On Being Down With Dating Brown

Raakhee

This Sunday, I woke up to an email from a girlfriend who is not Desi. She said that there was a really thought-provoking article in the New York Post, which reminded her of some of our conversations. She thought I might enjoy it. Enjoy it? I could have written parts of it. It was about Dating While Brown– and dating other Browns, to be specific.

The piece was called, “MELTING NOT: Why Young People Like me Started Dating Within our Race“. In it, NYP reporter Raakhee Mirchandani wrote a sensitive, honest explanation of her views on love– and I can just imagine the nastiness she might be encountering because of it.

It’s never easy to put yourself out there, so I salute her for doing so. Besides, with this issue, you can’t win. You date outside your community and you’re either a sell-out, desperate or a coconut. Date within it and you’re insular, insecure and biased. Ugh. Can’t we all just get along? I hope we can remember to be kind to one another, as we discuss an issue which affects all of us, albeit in different ways. We’ve got to let love rule, or whatever Lenny screams. On to the story.

::

I know so many friends, whose experience mirrored this:

Growing up, the man in my dreams was a mystery; he was white, he was tall, he was dark, he was slick. He was always handsome. In my fantasy it didn’t matter if he was Catholic or Muslim, European or African, if he ate pigs or worshipped monkeys. It didn’t matter if he understood that I came from a rich tradition of Indian Hindus who were strict vegetarians, quietly conservative, obsessively dedicated to family and maniacal in their love for cheesy song-and-dance movies with mediocre acting and music.
And so when we met, freshman year at Boston University – the street smart Eastern European with a gorgeous smile, big heart and wicked sense of humor and the artsy Indian girl with a penchant for big hair, Bollywood and Biggie -it seemed like the perfect cross-continental match.

Ah, Biggie. I pour some of my Robitussin with Codeine out for you.

But somewhere along our six years together, the Indian girl from Jersey, who had naively promised him Catholic children, steak dinners and consistently defended his refusal to hang with my family as a simple difference in opinion, had a change of heart. And he did, too.
I remember him looking at me on an evening not far from our last and saying, “It’s like all of a sudden you became Indian.” In a way so quiet I didn’t even realize it was happening, the brown from my skin must have seeped in and colored my heart.

That line just slays me. I project emotions and explanations all over it. Is it accusatory? A blurt of hurt? Is becoming “Indian” a negative thing? The defending “his refusal to hang with my family” is also poignant. America may be a country of individuals, but most of us who are of South Asian descent are tightly tied to our families, for better or for worse. No one wants to be caught in that vise between one love and another.

Surprisingly, I’m not the only one. While the rate of intermarriage among races increased over the past half-century, the last decade has seen a reversal – particularly among Asians and Latinos. According to a Ohio State University study, from 1990-2000 the number of Hispanics marrying outside their race fell from 27% to 20%, while Asian intermarriage dropped from 42% to 33%.

I’m no Razib, but this matches what I feel like I’m witnessing around me (and yes, this is the same stat Abhi mentioned in this post). At one point, if I saw a second- or third-generation Asian-American with an Asian spouse, I was surprised, because so many of my friends had married “out”. Now, I see a reversal of that. Maybe it’s easier for us to find each other, thanks to the internets. Then again, maybe Ohio State and I are full of it (highly probable– I’m supposed to be a Michigan fan).

After brushing it off for so long, many of my relatives and friends are listening to that nagging voice in our collective heads. You know, the one that sounds like a hybrid of your mom/dad/grandparent/aunt/uncle/neighbor-in-the-old-country telling you in heavily accented English, “Have you found anyone yet, dahling? Can we introduce you to Mr. Kapoor’s son? He is doctor. Ven vill you finally give us good news?” Despite my better efforts to buck the traditional Indian girl inside me – glossy black locks turned to bleached blond in a weak moment of teen angst; pre-med was never an undergraduate option and much to my parents chagrin; I have always favored copious amounts of worthless costume jewels over precious museum-grade family heirlooms – I discovered that I’m not really that much of a rebel after all.

Yeah, me neither. Well, except for the remaining defiantly single at 34 bit. Maybe it’s because I’ve retired all five pairs of my Doc Martens, but I don’t feel like a rebel…until grateful letters from some of you label me as such; “I’m so glad there’s another Desi girl who isn’t married…I’m 26 and the pressure is horrid!”

Note to 26-year old: don’t allow yourself to be rushed in to a damned thing. The people who nag you to get hitched now won’t be sympathetic to you if you separate or get a divorce. Then you’ll be THAT girl, the one with the “past”.

Even if you end up happily married, they will never stop butting in to your life, because sometime after your wedding reception commences, they’ll be demanding a schedule for when you’ll be procreating offspring, or where you’ll be purchasing a home. As I like to say to my long-suffering Mother: “If I don’t get on that merry-go-round, I don’t have to worry about vomiting.”

You third-generation tykes owe us big. We smug singles are facing the wrath of our community now, so that one day you can actually take advantage of this “30 is the new 20″ bullshit, and go to weddings, funerals, housewarmings or any other Desi-infested event without cringing, or hiding from the Auntie mafia in your car. Don’t worry about thanking us, just hook us up when we’re 65, since Social Security isn’t going to do it.

Back to Raakhee:

During the Obama campaign, commentators asked if younger people were growing up in a colorblind society. I certainly hope it’s a more tolerant one – but not blind. Living in harmony doesn’t mean camouflaging our differences, or denying that we have any. And while I would never judge an Indian person who chose an interracial relationship – love in whatever way it comes is flawless – I know that I could never do it again.

I could never do it in the first place, mostly because of what I’ve bolded below:

Relationships are hard enough, no matter who you love. Maintaining and sustaining them requires a combination of courage, compromise and dedication. But there’s a comfort in building a solid foundation with someone who comes from a similar place. I don’t want to have to explain the minutia of my complex culture, hoping for both understanding and approval. I want to begin on equal footing, roots already firmly planted in a common garden.

I’m more of a wanna-be geek, so my declaration contained something like, “I want someone pre-loaded with all this software, I don’t want to have to install anything”. Please don’t tell me if that makes no sense. :) Just focus on my alternate line, “I ain’t no one’s cultural tour guide.” Classy, I know. That almost sounds like I hate non-Desis. Not at all. In some of those memorable instances, I desperately didn’t want to be the object of someone’s fetish or part of that one guy’s UN fantasy which involved…well, you get the picture. Even if the rare non-Desi guy who expressed interest didn’t fall in to one of those two weird categories, I worried that having to explain every little thing or answer a plethora of questions would become exhausting.

