share your diversity.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by john turner, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i've been thinking about this for a while, and i decided now was a good time for it.

    i think it would be really great if folks shared what their life, neighborhood, family, community, etc. is/was like. their "social ethinicity" in a sense. the things that they take completely for granted but that might be unique to their circumstances. what was/is it like to grow up in your neighborhood? what is your family like? what's an average family get together like? what prejudices do/did you encounter growing up, if any?

    we have so many different folks who participate here, from so many different places, i think it would be really mind-expanding to have something like this. i know i'm really interested in learning about you guys :)
  2. Nice thread John, should be interesting.

    My neighbourhood, just a quiet wee suburb here in Cork, but I did most of my growing up in my granny's house in a little place in the middle of nowhere called Cavan, and I have a kind of love/hate relationship with that place. It's tiny and smelly, and there's more pubs than houses! Not much fun for a 5 year old kid! It was fun at times though, just the lack of anyone else made it a bit boring. Having to walk for a good 30 mins to the nearest village was probably very good for me! In retrospect, of course.

    My family, whew, well, one of my parents has a big alcohol problem, the other is a homophobic bigot, and I'm bisexual (lets keep this out of it, we've had threads on it before, and I don't want to hear it again), so plenty of fun there! Nah, we've had good times, but family doesn't mean a whole lot to me, and a house is just somewhere to live. I've never been able to get into the idea of all that "family first" stuff, but ah well. I also have a little sister.

    We don't have "family get togethers" as such, on Sundays we have dinner together (if dad's not working) which invariably leads to stupid fights. I think our system (keep as far from each other as we can) works pretty well!

    Prejudices, not much. My dad works long hours, so I don't see him much in the week, which means he hasn't been around enough for me to pick up on his views (thank God). My mum's a pretty accepting person though, so no problem there.

    EDIT: Jeez, this post sounded a bit emo, sorry 'bout that! It's not all bad, there's been good times too. Really!
  3. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Cool thread idea JT.

    I grew up in a very boring upper-middle class suburb in the East Bay. I call it Orange County-North when describing it to people at college. I never really ran into any prejudices against myself, but I definately encountered some pseudo-racist people in my hometown. You'd be amazed the looks I got from some people upon discovery of my ethnic background (.5 Mexican; .5 German). Stupid people can be funny sometimes (if only they weren't so disturbing).

    My family life was pretty decent, if you exclude my half-sister (uber-loser, long story). I'm really eager to get back home for summer break and see my 6 year old niece. (two more weeks...just need to get through ear training...) I admit freely that I was/am a very spoiled dude, but my niece is quickly surpassing my past acheivements in "spoiled-dom" (not that I'M contributing to it.....:ninja: :) ). Yeah, I had it pretty easy growing up.

    EDIT: yargh!! Leinad beat me to first post!!! ;)
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Well I was born in New Zealand, my Dad was born in Burma (now Myanmar) but his family fled to NZ as refugees when he was 4 when Burma closed its borders. My mum is a Kiwi (ie white) New Zealander from a middle class background.

    Dad played soccer for the NZ national team (including a few World Cup qualifiers) and has the dubious honour of being between 12-1 by Manchester United in the 70's! :D

    We moved from NZ to Australia and have lived in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne (now I live in Sydney and my family in in Melb). For those geographically challenged its like having moved from New York to LA to Miami to Boston (in terms of distances).

    I have never really experienced much prejudice in my life that I knew of (even though I am "dark skinned") however I have subsequently been made aware that when we moved to a white upper middle class Brisbane suburb in primary school, I was referred to as the Black Boy by other students and teachers (but I don't remember it). If you know anything about Brisbane / Queensland, this is probably not surprising (think deep south ;) )

    We don't pay attention to our Burmese roots, so just act like any other Australian / New Zealand family. A family get together for me is rare although I see my dad every other week because he does business all round Australia and comes to Sydney quite a bit. (I have two younger sisters and a younger brother).

