A few weeks ago, my friend (who is the head librarian at the local library) asked me if I could come in and help out with a kid's craft program. So I went, but all the children were shy around me and looked at me funny. I suspected it might be because I wear a headscarf, which most people in Peterborough are not accustomed to. I whispered into my friend's ear and said, "I think the kids might be afraid of me."
She replied that yes, this is possible. Living in a predominantly Caucasian town/city, they may not have as much exposure to different religions and/or cultures. I never had to deal with this in Toronto, since it's such a large multicultural community. I've accepted the fact that I am "different" compared to most of my neighbours.
Nobody is ever rude or racist. People are just curious and ask a lot of questions. Sometimes they ask questions which I've never gotten before, like asking me what kind of alcohol I like drinking or why I don't eat pork. I try to remind myself that they probably don't know Muslims don't drink alcohol or eat anything that comes from pig.
So, the local library is planning to do their first multicultural craft day in a few weeks and want me to come in and talk to the kids a little bit about my culture and religion. And let them know why I dress differently than everyone else in the community. Furthermore, we will also be making some Islamic art work. I am a tad bit nervous, but all the librarians and moms are super excited about what I have to say! I am very grateful that the local library is open to doing something like this.
Living in two very different cities/towns, I know that no matter where I live, it will have it's pros and cons.