Where Are You From?
Manoush top | Cos cream denim culottes | Zara kitten heels | Staud bucket bag (c/o)
Despite the political situation and despite the fact that these two cities couldn’t look any more different, Doha and Dubai have something in common. They are both mainly made by expat communities.
You can find almost all the nationalities in these cities. And I think this is what makes Doha and Dubai so special.
The connection that people from all around the world creates together and how much you learn from cultures so different from yours it’s something that I’m so grateful to experience.
Unfortunately, with so many nationalities under the same “roof” a lot of stereotypes see the light. The question “where are you from?” get so different meanings. It can be genuine – and probably most of the time is – but it can also has the purpose to remind you that you have less rights because of the country written on your passport.
It’s such a sad thing. But it happens. It happens a lot of time.
I consider myself lucky since I never experienced to feel inadequate for the silly reason that I’m from a certain country. However, two weekends ago something happened that made me think.
Massimo and I were hanging out with friends. We had brunch at Aji at Vista Mare Club, on the Palm and then we moved to Barasti Beach Bar where we stayed till sunset. Few minutes before leaving, my husband just came close to me and he gave me first a kiss on cheek and then a super quick kiss on my lips.
Even faster than what my kiss was, a security guard rushed on us and not in the most polite way he said “No kisses here”.
If the episode would have ended like this I wouldn’t have thought to write a post. I would have understood. Theorically you can’t kiss in public in Dubai (same in Doha). But I thought that being in a place where people are almost naked in their teeny-tiny bikinis, where they serve alcohol and it’s full of drunken people, an innocent kiss between husband and wife was totally fine.
But what made me feel bad was the fact that the security guard asked us where we were from.
Exactly how our nationalities was relevant to the fact the kisses were not allowed? Why did he need to know where we were from? We said Italy and he walked away. But would it have made any difference if we had said a different country?
GraceMay 22, 2018
This bag in your post is the cutest!!The differences in the cultures is just fascinating.
Jadoregrace // www.jadoregrace.com
Sami | The Classic BrunetteMay 22, 2018
Wow that's interesting, I had no idea you couldn't kiss in Dubai, you're right it does seem odd considering the other things going on there!
ErinMay 22, 2018
I'm so curious what his reaction would have been if you said somewhere else. Was he just truly curious why you didn't know, or was there some follow-up or repercussion if you had said somewhere in the Middle East? There's also such a contrast, as you mentioned, between the scantily clad scene and the rules against affection. Thanks for sharing your post <3
DeborahMay 22, 2018
That's kind of crazy - I think there are worse things to do than kiss your husband innocently. You're right that where you're from has nothing to do with what you were doing. It was a needless question.
I get asked where I'm from all the time. I was born in California, USA but my parents are originally from South Korea. When I tell that I'm from here and I'm American, I get asked, "no, where are you REALLY from?" I'm REALLY from here...? It's such a loaded question.
On a brighter note, I love your look here! The peplum blouse is beautiful with the lace overlay!
AnnalieseMay 22, 2018
I had no idea that public displays of affection weren't allowed in Dubai- wow!! What an interesting thing you guys had happen. On a side note- I really love your outfit in this post!
Dominique BrooksMay 22, 2018
I am curious about what the reason for the follow-up question was as well.Perhaps there was a punishment imminent if you had been from the wrong country. On the other hand, your blouse is lovely!
MeganMay 22, 2018
This is pretty powerful. It is strange that he asked where you were from! And that you can't kiss your husband. For some odd reason I thought that if you were married you could! So this is good to know!
HannahMay 22, 2018
What a great outfit + interesting post, Chiara ! Thanks so much for sharing. Internationa travel is always exciting and sometimes confusing when encounter custom differences.
DanyahMay 22, 2018
Yes!! I'm originally from Yemen, but born and raised in America and currently living in Saudi. When people ask me where am I from I say Yemen but I feel like they don't believe or they're confused. I just can never win, haha. Great post and love the outfit!!
MercyMay 23, 2018
This is such intriguing story, I totally get your point. And I don't understand why a light public display of affection is completely banned. Nice story, thanks for sharing.
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLifeMay 23, 2018
I am sorry you experienced that. I hope it was a great trip otherwise.
oneonlineblogMay 23, 2018
That was awkward! Especially being used to italian customs. And "Paese che vai, usanza che trovi" - in general I think people should adapt to the place they're in, even if it's the stangest. But the question about your nationality was pretty inappropriate, even though the reality is that nationality still matters a lot when you're abroad. But I'm sure you're having the time of your life in Dubai!
Lisa AutumnMay 23, 2018
This is such an interesting post.. I had no idea about a few of these points.. well done!
x Lisa | lisaautumn.com
kerriMay 23, 2018
This pink outfit is amazing!!
Patricia @ Grab a PlateMay 23, 2018
First - your outfit is adorable! Love the top and the bag especially! I love being among people from and of other cultures -- such a wonderful learning experience. I would have certainly been taken aback like you seemed to be, just as you said about being surrounded by people in bikinis, etc. Sometimes a strange world we live in, yes?
SanzianaMay 23, 2018
I am so amazed by what happened to you. I've never been to any of those countries, but I know that they have their own cultural customs to follow. However, stereotyping and discrimination still go on even in places you wouldn't expect. Such as that bar. Too bad. People still need a long long time to evolve until we can finally call ourselves human.
LizMay 24, 2018
First off, your outfit is adorable! Secondly, I am not understanding why he asked your nationality either. So crazy!
KathrinMay 24, 2018
Where I live, it's usually "what's your background?" and usually comes up because people are genuinely curious since there are so many different cultures mixing together. Your experience with the question was a bit strange though.
Kathrin | Polar Bear Style
JessicaMay 25, 2018
Loving the simplicity of this look dear. That's such a cute top you got there, really pretty outfit for spring!
Jessica | notjessfashion.com
Aitza BMay 25, 2018
First. Love the outfit. From an American point of view, ”what’s your background” or ”where are you from” generally comes from people trying to determine if I’m an immigrant or don’t belong in a certain space. Very small words can have a powerful impact
SarahMay 25, 2018
That is so bizarre! And I know what you mean. It can be genuine (I get it sometimes because people who meet me in the winter then see me in the summer are surprised how much darker I get and ask if I'm hispanic -- which I am and am proud of so i dont mind explaining)! But sometimes it's brought up in a negative way which is so uncalled for. I've always thought it was the most insane thing that people judge based on what you look like or where you're from.
Kait Around The KingdomMay 25, 2018
I am loving this top! So cute!
KatieMay 25, 2018
I've never really though of the weight that a question like "where are you from?" could carry. It's sad that we live in a world where people are judged when it comes to their background or nationality.
Jiawun | Beauty Nerd By NightMay 27, 2018
Hmm, that was such an unnecessary question on the security guard's part. I agree with you - if I didn't know about this, I would have thought a small kiss would be okay in a bar. The more you know!
McKenna BleuMay 29, 2018
Wow! Learned so much from this post. You look adorable by the way
Carly DelengowskiJune 1, 2018
So interesting. I never knew these things before.
I love your outfit and purse as well!
xx Carly | www.thecarlycollective.com