    I probably get more prejudices now that my girlfirend and I live in what is considered to be a "posh" suburb of Sydney because we are fortunate to live in a waterfront apartment overlooking the city / harbour and because I am a lawyer. For some reason people still have a thing about lawyers :D

    However I would much prefer to live in the more "hip" parts of the city that are where the bars and restaurants are. The other main prejudcie we find is people who live out in the suburbs vs those of us who live in inner city apartments etc.

    The other main prejudice is that I follow Australia's main football code "Australian Rules" in a city where rugby league (think blocks of coal running into each other) is the prevailing sport of choice. :D
  5. Good thread here JT!

    I was born in Manchester, England. I lived there till I was 4, when my dad got a job working near Liverpool, so we moved away from Manchester to where I live now, a small village called Formby. I live on a fairly quiet road in a detached house, which is big enough but not huge and not tiny. Formby is not *the* most happening place, but it's still fairly good, with a good mixture of pubs and bars and restaurants. Manchester is really where my roots are though, all my mams family live there still, I go there to most shows, support the football/soccer team (Manchester City, not UTD!)

    I live with my dad and mam, and my brother is still away at University but finishes next month. We have a cat called Salem and my dad owns tropical fish, which I hear are very relaxing. When my brother comes home for the weekend, my mam usually cooks us something and we sit together at the table and eat it, this is far as it goes for "get-togethers".

    I have never really dealt with or had an prejudice, I live in a predominantly white area, the only other ethnic minorities live in the centre of Liverpool (apparently we have the biggest Chinatown in Europe, but not as big as the one in San Fran.)
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What, not even from any "Reds" !!!??? ;)
  7. Nah! Not considering the last couple of seasons....where we've actually won against them!

    Now back to your scheduled thread... :ninja:

  8. OK, I'll give it a go! Was born in Bellshill, 3 miles or so form where I grew up (it was the local maternity hospital). Uddingston was the only home I knew until I got married and moved out at 24. Uddingston is the home of the Tunnock's factory - Caramel Wafers, Caramel Logs Teacakes etc. That's it's claim to fame!

    My father is a Civil Engineer who pretty much went where the work is sinceI was about 11. Saw him at weekends only mostly. Mum stayed home and I guess was a housewife. Both parents are fairly heavy drinkers, and have been as long as I can remember, their health is now suffering heavily becuase of it. My father is a moderately heavy smoker as well - which really does my asthma no good. I have a younger brother who I'm not as close to as I feel I should be....but growing up we weren't really that close either.

    All of the group of friends I hung out with went on to university - and by some at school I was referred to as a snob - guess it was becuase my parent sbuilt and owned their own home and didn't rent it! Not many people would call me a snob now though.....

    Uddingston had a lot of 'gangs', different areas had their own dominant gang, and they would all go inot each others turf and beat up individual people who were usually nothing to do with gagns at all. They seemed to prefer odds of about 12 or more to 1 - I was moderately beaten up once by a very brave gang of about 15 guys......

    Shortly after that I started practising karate - so did my brother, he got a black belt, I got as far as green before uni and work took over - would love to get back into it!

    Other than that a quite quiet life without too much. Had aspirations of joing the RAF when I was younger - hayfever kept that dream from fruition.

    Family get togethers generally involve high calorie food and drink! They can be tense at the mo' as I am back with my parents following the breakdown of my marriage. My mum and my new g/f don't get on great, especially when it comes to disagreeing how my son should be looked after - I tend to find my g/f and I have similar thoughts on these matters, I think my mother is lost in some Victorian era. My mother also doesn't seem to approve, and because I live in her house she does make it clear she feels she should have some say in who I date....meanwhile I'm 34 and only there as I'm down on my luck at the moment and disagree. I guess you kindas have to be there to see what I mean!

    My father is funny at get togethers, he always gets drunk and has an opinion on everything ,and seems to 'know' more about anything than anyone. He actually tries (I think) to have an argument with someone about anything. I sometimes just disagree with him to irritate him! I like to remind him of the difference between mechanical engineers (who he loathes for some reason) and civil engineers - mechs build weapons, civils build targets (usually gets a reaction!)

    Didn't really have exposre to much in the way of prejudice growing up - there were a few Asian families in town, and a couple of shops were run by some of these families. I guess over here we have as much tension between catholics and protestants as some places have between blacks and whites.

