How do you identify yourself?
Going to such a diverse school, you would think that the average person would have an idea about most cultures. However, when you find yourself a part of such a small culture of people, it is interesting to see how others react.
“Whenever I introduce myself in any social scenario, I’ll use a fake name about 30% of the time. When I say my name, Aslihan Savas, half of my peers play it off and the other half try and pronounce it – usually muttering out some non-language.”
“Being Circassian usually requires a five-minute history lesson where I need to explain my background. I’m stuck between being either fully Russian or fully Turkish. Circassia was in the North Caucasus of Russia, and when they took over, are people were forced to migrate to nearby countries. Whenever I say I’m not really Russian or Turkish, I can see the confusion rise into the faces of the people I’m talking to. It’s just weird to think that most students have no knowledge of genocides and bombings and tragedy happening around the world. It’s just not talked about.”