From about 25th to 40th and Broadway in midtown Manhattan is the Fashion/Garmet District in NYC!
So the other day I went in to audition to be a model for a fashion design company that I got through Model Mayhem.
The 2 men, who seemed to be brothers and shared the last name of Yadidi..greeted me and started looking me up and down (as they all do in the fashion industry).
But as the Gypsy...I had no interest in the fashion aspect of why I was there...I was only interested to know where they were from and who they were. SO I asked. "Where are you from"?
One of the men responded with a chuckle, "Italy". I chuckled back, slightly skeptical, bc looking at his small, stocky frame with his pointy long nose, dark skin, dark hair and slight asian eyes...I knew that Italy was not his country of origin. SO in that moment I put a few puzzle pieces together, looked around the room, and made my conclusion. I noticed Hamsa's and the Star of David hanging on all the walls and remembered the big blue eye that protects from the Evil Eye as I entered the shop. Having lived in Los Angeles for years, I spent alot of time in Tehrangeles...a part of LA that is inhabited by over 900,00 Iranian Jews. To see more about Tehrangeles click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgFy_IkO4BQ
Then I assessed how he spoke: with a low voice and a slight roll in the R that was more from the north eastern part of the world then southern Europe.
I said to them, "Are you sure you are not from Iran?"
Both the men froze and started to slowly smile at me, "Well yes we are" they said with a hesitation.
I said, "Well them, Salam! khosh vaghtam! Chetori!!"
They were shocked! And for the next 10 minutes asked how I knew Farsi?, was I Iranian?, and how did I know where they were from?
The bond was sealed. And I got the job!
yalla yalla yee ha!
The message of this experience!
Be proud of who you are! I love Italians but they are NO better than Iranians or Ukranians or Albanians or any other culture!
I hope one day...regardless of what is on the news or in the papers...that people from countries who have a slight mark on their heritage or put that mark on someones country of origin can rise above the politics, prejudices and small minded perceptions and be proud of where they are from and honor where they might be from...as I know there are already many of you out there!
Remember that you are unique and special: just like everyone else!