    Career wise, I've done quite well (IMO), only been unemployed for 12 weeks in 14 years - both as a result of redundancy. Have spent my career in electronics of semi-conductors on the quality assurance side of things. There have been a lot of changes and advances in that time!

    Looking forward to my divorce being finalised and moving one with my life. Past couple of years have been a sort of limbo.

    Recently I started taking bass lessons - after 15 years of playing, though I'd better learn some of what I should know but don't!

    OK - feel as if I have just rambled on......think I better stop now!:)
  9. The area I live in is EXTREMLY mixed. My school district itself comprises two major areas: A wealthy lake community and a ghetto-type area that harbors MS-13. Also in the school district we have a mosque with a very large Muslim population living in the surrounding neighborhood. In general, there's a large, patchy network of weathy, poor, and middle-class neighborhoods mised in together. They are very discernable.

    Just a little bit over, we have what's called "little Korea", or sometimes "asiandale", which is mosty Korean.

    A little further north, we have the white, ultra-conservative, super-rich area known as Mclane. This is where gerrymandered school districts come in play to make sure all the people from this area go to the same school. We have similar white communities to the west as well that attend football powerhouse schools.

    If you go too far to the east, you have the largely black community of the District of Columbia.

    Basically my area's interesting like that.
  10. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I live in a small village outside of Geneva. Geneva is home to the United Nations and many non government organizations (NGO's) such as the World Health Organization, UNAids, UN High Commission for Refugees, the Intl Red Cross, World Trade Organization. (In fact, the Red Cross was founded by the same guy who founded the UN and the Geneva Convention: Henri a search on him. Very interesting guy)

    The population is around 200,000. It's a small city by any standard. Because of the strong international focus of the UN and multinationals, the place has a very large educated diversified ethnic mix. Accordingly, no strong distinct Swiss Romande culture is evident in the region (that's a big invite to be flamed by the locals!). It is more appropriate to call the region Geneva the World, as opposed to Geneva, Switzerland. IT is the only place I have been to that is very international but does not have a strong local flavour to it. And it works very well. No ethnic tensions.

    Because of Swiss banking secrecy, there is a lot of money here. We regularly see private 767 and occasionally private 747's dropping in. There are a lot of famous personalities that reside in the area: Phil Collins, David Bowie, Shania Twain. King Saud has a big shack on the other side of the lake.

    The flipside of it is the absence of a strong Swiss Romande culture in Geneva. However, as you venture east, it very much becomes distinctly Swiss.

    I am not from here. I'm from Montreal originally, but I have lived in Ottawa, St.John, Calgary, Vancouver and Canada's High Artic. I also lived in the Persian Gulf for three years. I am getting tired of moving.

    We have much to learn from other cultures. Traveling and interacting with other cultures opens your eyes to the fact that we don't all have the answers in the west. There are many ways to eek out an existance on this planet.

    Fun thread.
  11. I have lived in North Bay Ontario all my life. Its a quiet city pretty much where not much happens. Its a very strange city for people to visit i hear cause its the type of city where you dont have to lock your doors at night. You can walk down any street at any time of night without fear. There are no hurricanes, floods, tornados, or earthquakes that happen here. Just alot of snow in winter...but it goes away in the spring and we have Florida like summers.
    Growing up as a kid in this city was pretty good...lots of freedom considering nothing really happens here.

    I grew up as a single mom divorced and re-married when i was 1. Both my mom and stepfather are recovering alcoholics who havent touched a drink in almost 30 years. Im quite proud of them needless to say.
    My stepfather is a great man in whom i have come to known as my 'real' father. He is the most unselfish caring individual i ever known. And i feel honured that i just know such a person. He helps people without second thought and is never afraid to stand up for what he thinks. My best role model period.
    About 4 years ago i met my biological father and his new wife and found out i have a half sister. They are really nice and good people...but i still feel out of place when i get together with them..probally cause they have been absent from me my whole life.

