Willkommen in meinen Blog
“Guled? What kind of name is that?” The young man, who was totally open a moment ago, hesitated to answer my question. We were settling an accident claim at the time and were very relaxed about the situation. But I noticed how he inwardly flinched a little from me. I’m just curious, I thought. Because he spoke perfect German and with his brown skin and big dark eyes, he surely had a migration background, just as me.
My godchild later criticized me for this. “You don’t know how he feels about this question. Maybe it’s a signal of exclusion for him because he often might have been discriminated.” Okay, it appears like I wanted to put a stamp of origin on him. But in fact I just was interested, no rejection, right?
A few days later I spoke to an insurance agent on the phone. “Scamperle, that sounds like an Italian name,” he said with a knowledgably sound in his voice. “Are you Italian?” I hesitated. Was I going to tell him my life story now? “If you like,” I answered evasively, “but I’m German.” “Aha!” came quick as a shot. “So, you’re a German passport holder, but you’re actually Italian.” That’s when I got angry. It was none of this man’s business what I was or how I felt like? And what had that got to do with my insurance? “Does it matter for my contract? Because I don’t have that much time now,” I replied coolly. He immediately relented.
Suddenly I could understand Guled much better.
Why do we have the desire to identify others in this way? It’s worth thinking about it.
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10. December 2021 Online