Question of the Day - Tuesday, September 15

cassiopea

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
3,406
Reaction score
3,114
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hello Hello! Happy Tuesday! :angelcat:









Has anyone ever mistaken you for being from another country or heritage?








For instance, I am a Finnish-Irish Canadian (And I definitely inherited more of the Nordic physical appearance :lol:) I get mistaken a lot for being Russian and sometimes Polish, German or Swedish. Not only from fellow North Americans, but even had a few instance where someone spoke their Native language to me straight out assuming I was one of them. I'm not complaining, I find it kind of sweet and flattering.







19756902_1425182507528776_5329528721213443624_n.jpg



















 

MoochNNoodles

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
31,910
Reaction score
8,111
Location
Where my cats are
I don’t think so. I’ve had people ask if I’m Italian and that’s about it. I’m 50% Italian and resemble my Italian Grandpa the most. His parents immigrated here in the early 1900s. I have my Polish Grandma’s hair color; but its still a dark golden brown. She also had some Greek heritage so that could be part if it. I don’t see any of my German Grandpa in me.
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
27,288
Reaction score
19,969
Location
South Dakota
My last name, while English in origin, sounds sort of like it could be Native American, in that it describes a physical trait. People who are familiar with Native names don't usually make that mistake, but if you just have a basic idea that Native names are descriptive you might think so. And I have very dark hair, but also very pale skin. So I've been asked a few times if I'm Native.

Usually, like I said, it's people with just a cursory knowledge of Native names and appearances, but once a Native co-worker asked which tribe I was with :dunno:.
 

Jem

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
3,531
Reaction score
6,205
People have never mistaken me for a different heritage, I am "mostly" of Irish and Scottish decent and look it. And my maiden name is a Scottish name. But the thing is, I am the very definition of a mutt so what ever you guess...you're probably right! LOL!
I have had people be very surprised that I am French, and speak french quite fluently. I do not have any physical French traits, and my parents were strict with us growing up (we were brought up equally bilingual in french and english from the get go) to enunciate and pronounce words properly. So when I speak english, you do not hear a french accent and same for when I speak french.
Some people have also questioned if I have Black ancestors, and to be honest, there are some family members that have said that we do, but I don't know the lineage. Despite my pasty white skin, blond and strawberry..depending on the lighting, hair and blue/green eyes...I do have very curly/afro hair, and a full mouth and nose. Some members on my father's side of the family could pass as bi-racial, they have darker skin and dark brown almost black curly and even afro hair. My father in fact, was often asked if he was "part Black" in high school.
I have been wanting to look into the Black Irish ancestry to see if that is where it comes from...considering most of my more recent heritage is primarily European.
All I know is that genetics are super cool, because my family all look so diverse, even though you can tell we're family.
 
Last edited:

DreamerRose

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
7,248
Reaction score
7,050
Location
Naperville, IL
Many people here in Illinois have asked what country I'm from, and I tell them America.

In the South, people asked what state I was from, and I told them Virginia.
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,567
Reaction score
11,415
My mother was all Sicilian but mostly fair skinned and light hair on that side. But I inherited dark hair and dark olive skin from my father who was part Native American and African American. So I have what I call a non white ethnic look that people guess could be Hispanic, Polynesian, Italian or from India.
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
6,567
Reaction score
11,415
Jem Jem you should do a DNA test. It not only tells you what your ethnicity is based on your DNA but also matches you to those people who share it. On my fathers side I went from knowing nothing about his biological father to having dozens of cousins and relatives.
 

mama africa

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
5,001
Reaction score
30,493
Yes, but not because of my appearance.
I am a Flemish-speaking Belgian citizen and because Flemish, Dutch and German sound quite similar to people who don't speak these languages, I was often mistaken for someone from the Netherlands or from Germany when I was traveling outside Europe.
 

Lari

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
3,678
Reaction score
15,175
Not by appearance, but when I was doing French club I was asked if I had French ancestry, because people assumed I'd have no other reason to learn the language?
 

MonaLyssa33

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
4,015
Location
Minneapolis
I don't think so. My last name looks German (because it is) and being in Minnesota a huge portion of the population has Scandinavian ancestry (which I do), so I'm pretty typical for my region. My sister is married to a guy with Vietnamese ancestry and is often told that she isn't what people expect because she has a very common Vietnamese last name but isn't Vietnamese.
 