    I usually get together with my bio-mom and stepdad every Sunday...its a pleasant thing...bonding in a way i suppose.
    My bio-dad and stepmom are nice but i usually only seem them on special occasions but i still talk to them regularly over the internet. Especially my sister...we have really started to grow close.
    I have a big family, lots of uncles cousins etc...i dont get along with many of them...some of them are very preachy(religous) and i dont like that they try to enforce their beliefs on people. The other side is lazy and backstabbers and talk behind your back kind of people.
    So all in all i try to avoid most the people in my extended family. But there are some really cool ones though..not all bad.

    The only predjudices i really see first hand is when my uncle met a Korean woman(who has become one of my favortie aunts, a hell of a cool woman with an amazing tale about her family) i have uncles that call her kids 'chopsticks' and other stupidity...needless to say i dont associate with those people anymore.
    The only other one i can think of is with the Native community, some people think they get too much from the government and some people think they are dirty or all on welfare or whatever. Just bad contributors to society in general.

  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    This was my life growing up:


  13. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I grew up in a very W.A.S.P-y little community. It's pretty much the classic Norman Rockwell style small town or Mayberry (sp?) or something. One stop light. Farms outside city limits. Everybody knows everybody (and their business) I was the middle child. Mom and Dad stayed married. (still are) Lived in the same house from birth until I moved out at age 19. Grandma and Grandpe lived down the road. The other grandparents lived outside of town in the country. Evrybody was alive and still married. Boring.
  14. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    like Johnny BoomBoom, I was born in Bellshill, Scotland. Grew up in East Kilbride, which is 10 miles south of Glasgow.

    Lived there until my early 20's. Went to college in Glasgow, got my degree in Computing / Business then worked in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Edinburgh again before being asked to go to New York for a 6 month project in 1997. It's 2004 and I'm still here :)

    My family is reasonably disfunctional, but aren't they all? Everyone is religious in my family other than me. My mother died when I was 16, I was always much closer to her than to my father. Not that my father wasn't good to me, but he was very much a product of his times growing up in the 1930's - men shouldn't show emotion etc. My brother is 6 years older than me, he couldn't wait to get out of home and lived in London for nearly 20 years doing corporate finance before deciding he wanted to become a church minister. He graduated with his degree in divinity from Edinburgh last year, and he's actually been out at Princeton this last year doing a masters in Theology. So it's been good to be able to see him more.

    My dad and I still have an odd relationship, we speak maybe once every 3-4 months. He remarried about 8 years ago, I don't really like her but she makes him happy so that's what's important. They now live in her house west of Glasgow, so I really don't have a 'home' to go to now whenever I'm back in Scotland - I stay with friends now.

    My wife is originally from Madison, WI and we met in NYC. Her family is really cool and they've totally adopted me. Her parents are in their early 50's, they were hippies in the 60's and pretty wild, my wife 'rebelled' by being more straight laced (they were almost ashamed of her when she said she hadn't gotten stoned before she was 25!).

    Prejudices growing up: can't think of any beyond the standard Protestant / Catholic thing in Scotland which manifested itself in the Rangers / Celtic football team rivalry. You could get beaten up just for being the 'wrong' religion, thankfully that seems to be going away now.

    Living in New York was a real eye opener at first, in terms of diversity. I didn't have a problem with it, it was just so unusual - there's not that much diversity in Glasgow. Most people I grew up with were the same milky shade of pale white as I was / am (otherwise referred to as Glasgow Tan).

    Work wise I've done pretty well for myself, worked up from programmer to senior roles (project mgmt/architect/analyst) but still stay hands on with code when I can. Pretty much worked for small financial software companies my whole career, love the diversity of work you get in a smaller company. Had a 2.5 year spell where I ran a technical department for a large investement bank, I hated every minute of it and recently took a job with a startup financial software company and am loving it again.

    I'm definitely a big city person, so NYC is great for me. Bought a house in the suburbs of Westchester a few years ago, took a while to adjust from NYC life but I'm ok with it now - we're still close to many amenities etc and I have a short commute to manhattan so I can't complain.
  15. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I was born in Boston, spent the first two years of my life in Northfield MA. Every few years my family moves, due to the nature of my dad's work (he does fundraising for colleges). From when I was 2-18 years old, we moved 3 times. I've lived in Hamden CT, Middlebury VT, and finally Barrington RI. I remember Hamden and Middlebury the fondest, I was too young to notice anything about the community make up of Hamden, but that was where I made my first friends, and I didn't like it in the least when we moved.