Yet I know friends and family who feel the exact opposite of such sentiments (well…not the UN thing). They love sharing who we are with their significant others from different backgrounds. They relish building bridges by spreading the Brown love and Gods bless them for it. I just can’t do it, Captain. To each, our own, right?

What’s right for me or Raakhee isn’t even right for some of my immediate family members. While Raakhee found her prince, two of my girls got no love or interest from boys within our community; that’s not an exaggeration. I could write horrifying posts about the Desi boys who met them and said, “You’re much darker than I thought you would be”, or similar ugliness. I had a Cross Colors shirt in the early 90s which said, “Love see no color”. We could easily amend it to: “Stupidity see no color.” A douche is a douche, regardless of race.

Those two beautiful women are now marrying outside of our community, and I’m glad for it. I’m not implying that only people who strike out with brown go hunting elsewhere. I’m just mentioning two specific family members who are marrying amazing people and that matters more than skin. If brown boys/girls aren’t feeling you, to hell with them. If you only find that “amazing” with someone whose Mom makes sambar too (guilty), then more hand soap to you. We each need to make this decision for ourselves (are you reading, 26-year old?? You’re fine! Stay strong!).

I’m the kind of girl who is as comfortable worshipping multi-armed deities as she is worshipping at Chanel. The kind who can easily wrap herself in to a 5-yard sari in a public bathroom but much prefers Uggs and leggings. Certainly the kind who washes down a spicy curry with a glass of Johnny on the rocks.

Yeah, I’m just going to state for the record right now that I could never put a sari on in a public bathroom. I don’t even like to put a sari on in my current apartment, because the full-length mirror is unfortunately near where I put on and take off shoes, near the door. Eeek. Oh, Raakhee, you are a better ladki than I. While you’re not asking, I also like Black and coke instead, thanks!

That makes me Indian and American, and the truth is, it’s easier when someone understands the first part of that as much as the latter.

YES. I agree, 100 percent. At the same time, I have noticed that interracial couples where both parties are from minority or “ethnic” backgrounds–which emphasize family– do seem to find some common ground.

So now I’ve taken the UPS approach to dating: What can brown do for me?
More than I ever thought.

Here comes her happy ending:

My current boyfriend, Agan, is the kind of Punjabi prince dreams are made of. He held me last year when Bombay burned and I broke. He high-fived me when “Slumdog” took home eight golden trophies and I squealed. He rolls his eyes when I talk about Yankee Stadium like it’s The Bronx version of the Golden Temple. He’s from the left (wrong) coast, you see; not everything can be Disney fairytales.
But he understands without questioning that I will live at home with my parents until I get married. That family obligations trump any evening plans we may have made. Without my suggesting it, he mentioned that when we grew up and had a house of our own, there would be room for both sets of parents, his and mine. I was enamored.
In that moment I knew why it never worked between me and anybody else. I had underestimated the power of my parenting, the grip of my culture and the strong but subtle shades of India that I reflect.
In less than a year he has earned his way into my parents’ hearts, fielding near daily text messages and e-mails from my mother, approving but curious glances from my father and even joining my brother in a weekly basketball league. It’s as if they already knew each other. And in a way they did.

Your mother can text?! Mine thinks GChat is annoying. Lucky you! Speaking of superior communication products made from Goo, I GMailed Raakhee to ask if anything important had been cut from the story. Sepia Mutiny: we’re like the DVD with deleted scenes! Here’s what she had to say:

What we had to cut from the essay which I thought was important was the idea that being Indian was something I had to grow in to. Not in a conscious way, but something I had to sort of become comfortable expressing. And just being.
Also, I grew up in a way I imagine many desi chicks did who are my age (27); I was a nerdy, hairy (omfg the ‘stache, the unibrow, the horror!) and completely convinced that I would never, ever date. I thought Indian guys wouldn’t get me and all the others would think I was gross. In a way, despite my ridic inflated sense of self (and trust me, i thought i was some super hot shit when i was younger!!), when it came to dating and relationships, I didn’t think I was good enough to date either, brown or white.

Oh, if that isn’t Junior year of high school revisited, I don’t know WHAT is. Sigh.

Back to the article, for the last two paragraphs:

Despite the countries we share, we are still different. His family is Sikh. He wears a turban. Mine are Hindu and we don’t accessorize. But the fundamentals are the same; family first and everything else next.
As usual my parents were right, bless their darling immigrant hearts. It turns out I am both New Delhi and New Jersey, and the man in my dreams finally has a face to reflect that.

I’m happy for you, Raakhee, the same way I’m happy for anyone who finds their lobster. Everyone deserves the bliss that is real love. We may have different desires, preferences, approaches to searching for it, or ways to label it, but in the end, we each want the same thing, no matter with whom we may find it.

409 thoughts on “On Being Down With Dating Brown

  1. some west coast guy,

    I’m sorry :-( I understand your pain. The last time I saw my father or spoke to him was during my mother’s funeral week. That was 19 months ago and I’m at so much peace with the decision now. I struggled with that relationship for so long that in hindsight I wonder why I didn’t make that choice earlier.

    I know it’s not easy but I hope you don’t sacrifice your happiness for anyone, not even your parents because your parents will some day be gone and you don’t want to find yourself alone and resentful because of the choices you’ve made. And at the end of the day, they have their community and each other to support them thru their choices. Who is your cheerleader?

  2. 352 · Janeofalltrades said

    your parents will some day be gone and you don’t want to find yourself alone and resentful because of the choices you’ve made.

    Not to mention that it’s easy to find yourself alone and resentful…while married, if you choose or end up with the wrong partner.

  3. I think most sane people will agree that race shouldn’t matter if the person is what you want in a mate. Your marriage didn’t fail because your spouse was non-Desi, you just didn’t find the right person.

    1st gen parents of every nationality will always want their children to marry within their race/culture. But the bottom line is that they want you to be happy. They may get pissed, but they’ll get over it if they love you.

