My family is pretty diverse (Norway, Ireland, El Salvador, Spain, Iran). I grew up in Los Angeles, surrounded by neighbors and school friends from all over the world. I'm super interested in everyone's culture--and always have been. My parents insisted we grow up multi-lingual, so we were educated in French, spoke Spanish at home, and spoke English in the neighborhood. As a kid, I was invited to my friends' and neighbors' homes for all kinds of meals and to various religious houses of worship. I'm a professionally trained chef who learned French technique, apprenticed with an Italian, and focused in my studies on Asian cuisine.
I've always enjoyed learning about others' cultures--and sharing my own (Irish wakes are a celebration--unlike most funerals here in the states). These days I hear a lot about how rude people are when they inquire about someone's ethnicity, which I can understand considering the anti-immigrant fervor here in the states.
My question is this--what is OK to ask? I'm ethnically as white as can be (Norwegian/Scotch-Irish), so I imagine I seem rude, but my intentions are good.
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