    My dad is from the south, and spent most of his life moving because his dad worked as an engineer for a gas company. My mom is from the north, and comes from a deeply rooted New England aristocratic family, they're descended from William Bradford who came over on the Mayflower.

    I spent my teen years in Middlebury, which was out in the boonies, predominantly white area, with plenty of hicks to keep things interesting. Vermont was beautiful, and sparsely populated, so you often had to walk/bike a pretty long distance to get somewhere. I walked home from school every day (school-home=2 miles) uphill, and yes, often in the snow. I think living here instilled me with a need for self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

    Barrington is like Lawndale in Daria, seriously. Needless to say, my time at Barrington High I don't recall with much fondness. Still, I did meet some incredible people, and Providence is a great city. So, I guess it worked out all right.

    Right now, I'm going to Vassar College, and Poughkeepsie is quite an...well...interesting city.
  16. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    This was mine...
  17. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  18. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    This is a cool thread. Ok, I'll go....

    I'm a white, european origin, 40 year old, professional software engineer, who works in the finance department @ America's leading energy provider. I'm divorced from a woman who I never really loved, & only married as a matter of convienience. I have remarried, a woman I truly do love. I have two teenage kids of my own, & help raise my wifes two kids as well.

    I was born in Tennesse, & lived in Louisville, Kentucky until 6th grade, at which point, my mom's emphysema became so bad, that we relocated to El Paso, Texas. The arid climate was supposed to help. That was a system shock, because in El Paso, if you're white, YOU are the minority. Local kids always wanted to kick your ass, & always felt like I had to watch over my shoulder. The phrase "Gringo go home" is spray painted on any number of interstate overpass bridges.
    Both of my parents died prior to my 40th birthday, due to alcohol abuse related illnesses. I rarely drink...

    Things mellowed as I got into high school, joined band (trombone), played football, & ran track, & generally got in w/ the "in" group. Was always shy around girls, but always had girls trying to pick me up... Was never really confident enough to ask out who I wanted to go out with. I can think of any number of events where I was put into a conflict situation, just because I was white,,, & truth be told was probably why I tended to be shy throughout HS.

    Went to college @ UTEP, for 1 year, & learned how to smoke pot. (Still didn't drink, tho) The racial harrassment stopped once I went to college, must've just been community I had to go to HS in... I lived in an outer lying 'burb community, that bused us 30 minutes away to a small farming community. That probably further lead to social clash for me. I had a 1.2 GPA at the end of my freshman year & dad cut me off, so I joined the USAF in '83, which is where I met my wife of convienience. This is also when I started transferring my HS bass clef knowledge toward bass playing... Majority of my time in the USAF, was spent @ Beale AFB, CA...

    Here, I learned how to drink... & I mean seriously...

    The USAF is actually fairly multi-cultural, & they don't tolerate race bull****, so things were pretty normal. Except for one incident, where a black friend of mine, told me a cadillac joke... So, I relayed it to my co-workers, & a black guy took exception to it, & tried to get me into trouble over it.
    In El Paso, there weren't any blacks, so I literally had no idea that anyone would possibly react that way.

    BTW, at some point here, I quit drinking except for socially I'll have a beer or three.

    Got out of the AF in '90, just months prior to the first gulf war on a budget rollback & relocated to central Ohio, which is where her family is from. Found out how badly disfunctional HER family was. Sold off my bass & amp for rent money (bitch). I've been here ever since. One of the cooler places I worked was Qwest Communications, as a software engineer. We had people from ALL OVER the world, working there. Russia, China, Spain, Somalia, England, India, was really pretty cool.
  19. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    One thing I like, is most people who are dedicated to bass, double bass, at least around here, are generally not racists. We have a common language of sorts, but we have our own culture as well. I ljust love how this community mixes. It's really a refreshing thing.
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I got more out of that than any words you could have typed. A picture is worth a thousand words.