Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Cultural Divide

I am very proud of my Judaism, and very proud of being Orthodox; I think it's part of struggling to make your own choices that when you arrive at your conclusions, they're really important to you. (Which is not to say I've made huge, life-changing decisions...) And because I wear the typical frum girl garb, I always assume that it is balatantly clear that I am an Orthodox Jew.

Big mistake.

So it was funny when in my creative writing class we were discussing the play I'd written about a pre-wedding conversation between a bride and a bridesmaid, and everyone was like, "wow, those girls seem so young, you should maybe make them older..." And I was like, "well actually I'm an Orthodox Jew and it's kind of typical to get married when you're 20..."

Partially it was funny because they had no clue that I was Orthodox - I mean, NO clue. And partially it was funny because they were dumbfounded by the fact that 20-year-olds are getting married. But I guess both point to the same huge cultural divide.

I like the people in my creative writing class, and I generally like the students in school (that is, when they're not drunk or asking me to buy them alcohol), but there's a sense in which I feel like they just can't get me. No matter how much we can joke together and work together and learn together, I always feel like there's this part of my life that they just can't understand.

But maybe I'm not giving them enough credit. Maybe I'm the one that refuses to understand. Maybe I'm the one that just doesn't get it.


At 3/5/05, 11:24 PM, Blogger T. "B." M. said...

Yeah, they really can't tell. My mother can't spot a frum girl on the street and I can even when they're dressed in not-so-tznius clothing cv"s. Neither of my parents can tell if a woman is wearing a sheitel (sp?).

At 3/7/05, 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a grad student I once worked with a non-dati Israeli post-doc. Right after I got engaged we were shmoozing and he was telling me that he doesn't understand why the other grad students aren't interested in getting married and starting a family... After all, don't they realize that true happiness comes from a loving family?
It's a North-East USA thing. They just have no clue... (and then I had two kids in grad school - such a possibility wasn't even on the radar screen).


Post a Comment

<< Home