    I have always dated outside my race because I grew up in America–that’s what was around and that’s what I was attracted too. (I bet if I grew up in India, I’d be married to an Indian by now.) I felt like desis (male and female) never really “got” me. They always stuck together and called you “white girl” if you had any non-Indian friends. They couldn’t understand how I didn’t like garbas or going to the temple. They sure couldn’t understand how I dyed my hair purple, got a lip ring and “embarassed” my parents. To this day, the aunties act sweet to me but I can tell its BS. They think it’s just the worst thing that I’m not a doctor and that I live with my white/Jamaican boyfriend. Meanwhile all their kids couldn’t even get into medical school in the US, hate their lives, and have “slept around” plenty. I already have enough of “Indian Society” to deal with, I’d hate to have a double dose on my boyfriend’s side.

    Where would Desis even be if people didn’t marry outside? India is a huge mix of different people–light skinned, dark, skinned, east-asian looking.

    And I truly believe that there is a huge double standard when it comes to white people. If any white person said they want to sate in their race, everyone would be up in arms! It’s the same reason that there can be numerous [Insert race] Associations but not a “White Professionals Assoc.”

  4. GallopingGranny -”My name is fairly easy to pronounce so I have never had a problem with it, but I do agree with you about those snooty desis who haughtily correct people about their names instead of anglicizing them”

    My name is not easy to pronounce but each and every friend I’ve made in the last 7 years makes it a point to learn how to pronounce it and remember.I do not act snooty nor do i refuse to anglicize my name simply because I want to be a pain in the ass. But I do believe in individuality and not fitting in just to please people.If someone cannot pronounce my name I don’t give them a hard time even though I’m a speech pathologist.If some friends decide to make up a nickname for me or term of endearment :-) I go along with it.But yes, at Starbucks I give my name as “Anne” Infact wouldn’t it be true that if someone decided to change their name to fit in they give up their basic identity just so that the society they live in accepts them easily? I guess to each their own,I wouldn’t want to judge either side because I’m sure they have compelling reasons to do what they do.

    SomeWestcoastguy- I think Janeofalltrades gave some really good insight. My dad always says that we’re family but our destiny is not so intertwined that we have to walk on exactly he same paths. I even broached the gay thing with my mother (just to see her reaction) and I was amzed when she said that you cannot help who you love just try and love someone who makes you happy. I think you’re parents see you as an integral part of them and thus the reluctance to let you make your own decisions.I would just tell them that they’ve raised a son who can make decisons and then harden your heart and don’t hold yourself responsible for how they feel.Because they’ve decidded they’ll feel a certain way because of your actions.Try your best but don’t give up on your happiness.You will resent them if you do end up doing that.

    Janeofalltrades- Here in Los Angeles, I was rebuked at a temple by an anuty because even though I was covered from head to toe when I sat on the floor a little but of my back showed- no thong I swear ;-) .After the kirtan she searched me out in a crowd ,it was after 8pm and made it a point to tell me how disrspectful I was.I was stunned,didn’t know what to say and never went back there.I don’t think she was a new immigrant from India since she had an american accent.

  5. Nope. This was in an upper middle class community where most individuals were professionals had at least a graduate degree. Peoples’ attitude was more like ‘my kids work hard and have the opportunity to work hard, that is why they’re successful’ as opposed to ‘our children are born smart and whilte kids have no values.’ People were a little more humble and a little less arrogant. But then again these are just my personal experiences. Also, I would think the US has a more diverse south asian community (socio-economically speaking) since it’s way more populated than Canada. There are large indian immigrant communities in places like NYC which are very different than what you would find in small-town America. And I would think there were more interracial marriages in the US as the population is way bigger than Canada. It’s not a question of drinking/premarital sex/ smoking pot/eating caviar (of all things) etc to be considered non-backward. To me it was little things–for example, like clothes. In the US women would be super hostile if they saw my mom in non-traditional (but conservative) clothes at the Hindu temple and openly glare at her, not call her to give offerings etc. These are women who had lived in the US for years and the way they behaved was so ridiculous. I’d call them the Hindu evangelicals. Similarly, there was a very tiny faction of Indians who were sick and tired of this kind of behavior and decided to completely stay away from most people in the community. In canada, people were a lot more open and a lot of women dressed in non-traditional clothing(this is at the Hindu temple). Some women were conservative but they didn’t judge others (at least publically). When the openly gay mayor of Winnipeg came to the temple, he brought his boyfriend along. Some old ladies were scandalized, but for the most part, he was welcomed. I just don’t see this happening in most Hindu temples in the US. My boyfriend is an Indian Indian and his upbringing would probably scandalize the US Indian community (part of the crazy evangelical south) I grew up in.

    wait, so did you grow up in an upper-middle class community in Canada or in the U.S. South?

    the u.s. doesn’t necessarily have a more socioeconomically diverse south asian community just b/c it’s bigger; the difference is that canada’s immigration policy is more lax and not as competitive, i know many people who came to the u.s. by way of canada. and weren’t you saying before now that desis in canada intermarry more because they’re more open-minded and respectful… you never said anything about the rest of the population being bigger (in the U.S.)/their percentage of the population being bigger (in canada).

    and my point wasn’t about your experiences, it was about what the statistics show and that article that was posted earlier. as for your experiences, honestly it seems like you just have a chip on your shoulder about indian-americans. i’ve never encountered that sort of dirty attitude in hindu temples in the U.S. (in the ny, boston, chicago, and pittsburgh regions). then again, as has been said throughout this thread, no one should extrapolate from their personal experiences as if it’s fact. but the fact is, i’ve been to many functions (some of them very high-profile) held in temples where white (and non-white actually… beat that!) politicians attended and were greeted warmly. if you just don’t see this happening in most hindu temples in the u.s., i think it’s because you’re not showing the open-mindedness and friendliness that is apparently just so much more present in desis in canada than in the u.s.

    and if being more ‘conservative’ or not isn’t about drinking/smoking/sex, it’s about clothing?? that makes no sense.

