually "April Levine" from Long Island, I don't put much stock in guessing who's Jewish anymore.

Also, in Virginia, the proportion of tall, blond Jews to the general population is greater.

Sherbs said...

Yes, but luckily for us, the are a plethora of short, bespeckeled, brown haired Jews in Maryland who take the Metro each and every day. Game on!

Zie said...
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emily2 said...

a coworker of mine and her friend will purposely dress in jeans and a t-shirt to a certain kosher market in a religious part of town and act dumb to get free stuff. apparently, if you can pass yourselves off as wide-eyed clueless jewish persons who appear to be making an attempt to reunite themselves with the flock, the storeowner will be happy to oblige in giving you a discount.

she's actually pretty observant, although she does get some crap by even more observant people for not being strict enough. no matter who you are, people will judge you for one reason or another.