It's weird, how people latch on to different aspects of your identity, depending on context. There's the Bangladeshi cabbie from the other night, who, on hearing that I was Sri Lankan, pronounced delightedly that 'we are the same, you and I!' There are the moms who, on realizing that I am also a mom, proceed to talk only about mommy stuff with me for the next few hours, even though we were talking about other things before that. (To be fair, I do some of that too, though I think as a new mommy, I have more of an excuse. :-) There's the convention hotel where I wander into the wrong part of the hotel, and am mistaken for a doctor -- because there's a medical convention going on, and I'm South Asian, so... There's the street, where people speak to me in Spanish because of the color of my skin. There are even places where all of my primary identities disappear -- a family party with friends of my parents, where I become 'Mohan's daughter' -- one of three, briefly interchangeable. There's the gym, where the other plump girl and I, on seeing each other in a sea of toned spandexed bodies, share smiles of relieved complicity.
No conclusions here; just noodling out loud. But it's interesting. What are your identities? Do any of them seem primary to you? How do they shift in different contexts?