Over a lunch of grilled cheese and pickles, the kids and I were channel surfing. There was some news conference with Oprah and I stopped to listen. She was talking about her new school and telling of the diversity of races therein. She said the word "colored" and Luke asked what that was. Sean chimed up, "It's wearing colored clothes!" I explained the terminology of the races and and how the name for African Americans has changed over the years. I mentioned the word "caucasian" and got another, "What's that?"
"Well, it's the word for 'white people'...and hmmmmm...I have no idea what it means."
So I marched over to the computer (who needs a 12 pound dictionary anymore) and typed in the word. Wikipedia says that in Europe..."...(especially in Russia and the surrounding area), Caucasian usually refers exclusively to people who are from the Caucasus region or speak the Caucasian languages." Hmm. Never heard of either. Caucasus region?
"The Caucasus or Caucasia is a region in Eurasia bordered on the south by Turkey and Iran in Asia, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the north by Russia. The Persian name for the region (harking of Asiatic links) is Qafqâz. Caucasia includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands."
I think, isn't it weird that a gihuge race of people can get its name from a tiny area aaand... I am supposedly "caucasian" and reportedly not from said area? What is this caucasian that I am??
Wikipedia also states that "the term Caucasian race is sometimes used to refer to people whose ancestry can be traced back to Europe, parts of North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, and in certain areas of Central Asia."
Okee dokee. Sounds like a big jump to me, but I don't have any more time to research and ponder it today, I have errands to run, people to raise, chili to stir...but I thought I might throw it out there to you. Ever wonder why caucasians are caucasian?