    Cindy -Like KA said drinking,living in, smoking pot are really not the signs of conservative or non conservative.I grew up in India and yes even I felt that I am a little less conservative than some ABDs I met in the US.A lot of that is to with the attitude. My upbringing,relationship that I have with my parents -they understand dating and its pitfalls and don’t pressure me to marry an Indian or non Indian.My parents have never left India and are constantly evolving with the times.

    based on what you’ve said it does seem like your parents are fairly liberal compared the stereotypical traditional indian mindset. but india’s a diverse place, and i don’t think that even if we had never left india i would be able to compare my parents to yours, because when i compare them to my aunts and uncles, their friends, etc., who have never left india, i don’t see a big difference in terms of mindset. if anything my father really enjoys his privacy, away from his many ‘country bumpkin’-type siblings, who pestered me about getting my hair cut short. that’s just one example. i don’t think my parents are backwards; they’re very aware of how things are changing in the area of india that we’re from (andhra). perhaps it’s a regional thing. but either way, i don’t think it’s fair for the children of elite indian families (and that’s what a lot of commenters saying this sound like, based on their personal experiences) to tell other people that their parents are stuck in the dark ages, when, as far as i can see from their social set in india, they’re really not.

  6. 355 · Not Confused said

    I think most sane people will agree that race shouldn’t matter if the person is what you want in a mate. Your marriage didn’t fail because your spouse was non-Desi, you just didn’t find the right person.

    Whose marriage did or didn’t fail? To whom is this comment addressed?

    Additionally, I think I understand what you were trying to say with your first sentence, but I wouldn’t label people with whom I disagree as “not sane”. They may not be commenting on this thread, but they are blowing up my Facebook account with anguished letters about how race DOES seem to matter, even if a person is otherwise fantastic. That very real pain and consternation shouldn’t be invalidated by any of us. Everyone’s situation is unique. Let’s not judge the sanity of others, just because they may be torn when you or someone else are not. None of us is perfect, or has it all figured out.

    I have always dated outside my race because I grew up in America–that’s what was around and that’s what I was attracted too. (I bet if I grew up in India, I’d be married to an Indian by now.)

    And I have almost always dated within our community, even though I was born and raised in America– and not around any brown people. I agree with you about the “if I had grown up in India”-bit. ;)

    I felt like desis (male and female) never really “got” me. They always stuck together and called you “white girl” if you had any non-Indian friends. They couldn’t understand how I didn’t like garbas or going to the temple. They sure couldn’t understand how I dyed my hair purple, got a lip ring and “embarassed” my parents.

    Yes, yes, yes. Almost all of our readers have felt uncomfortable at SASA, been called “white-washed”, don’t like garbas/bhangras/bharatanatyam, had purple hair and visible piercings and embarrassed our parents (guilty, guilty, N/A, guilty and totally guilty). It’s not super-duper rare to be THAT person, the one who listens to the Pixies, wears square-toed docs or has blue hair to match those docs (guilty x 3).

    I used to think it was, and that I was oh-so different, especially because of my goth phase (bonus alienation points!). I’m not. I learned that humbling truth after helping to create this site, which seems to attract aforementioned “Desis never got Me”-types like it was playing Katamari. ;)

    The thing is, I agreed with almost every one of your statements, but I know I’m going to marry someone brown, if I marry at all. THAT diversity of preferences (we seem to have similar backgrounds, but you’re fine with non-, I’m not) is where things seem to get individual, IMO– more so than whether we went through a punk phase. :)

    Where would Desis even be if people didn’t marry outside? India is a huge mix of different people–light skinned, dark, skinned, east-asian looking.

    I think this is a little disingenuous. Yes, huge swaths of what is now North India were visited by a lot of different gene pools, but I thought (and would welcome being corrected if I’m wrong) attributes like “East-Asian looking” have more to do with geographical proximity to Asian places than a bunch of people from wherever having interracial marriages. You’re right, India is a huge mix of people– in part because it’s a huge subcontinent, which spans from Kashmir to Kerala. :)

    And I truly believe that there is a huge double standard when it comes to white people. If any white person said they want to sate in their race, everyone would be up in arms! It’s the same reason that there can be numerous [Insert race] Associations but not a “White Professionals Assoc.”

    Sigh. And I truly CANNOT believe that this acuity-free, fallacious argument is still being proffered on my thread, as if it’s some incontrovertible observation by those who keep it real. I’m an erstwhile-Repulican (calm the fuck down, people– it’s been YEARS) who loathes political correctness in most instances and even I grasp the simple concept of white privilege. The day that white people are marginalized or treated like minorities, that’s the day we can be sad that there isn’t a White Journalists Association. Maybe that day isn’t far off, considering current demographic trends, but until that day comes, this “double-standard” claim is not well-taken.

  7. Of course Cindy,I see what you’re saying. Even in my own family I see differences and even when I was in India I met people who thought drinking or sleeping around meant they were less conservative.I did party a lot in college and after and of course growing up,getting job,paying rent made me relaize what the important things in life are. You’re right,it really is not fair of any group to lable another just by the outside visible signs. But at the same time I’ve me ABDs here is LA who do the exact same drinking,sleeping around,drugs and flash their doillars and tell me all the partying they’ve done in the five star hotels of India and they make it a point to tell me how much they spent :-) Plus of course almost everyone I meet asks me if I experienced culture shock.It did irritate me initially because in my mnd they were labelling me a country bumpkin.But eventually I realized that the ideas people hold are based on their own experiences or what they have seen.Very few people can rise over and above their own likes/dislikes,ideas and thoughts and look at things as a holisticly.

  8. Deemz, you’re Canadian Punjabi (albeit Potohari, Pakistani, non-Sikh and not living in the Vancouver region…) what is your opinion (if you don’t mind sharing) of Suki Dhillon’s expressed opinions on this and other threads about his community (no offense Suki, but I would like to get another desi Canadian person’s perspective). Thanks in advance if you choose to respond.

  9. But at the same time I’ve me ABDs here is LA who do the exact same drinking,sleeping around,drugs and flash their doillars and tell me all the partying they’ve done in the five star hotels of India and they make it a point to tell me how much they spent :-)

    ha, i know exactly the types. the kind who would never be able to get into medical school in the U.S., and so their parents pay hefty ‘donations’ for them to go med school in india, where they basically party it up and only hang out with other nri kids or the children of the super-rich, clubbing frequently, etc., with the expectation that they’ll do their residency in the U.S., all the while saying to people ‘oh i’m in med school,’ and for some reason people are actually impressed. we’re talking about cultural exchange in the U.S., but these kids pretty much never interact with anyone not within their same elite circles. i find it really disheartening. nri’s going to med school in india is becoming a common trend actually (many med schools have separate dorms for NRI’s… i know, ugh), and a lot of parents like the idea because it saves time and money (assuming that their kids pass each semester and manage to qualify to practice residency in the U.S.)

    Plus of course almost everyone I meet asks me if I experienced culture shock.It did irritate me initially because in my mnd they were labelling me a country bumpkin.But eventually I realized that the ideas people hold are based on their own experiences or what they have seen.Very few people can rise over and above their own likes/dislikes,ideas and thoughts and look at things as a holisticly.

    haha, i actually asked one cousin that (well, if he ‘had trouble adjusting’) when he came to the U.S. last year, but he just shrugged it off. i asked him that not because i thought he was some country bumpkin, but because the lifestyle in the U.S. and in india is so different. even though he stayed with us in new york when he first visited, i knew it didn’t compare to the fast-paced and exciting lifestyle he lived before that in hyderabad and mumbai. but he pointed out that he’s lived away from home since he completed intermediate, and he makes friends everywhere he goes, so he’s used to talking to his parents over the phone and fending for himself. i guess it also depends on personality… compared to another cousin who grew up with the entire extended family in a rural villege, but studied and lived in major cities away from home since completing +2 as well, who fits the ‘country bumpkin’ stereotype more, who missed home and the rural indian lifestyle a lot more.

  10. Janeofalltrades- Here in Los Angeles, I was rebuked at a temple by an anuty because even though I was covered from head to toe when I sat on the floor a little but of my back showed- no thong I swear ;-) .After the kirtan she searched me out in a crowd ,it was after 8pm and made it a point to tell me how disrspectful I was.I was stunned,didn’t know what to say and never went back there.I don’t think she was a new immigrant from India since she had an american accent.

    Aai ga! Ugh. So sorry to hear that. You know what I realized in my very long short life that when I was single the aunties were more than willing to kick me around, point and poke at me and make me feel useless. Please I made a whole writing career out of bitching about desi people in the “community” that didn’t understand or get me or treated me like a pariah because of my choices.

    Now that I’m married they all seem to think I’m the best thing since sliced bread and can’t have enough of me. Once a snake always a snake though. I still prefer to tell them to fuck off. Oh and new immigrants don’t walk up to people and confront them and seek out altercations. It’s usually the aunty who’s been around for 30+ years and been the president of some association and thinks she owns the association and the people that attend it! :-)

  11. 351 · Amitabh said

    Why shouldn’t they fight back?! Please get out of this ridiculous passive mentality. Anyway these are tough people (UK Sikhs) dealing with tough people (UK white racists). Some one with your attitude would just get bullied and take it all his life.

    i can’t argue with that. british society, in general, is far more belligerent and violent than their counterparts in the US in similar social settings. (in my one year in the UK, i was really surprised by the common occurrence of violence/belligerence in social settings like clubs). it would make sense that desis in the UK would have to display a little violence themselves in those circumstances. plus, rob., i have to say – there’s a much higher percentage in e.g. NY of a fight breaking out at a desi party/club than it happening in a similar situation where the crowd was mostly mixed/white. generalizations, i know, but the situation in the UK really is different.

  12. Yes, yes, yes. Almost all of our readers have felt uncomfortable at SASA, been called “white-washed”, don’t like garbas/bhangras/bharatanatyam, had purple hair and visible piercings and embarrassed our parents (guilty, guilty, N/A, guilty and totally guilty). I hate to break this to everyone, but it’s not super-duper rare to be THAT brown person… I used to think it was, and that I was oh-so special….We’re all special snowlakes, aren’t we? ;)

    :-) Guilty here Annabanana thats why we gots you to bytchslap the lot of us into reality every now and then.

  13. 356 · kaizen said

    GallopingGranny -”My name is fairly easy to pronounce so I have never had a problem with it, but I do agree with you about those snooty desis who haughtily correct people about their names instead of anglicizing them” My name is not easy to pronounce but each and every friend I’ve made in the last 7 years makes it a point to learn how to pronounce it and remember.I do not act snooty nor do i refuse to anglicize my name simply because I want to be a pain in the ass. But I do believe in individuality and not fitting in just to please people.If someone cannot pronounce my name I don’t give them a hard time even though I’m a speech pathologist.If some friends decide to make up a nickname for me or term of endearment :-) I go along with it.But yes, at Starbucks I give my name as “Anne” Infact wouldn’t it be true that if someone decided to change their name to fit in they give up their basic identity just so that the society they live in accepts them easily? I guess to each their own,I wouldn’t want to judge either side because I’m sure they have compelling reasons to do what they do.

    At any point did you see the context I made that comment in? I was being sarcastic about Metal Mickey’s previous comments. I obviously think its not necessary for people change their names, its not like we have Barry in the white house…

  14. Cindy- tell me about it ! I married a guy who was raised in bombay who was apparently on the surface from a non conservative family but of course as soon as we’re married I was expected to change my last name, start wearing indian clothes when the mom in law ( from hell)requested and of course produce a son.Now,that was culture shock to me that after dating a guy for 4 years it literaly took 4 days for things to change.Needless to say that was biggest motivator to come to the US to get away from all of that . Even though we grew up literally 5 miles from each other in Bombay we were so different.I did stay married for 4 years and my parents never ever asked for grand children whereas his side of the family was constantly pressuring me to have kids.I was about to declare myself barren but then I kind of opened my eyes to the fact that the marriage really wasn’t working,told my parents I want out and with their support got divorced.Of course took me months to revert back to maiden last name while the ex married a small town girl his mom picked out within weeks of the divorce.

    So,coming back to interracial vs. desi dating , I really haven’t formed an opinion either way I’m going to stumble around a little and figure it out I guess. I do,of course,worry about things like if my parents were to visit from India an american guy would not put up with it for more than a couple of weeks and I’m not sure if he would really feel a part of my family. And the flip side of that is that most of the Indian guys I meet are a little hesitant about dating a divorced woman.

