Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meeting Ukrainians

I know I wrote about this before, but it still bugs me every time this happens. For some reason, people still believe that if I was born in Ukraine I must be really into meeting random Ukrainians with whom I have nothing whatsoever in common. It is as if the fact of being born in the same country somehow means that we must have things to discuss and a burning desire to discuss them.

I keep receiving gleeful communications from people I barely know, telling me that there is a group of Ukrainians coming by and why don't I join them for lunch. Yes, because I'm sitting here dying to have lunch with people I never even met.

This burning desire to bring people together based on their place of birth is as baffling as it is illogical. I left Ukraine for good 12 years ago. Never went back for a visit and have no plans to do that in the future. Ever. Doesn't it stand to reason to assume that if I were so totally into hanging out with Ukrainians, I would have never left the country? I mean, I don't have anything against Ukrainians, but what is there to talk about if we never even met?

Strangely enough, people who know that I'm ethnically Jewish don't do the same thing to me. Maybe it's because they realize how idiotic and anti-semitic it would sound if they were to say: "There is a group of Jews that is about to visit campus, so I'm sure you'd love to hang out with them. You Jews always have stuff to talk about, don't you??"

So now I have to schlep to this weird lunch with unknown Ukrainians and feel like a total idiot all the time I'm sitting there trying to get in touch with some latent Ukrainianness I'm supposed to possess.

No comments: