Ebony & Irony

An interesting circumstance has come to my attention.  It involves the group dynamic of my study abroad program. First, some exposition:

The program of which I am a part is made up of 100-ish students from a multitude of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.  Of course, the percentage of students of Arab heritage is higher than their population percentage in the states.  This has led to a reversal of social forces against the standard stereotypes and norms. That sounds pretty meaningless and vague, but its the only way to be accurate.

Everyone is aware of the stereotype that Jewish people are cheap or stingy with money.  This is no revelation, but that pre-existing condition, combined with the general Arab paranoia about Zionists controlling the world make for interesting dealings with money.

Every single time that a sub-group of my peers has gone to get a meal we have ALWAYS had more than enough money thrown in to cover the bill.  This is the opposite of my experience stateside.  I think people feel extra pressure to be generous and loose with money to appear opposite to the Jewish stereotype.  It isn’t really a problem, but it does represent the same fears and weakness that went into the creation of the original stereotype in the first place.

Also, calling someone a “jew”in a derogatory way has been just as widely used as it was by my idiot teenage friends in high school.  I dont know whether to chalk this up to poor company or the cultural situation.  Either way, it sucks.


Paul T.K.

Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 9:21 am  Comments (3)  

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