  15. 365 · Galloping Granny said

    356 · kaizen said
    GallopingGranny -”My name is fairly easy to pronounce so I have never had a problem with it, but I do agree with you about those snooty desis who haughtily correct people about their names instead of anglicizing them”My name is not easy to pronounce but each and every friend I’ve made in the last 7 years makes it a point to learn how to pronounce it and remember.I do not act snooty nor do i refuse to anglicize my name simply because I want to be a pain in the ass. But I do believe in individuality and not fitting in just to please people.If someone cannot pronounce my name I don’t give them a hard time even though I’m a speech pathologist.If some friends decide to make up a nickname for me or term of endearment :-) I go along with it.But yes, at Starbucks I give my name as “Anne”Infact wouldn’t it be true that if someone decided to change their name to fit in they give up their basic identity just so that the society they live in accepts them easily? I guess to each their own,I wouldn’t want to judge either side because I’m sure they have compelling reasons to do what they do.
    At any point did you see the context I made that comment in? I was being sarcastic about Metal Mickey’s previous comments. I obviously think its not necessary for people change their names, its not like we have Barry in the white house…

    Sorry…jsut read the meat not the context :-)

  16. Ah yes…~350+ comments, and I am yet to see a single person use the one word that’s most important in this context: Tolerance.

    No wonder…

    M. Nam

  17. 368 · MoorNam said

    Ah yes…~350+ comments, and I am yet to see a single person use the one word that’s most important in this context: Tolerance.

    Then you haven’t read the whole thread.

  18. “in the end, the love you take Is equal to the love you make”

    -PM
    

    I don’t think it could be better said.

  19. 369 · SM Intern said

    Then you haven’t read the whole thread.

    meaningless epigrams will not be constrained by such trivialities as a browser find button.

  20. Okay, I’ll bite…based only on what I’ve read, I think Suki has a tendency to ascribe the most negative aspects of some members of his community to all of its members. To be honest, I don’t have the data nor an insider’s awareness of what’s going on in the Punjabi-Canadian community, Sikh, Muslim or otherwise to say he’s completely off-base in believing that some of the problems are indeed pervasive … I didn’t grow up immersed around relatives or in a brown stronghold like some parts of Vancouver or Toronto are.

    This may be why I am kind of envious of the positive apsects of the strong, tight-knit nature of these kinds of communities while Suki chooses to highlight and focus in on the bad points…

    Ultimately, I believe there has to be a balance between collectivism and individualism, and I think that’s what issue topics like this boils down to. The conflict between the two and how that may perpetuate certain problems.

  21. Using tolerance in another context within the thread is not what I was talking about…

    Tolerance is not just limited to others’ race, religion, sexual orientation etc. One should learn to be tolerant towards personal deficiencies like not opening the door for the woman, inability to stare down the mother, lack of smooth legs, chewing with one’s mouth open etc etc, without ever attempting to change the person and learning to live with those deficiencies forever with a smile.

    Oh, and it helps to not use the words “I” and “me” and “mine” all the time. (I’m not letting my parents go into assisted living in their old age and my husband has to deal with that - is written by a tolerant person as – We’re not letting our parents go into assisted living in their old age and we both have to deal with that).

    M. Nam

  22. 357 · cindy said

    but the fact is, i’ve been to many functions (some of them very high-profile) held in temples where white (and non-white actually… beat that!) politicians attended and were greeted warmly. if you just don’t see this happening in most hindu temples in the u.s., i think it’s because you’re not showing the open-mindedness and friendliness that is apparently just so much more present in desis in canada than in the u.s. and if being more ‘conservative’ or not isn’t about drinking/smoking/sex, it’s about clothing?? that makes no sense.

    I grew up in the US/south then moved to Canada–both Indian communities were quite similar, minus the attitudes. My point wasn’t about politicians (white or non) coming to the temple, it was that the temple welcomed an openly gay politician (mayor) who brought his partner along for diwali. I don’t see the southern community I grew up in doing that.

    Conservative isn’t about clothing. Maybe I’m not being very articulate, but it’s about attitude–in this case, attitude about including others pr people’s willingness to exclude others on the slightest of terms (i e clothes). I would see how interracial dating would be a huge deal in a community that was so closed to everything else.

  23. Cindy – the marriage market is fairly efficient, prepare to go through all good and bad emotions.

    Kaizen – don’t disclose too much personal stuff on the web, can come back to haunt you. Find yourself without losing yourself.

    Janeofalltrades – tmi….don’t need to know your hubby’s intimate details.

  24. So..i kind of missed alot and am just catching up on some of the comments but is it just me or are the indian girls that date white dudes just really defensive on this thread? Again maybe its just me but some are coming off like we are being overly harsh on white dudes when it seems like no one has said anything about it. Why are you guys so angry?

  25. 376 · suman said

    So..i kind of missed alot and am just catching up on some of the comments but is it just me or are the indian girls that date white dudes just really defensive on this thread? Again maybe its just me but some are coming off like we are being overly harsh on white dudes when it seems like no one has said anything about it. Why are you guys so angry?

    The ladies doth protest too much?

    I said it upthread, but I think it’s just suppressed guilt. I hate to psychoanalyze and speculate as to the motivations for other people’s actions, but in this case it might just be appropriate. I don’t think any sensible conversation on this topic is possible until brownies who left the flock and brownies who gave up on “the one” in order to stay in it come to terms with their guilt and stop trying to justify their decision by making broad-brush generalizations about the whole diaspora/culture or judge everyone who made a different choice than they did.

  26. Fantastic article and commentary.

    Yes, yes, yes. Almost all of our readers have felt uncomfortable at SASA, been called “white-washed”, don’t like garbas/bhangras/bharatanatyam, had purple hair and visible piercings and embarrassed our parents (guilty, guilty, N/A, guilty and totally guilty). I hate to break this to everyone, but it’s not super-duper rare to be THAT brown person…

    Hey! I’m a former goth who did my arangetram and was obsessed with Amar Chitra Katha in a non-ironic way! The two are not mutually exclusive :-) But I did hate college Indian Associations-many of those people really thought Indian culture stopped at Bhangra, Bollywood and partying/debauchery with brown people.

    So, basically here I am in Los Angeles, 34 year old, with the reality dawning upon me that maybe I can’t date American, ABD or Desi maybe time to pack my bags and head back to the mothership where everybody know my name :-)

    I know the feeling, but you don’t need to leave the US…just leave LA. I went to college in LA and basically, my dating life there was zilch for those 4 years…but once I moved out I met guys of all backgrounds who were “normal”.

    My boyfriend is an Indian Indian and his upbringing would probably scandalize the US Indian community (part of the crazy evangelical south) I grew up in.

