Cultural connection

A special relationship occurs between people who come from the same background. Religious or nonreligious, people who have the same religion or ethnicity tend to have an automatic connection. Even if two people have never met before, if they have the same religion or ethnicity, it is common for them to immediately click and have something to talk about.

One group of people is the Jewish people. Being a minority, when a Jewish person meets someone else who is Jewish, they immediately have plenty to discuss. Sophomore Jilly Senk said, “Whenever I meet someone Jewish I automatically have something to talk about with them. I think the Jewish community is very tight-knit and it is easy to relate to other Jews because we have similar traditions.”

Some of those traditions that Senk participates in is celebrating Shabbat with challah and eating other Jewish foods like latkes, blintzes, matza, and matzo ball soup.

Sophomore Maya Galante feels the same way as Senk about the Jewish connection. She said, “It’s really cool meeting other Jewish people because you have a connection, a common thing to talk about. It’s almost like talking to a distant family member. Judaism as a religion is so diverse and talking to other Jews and relating to what we both do and recognize as part of our different yet similar traditions is a really cool experience.”

Another factor that connects some Jewish people is Jewish summer camp. Many Jewish summer camps exist and they all have common elements. Most of the camps sing the same songs and a majority of them have an hour-long song session and hour-long dance session on Shabbat. Also, many Jewish summer camps are filled with ruach, which is the Hebrew word for spirit. If one person who goes to Jewish summer camp meets someone else who went to a different camp, they will have a plethora of stories to share and conversations just waiting to be had.

Many camps sing the same Jewish summer songs. The lyrics are: “Wherever you go there’s always someone Jewish, you’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew, ‘I’m a Jew’, the odds are don’t look far ‘cause they’re Jewish too, ba da da, ba da da, da dada dada.” It is a fun and silly song, but it conveys the truth within it. If someone sings this song toa Jew, even if they had never heard it before, they would relate to how real the lyrics in the song are.

This goes for other groups of people as well: Christians, Catholics, Muslims, and most other religious groups feel the automatic bond with each other just like the Jews do. People of the same ethnicity also have a connection through the history of their ancestors.

Senior Ashley Olson feels similarly to Senk and Galante, except in regard to having that relationship with other Christians. Olson said, “Just meeting a real Christian gives you a sort of peace knowing that you aren’t the only one. It is always a great conversation starter for what turns out to be an amazing exchange. It immediately bonds us and right away I know that I have a friend in this person.”

The cultural connection that people share is special. The bond it creates between people can grow to be stronger than other friendships or relationships someone has. This kind of bond is even harder to break because it is deeper than just having a bond with someone because of a similar hobby or sport.

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