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Online Youth Discussions

My mother is Jewish and my father is not, they are BOTH Polish. Religion never had a part in my upbringing. This is how they identify themselves and I know what that makes me, according to both sides. I still feel I am very fortunate that I don't hold the hostile feelings that most of you have shared. It is because of BOTH of my parents and their pride in their heritage and cultures that has made me who I am and whether or not I've been confused in the past as to my identity, I have never held bitter feelings towards either side. Does that make me less of a Jew or less Polish? Why can't I be richer because I am both? I don't have a big family here in the States on my mother's side. -Most of my family is from my father's side and they are all in Poland. It is also because of them that I decided to live there and experience the culture myself. When I tell you that I lived there for a year and I did not encounter anti-Semitism, it doesn't mean I don't know it doesn't exist. Have you ever talked to the youth there who are now growing up in the new more developed and more free Poland? Have you listened to how beautiful their feelings are about the fact that they are being exposed to various ethnic backgrounds and cultures? It's not ALL of them but many that I came in contact with. Granted, I lived in a metropolitan city so I was exposed to a certain class and culture of people but I was so enlightened by it. They are not the culture of yesterday. Maybe because I am a teacher and I try so hard to-break cultural, religious and ethnic prejudices in the classroom everyday that I feel even more strongly about breaking down my own biases. I'm not perfect by any means nor am I trying to have a 'holier than the' attitude. I speak from my heart and I don't feel I my identity ACI subordinates ACI to anything or anyone, contrary to certain views. I also don't think I'm an idealist. I am real and this is me and this is what MY experience has been. No one can change that in me.

Ania Wysinski