Elphaba09

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,883
Location
NE Ohio
In my belly dancing days (American tribal fusion style), after a festival show, I met with some friends for dinner on my way home in partial costume, full make-up, and a shawl. It was a small, family-owned restaurant run by an Iranian husband and his Greek wife. I got up and went to the bathroom at some point and caught them point and looking at me while having a pretty animated conversation. When they saw me notice, they stopped and smiled. After we finished eating, the couple came up to the table and apologized for making me uncomfortable. They then told me the argument. The husband was insisting that I was of Iranian descent, while the wife was insisting that I was Greek. Apparently, because my hair is a dark red, it is similar to the red that can be found in some Iranians and some Greeks, and I have facial features that resemble both as well. They were both shocked to learn that I am primarily Irish and Scottish (not Scots-Irish, big difference!) with a Choctaw grandma. The wife, who had a Greek accent, said. "I say you are Greek, you are Greek to me!" They gave us our dinner for free and offered me a belly dancing job. I turned down the job because I had a happy, busy career more than an hour away from their location!

I stopped by a couple of years later and they remembered me, even though I was in regular close. The wife greeted me with a hug and by saying, "Welcome back, beautiful Greek lady!"

One of my sisters to whom I do not speak had a DNA test a while back. The sister I do speak to mentioned it to me and that we have a wee bit of Scandinavian and a teeny-weeny wee bit of Middle Eastern. The Scandinavian part is not a shocker because the Vikings did go to Scotland. The Middle Eastern part was a bit of a surprise. She could not remember the percentage. but it is .0-something.
 

jeannem

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
180
Reaction score
246
Location
mid willamette valley, Oregon
Of the ancestors I know about all are from the British Isle. My maternal grandmother had a French last name. He was from Indiana. My mother would always say I looked Mexican or American Indian. This was not a complement coming from her! :eek:
j
 

maggiedemi

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
12,124
Reaction score
24,424
Location
Upstate NY
I'm mostly German and Canadian ancestry. Nobody really mentions it though. They only mention how tall I am for a girl and my very pale skin.
 

Xraystyle

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
464
Reaction score
1,205
Location
Seoul
A few times.

People always think I'm from Ireland because I dye my hair red, have a lot of Irish friends, and play obscure Irish sports. lol

In Berlin, some out-of-towners thought I was German and I think wanted to ask me for directions, but I kind of ignored them because A) I didn't realize right away they were trying to get my attention B) I don't speak German C) I barely knew where I was going.

I've been mistaken for Russian the most times. Once in the states, but mostly in Asia since it's still relatively uncommon in some places to see a white woman traveling alone (This is both in just a genuinely innocent "Russian?" way and in the codeword for prostitute way as historically speaking, Russian women are the most pioneering of the Europeans...the colonial ladies from other places mostly stuck with each other). Once in Ulaan Bataar (Mongolia) a local guy thought I was Russian and was just excited to practice his Russian a bit. In Busan, which is a port in Korea heavily used by Russian sailors, a Russian guy just started talking to me in Russian and was a bit pissed off when I ignored him and kept walking (it was also in the red light district, so I didn't want to stop anywhere for too long lol) Randomly, especially in the countryside of Korea, an old man will be like "Are you Russian?" with a creepy look in his eye (that's the codeword version). Thankfully, that hasn't happened much since I moved to Seoul.

The time in the states was kind of funny. I was working as a temp at a packaging factory one summer. Almost everyone else there was an immigrant (Cambodians, Mexicans, Somalians, etc.) The group of white temps were mostly Russians. My supervisor (a Ghanaian) started just calling me "Russian" as if it was my name because I had been helping a Russian woman train in and sat with her at lunch. He was really shocked to find out I was American.
 
Last edited:

mani

fervent feline fan
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
33,901
Reaction score
10,436
Location
Australia
Pooh on you. I love a strong Australian accent.
That's something I've never understood.. I know when we've had 'what accents do you love' and people will say Australian. I think it's awful. All you have to do is talk while hardly opening or moving your mouth... Voila! Aussie accent.
 
Top