    Tell me about it…My husband’s an Indian Indian too. His family parties in Bombay almost scandalized ME who grew up in Cali Indian circles, with the ladies in his grandmother’s generation chugging down pegs of whiskey and everyone breaking out into raunchy jokes. His mom freaks out if I want to wear salwaar kameez instead of jeans when I visit, and tells me I should stop being a vegetarian. It seems like our parents brought the India of the 60s here to stay, while Indian metros have proceeded normally. Sometimes I wonder if we got sort of ripped off by growing up here :-)

  27. It seems like our parents brought the India of the 60s here to stay, while Indian metros have proceeded normally.

    “Normally?” What’s “normal?”

  28. Tell me about it…My husband’s an Indian Indian too. His family parties in Bombay almost scandalized ME who grew up in Cali Indian circles, with the ladies in his grandmother’s generation chugging down pegs of whiskey and everyone breaking out into raunchy jokes. His mom freaks out if I want to wear salwaar kameez instead of jeans when I visit, and tells me I should stop being a vegetarian. It seems like our parents brought the India of the 60s here to stay, while Indian metros have proceeded normally. Sometimes I wonder if we got sort of ripped off by growing up here :-)

    if your mother-in-law is trying to influence how you dress and what you eat, that doesn’t really mesh with the notion that cosmopolitan indians are more liberal in terms of ‘acceptance’ of other fashions, lifestyles, etc. that others have been bringing up, does it? that’s funny.

    and again, that’s very different from my experience and what i’ve seen with my extended family and family friends in india. is my family extraordinarily ‘country bumpkin’-like for families that have immigrated to the U.S., or can other ABDs attest to this?

    i know that if my family had stayed in india, chances are that i’d be studying B.Tech and go on to work for a year before getting an ‘assisted’ marriage to a computer programmer who’s got his green card in the U.S. it’s the same completely unglamorous trajectory that my female cousins follow.

  29. basically i think people need to stop saying that indian-americans are conservative because they brought an india-from-decades-ago with them, when maybe it’s just a (or at least partly a) difference in the subcultures they come from within india, i.e. more ‘middle class’ values, as opposed to the cosmopolitan elites in cities like bombay and delhi.

  30. “Normally?” What’s “normal?”

    Sorry for the confusion, I realized after posting that comment sounds pro-Western, but I wrote the word “normally” out of laziness. I suppose I was referring to the point that lifestyles may be more liberal and permissive in some parts of India than in the US. Not that a liberal lifestyle is necessarily better, but I feel a liberal way of thinking (meaning that everyone is free to do as they please rather than being confined to social norms) is. Of course, my feeling of being ripped off is much bigger than having a family to party with…it would have been nice to grow up in a place where everyone was brown and it was OK to be Indianized and Westernized at the same time. But that is totally getting off topic…

  31. (meaning that everyone is free to do as they please rather than being confined to social norms)

    But “what they please” is going to be defined by social norms too. They might not be the family’s norms or the religion’s norms but they will be the norms of some subculture or marketing gimmick or maybe a philosopher. Mankind is a social animal. Unless we sacrifice all our stuff and become a sanyasi we can never be free of the demands of social norms. In my mind it is not so much a matter of being defined by social norms it is being able to critically evaluate the norms we operate with. I think the libertine stance of “let everyone do what they want” swings the pendulum too far. Sometimes people really do need to be told what to do. It is a source of endless frustration for economists when philosophers and cognitive scientists make them come to terms with the fact that people are usually pretty crappy at evaluating for themselves what makes them happy. In many ways one of the keys to happiness is learning to moderate your expectations.

  32. OK. I’ll bite. I’m white and only date white. No deep thoughts behind it, it’s just what I like, aesthetically speaking. So I know where Anna is coming from when she says we can’t always explain logically why we are attracted to what we are, we just are.

    There, I said it.

    Next?

  33. 363 · ak said

    i can’t argue with that. british society, in general, is far more belligerent and violent than their counterparts in the US in similar social settings. (in my one year in the UK, i was really surprised by the common occurrence of violence/belligerence in social settings like clubs). it would make sense that desis in the UK would have to display a little violence themselves in those circumstances. plus, rob., i have to say – there’s a much higher percentage in e.g. NY of a fight breaking out at a desi party/club than it happening in a similar situation where the crowd was mostly mixed/white. generalizations, i know, but the situation in the UK really is different.

    PS I never came across anybody using the word “desi” everyday speech in UK. I’ve seen it in flyer for gigs and magazines, but in everyday speech, the term “Asian” is used.

    My Northern California born and raised relatives don’t take any racist shit off anybody either…

    There’s ALWAYS a fight at a UK bhangra gig, it’s rare if there isn’t one. Many non-Asian clubs won’t let in Asian men in, cos they’ve such a bad reputation for violence.

    Going back to interracial dating – a funny thing is that people in the Indian villages are a lot more open to interracial marriage than UK Indians of my parent’s generation. Many guys from my village have married European women. Nobody had a problem with it. A distant relative brought her white husband to the pind and everybody loved him.

  34. There’s ALWAYS a fight at a UK bhangra gig, it’s rare if there isn’t one.

    Yes, woot–let’s be proud!

  35. 295 · Manju said

    and from your lips i extracted that final blessing

    Manju, I’m honored that you care what I think; and you’re perfect, of course. But walking down the path of romance with you might cause irreparable harm.

    Think of the scandal that will ensue when our wedding cards will be sent. Think of the sudden cardiac arrests! “The age of Kali is upon us! Manju and Port! Two girls brazenly announcing their nuptials!”

    For the sake of geriatric health among the desi community, I beg you to reconsider this ill-conceived fling.

  36. 378 · AK said

    Yes, yes, yes. Almost all of our readers have felt uncomfortable at SASA, been called “white-washed”, don’t like garbas/bhangras/bharatanatyam, had purple hair and visible piercings and embarrassed our parents (guilty, guilty, N/A, guilty and totally guilty). I hate to break this to everyone, but it’s not super-duper rare to be THAT brown person… Hey! I’m a former goth who did my arangetram and was obsessed with Amar Chitra Katha in a non-ironic way! The two are not mutually exclusive :-) But I did hate college Indian Associations-many of those people really thought Indian culture stopped at Bhangra, Bollywood and partying/debauchery with brown people.

    I don’t think we’re as rare as we seem.

