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When people take about "race" I identify myself based on my heritage and what I feel connected to which is portuguese and scottish. When I think of my family (parents, siblings, etc) that is also what I think/feel.

When people talk about religious heritage I am always torn- I am a practicing episcopalian but I feel a huge connection to my jewish roots. My siblings are all non practicing christians except one who is practicing. Half of my family (my dads side) are practicing jews even though my dad's mom was not jewish,it was his dad. His siblings converted as adults but were raised episcopalian. Before he died my father did a geneology of his father and even found relatives alive who were orthodox. It was such a life lesson reading about all of my ancestors!

However in most environments I would just be described as white. In the USA (at least in *my* experience) rarely is your heritage identified when used to describe someone within an institution/work environment with the exception of african american and asian american. I rarely hear someone described as an Italian american, or she's scottish/spanish/whatever.

In my current community I would be described/identified simply as white since my skin is white. My life experience, heritage, religion etc would never even be considered unless they knew me very well. The same goes for most Caucasians in my area unless they had overt facial features or skin tones. Nobody would assume someones race/heritage based strictly on appearance unless it is what society describes as "obvious". Even so I have noticed that people on my area are becoming even more cautious on how the describe someone they don't know. My area (finally!) is becoming much more diverse so I think everyone is becoming ( again finally!) more aware that traditional labels don't always fit.

In my hometown, where I grew up, I would be identified very much by my portuguese heritage and the fact I was born and raised there. Those things are/were* considered *very* important and outsiders are/were looked at with suspicion. In fact heritage is very much a part of this community and as a child the lines were clearly drawn by your heritage which was predominately portuguese, irish, american indian and african american. To this day I can go to the PA club and be greeted with "welcome home" even though I haven't lived there in 20+ years.
*I say "are/were" because there are still many who think this way, even some of the newer generations. However there has been a huge population growth over the last 10-15 years so that has changed some of the dynamics.

So I guess that is me in a nutshell.
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