Few weeks ago when I was doing my christmas shopping in Knitsbridge, London, I came across an elderly couple, who made me think about certain perceptions we hold about people who are from different parts of our country. I was waiting for the bus to go to an other part of the vast and busy city full of people doing their christmas shopping. The elderly couple were talking while waiting for the same bus as me. I could hear their language was very familiar, but as I did not hear much in the middle of the busy trafick, I decided I will just ask them were they are from. I did, and the elderly lady (she was in her late 60s) answered with her VERY strong accent; ‘We are Persian’. I asked if they were talking Azary, as I knew it was not Persian I overheard. Now her husband became interested in this girl who was just asking too many questions. They asked if I knew Azary, and suddenly I found myself talking Azary to this elderly couple at the busstop. But this does not end here, because it was not just important that I was Persian, or even Azary, but actually which city I was from. Ardebil was my response with a proud voice, and their response to this information stroke me. They were from Tabriz, and VERY proud of being from Tabriz, although having lived in London for the past 30 years. 'So we are more classy than you', he said. I could not believe what I was hearing.
I was later asked how long I have been in England, and then I told them I grew up in Norway, and basically moved to Norway as a child. 'Oh, so you are ok then, you have become classy living in Norway for so long', the gentelman said. I was shocked to hear these comments, and how this couple thought of themselves as superior because they were from Tabriz, and they allowed themselves to think less of others. These thought occupied my mind during that day and the days that followed.
Even in the 21st century we come across people who think of class, who can not see beyond their world, and who can not see what is the bridge between us, but rather what makes us different. What made me even more angry was how they saw me as higher class when I said I was from Norway. Why do we judge people according to where they are from, which part of the world, the country or the city they are from? Why do we think people are better or worse according to where they grew up, or their family where from. I wish we could stop being so short sighted, and not judge others according to weather they are from Tabriz, Ardebil, Norway, Iran, UK or anywere in this world. I wish we could see the depth of people, and not put anyone in a box.