    I did my arangetram, love the Mahabharata, and can make a mean chole, but I was also completely wild in high school, drink like a fish in college, always say that the best part of following Krishna is checking out the divine posterior, am majoring in Middle Eastern Studies, plan to work for the State Department Medical Corps or something similar, and have absolutely no intention about worrying what the community thinks when I do end up getting married.

    I’m sure that there are plenty of us complicated types out there.

  37. There’s ALWAYS a fight at a UK bhangra gig, it’s rare if there isn’t one. Many non-Asian clubs won’t let in Asian men in, cos they’ve such a bad reputation for violence.

    I refuse to believe this, as this could be lie spread by those who have a problem with the south asian community. I want to see proof, before I accept this lie about the peace loving bhangra crowd. Many who share the same ethnic background as me.

  38. 387 · portmanteau said

    Think of the scandal that will ensue when our wedding cards will be sent. Think of the sudden cardiac arrests! “The age of Kali is upon us! Manju and Port! Two girls brazenly announcing their nuptials!”

    Two girls!? I think not, Port. You know as well as I that I’m just too much woman for you.

  39. exactly what I’m saying AK. However, my family’s kinda always been that way back home. We were never vegetarian, never wore traditional clothes, and family parties always had alcohol, didn’t mind gambling etc. When we moved to the US, we were like, hey, what’s going on?

    It was understandable though because the rest of Southern society was so closed and hostile towards immigrants and their culture, that they too felt the need to do the same thing.

    Cindy, being conservative isn’t a bad thing, so don’t take it in a negative way when someone states they feel Indian American society is conservative. The only thing I didn’t like about the particular group I grew up in was their willingness (eagerness almost) to cast out people who dared to be different than they were. And when people cast out others so easily, it’s understandable that kids will feel uneasy with interracial dating.

  40. 387 · portmanteau said

    and you’re perfect, of course

    Port, I do love your penchant for understatement

  41. Anna, you and other women who don’t get pressured into marriage really are clearing the way for parents to be more open minded about whom the rest marry. With the 1st daughter over 30 and unmarried, my mother didn’t blink at the 2nd daughter’s announcing she was dating (and then marrying) a white guy; my seemingly-more-assimilated dad was the one to stress out much more. Mom, bless her, just wanted to know if the guy was good to her daughter.

  42. Suki Dillon said

    There’s ALWAYS a fight at a UK bhangra gig, it’s rare if there isn’t one. Many non-Asian clubs won’t let in Asian men in, cos they’ve such a bad reputation for violence.
    I refuse to believe this, as this could be lie spread by those who have a problem with the south asian community. I want to see proof, before I accept this lie about the peace loving bhangra crowd. Many who share the same ethnic background as me.
    I’ve personally been refused entry to a club, where the doorman said that he didn’t want Asian guys coming in cos the cause trouble. There was an incident a couple of year ago where a UK Pakistani guy tried to push to the front of the line, and the doorman told him to get to the back. The Pakistani came out with one of those “don’t you know who I am” diatribes (like anybody should…). The doorman said No. The Pakistani came back to club and started firing bullets in the air to scare everybody, and was then arrested. People have touched upon this earlier in the thread, but there’s an amazing double standard regarding attitudes towards genders and race. I grew up as one of 5 sons. My parents never brought up the issue of race. My father said he doesn’t mind who I end up with, but he warned me marrying a Muslims or Jatt Sikhs would cause issues. He said think of the woman and how it would affect her relationship with her family too. A lot of families are not happy of the idea of their daughters with a non-Asian. My youngest brother is married to a Bangladeshi Muslim woman. He never converted, he hates religion, When I told a close Bangladesh male friend about my brother’s situation. he said that my bro’s the gf’s life would be at risk from her own family, and he was deadly serious. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised to hear this. My sister’s in law’s family never turned up at their wedding, and it’s only after 2 years that he was invited to his mother in law’s house. There are many Asian guys with non-Asian partners who get pissed off when they an Asian woman with a non-Asian guy. The level of hypocrisy is astounding.

    Some families have the BMW rule for their kids – no black, Muslims or whites. They are ok with Indians from states different to their own.

  43. Good god, the comments here…

    Look, have sex and fall in love with whoever tickles your fancy. They can be Indian, Indian American, South Asian, South Asian American, or none of the above. Could even be a black or white dude. Great if you can get with an Indian, Indian American, equally great if you can get with a Colombian/African/Arab/whatever person who makes you feel like the apple of his/her eye.

  44. You know, finding nice people as it is in general is already hard enough. Clicking romantically with someone on various levels is ever harder. Throwing in all this race stuff like “Oh, culturally and ethnically blah blah blah” just adds so much more, and is unnecessary, IMO. Perhaps I think it’s unnecessary because my social circle isn’t predominantly Indian American, I’m not really close to my family, and my attitude has generally been “I’m going to do what I want as long as it’s not illegal or immoral,” so I don’t get too swayed by whatever social and familial pressures there may be.

    If I have kids though–regardless of whether my impregnator is of Indian origin or not–I’m going to get them to learn Hindi and Spanish so that they can eventually communicate with more than 1 billion people at minimum. Combined with English, that would open up so many doors for them (in the life experience sense, not occupation-wise). Maybe get them to learn Mandarin and Cantonese too.

  45. Huey and others asked “How CAN a dude be white AND dark at the same time? Ladies, do you want a Colin Farrell, a Terrence Howard or a Morris Chestnut type?”

    The same reason someone like Obama could be described as “light skinned” by blacks. Richard Pryor was in Africa he asked the Africans what tribe they thought he was from. They said, “Italian.” Now Richard didn’t look Italian, but you get the idea. It’s all relative. Surely you get that? JFK Jr., RIP, was tall, dark and handsome by white standards. Mainly it meant dark wavy hair and strongly defined eyebrows.

  46. “…its not like we have Barry in the white house…

    We sort of do. Barry was his original given name. He started using Barack much later.

  47. 59· cindy said

    those aunties and uncles are real pieces of work, to be saying that stuff at the actual wedding! The most despicable part is the ‘what a pimp’ attitude… not only is it disrespectful to the bride, it’s also humiliating to their own wives.

    My parents attended a wedding about 5 years ago where an incident like this occured. The groom was Punjabi Sikh Jatt and the bride was white (they are still together). The bride and groom’s parents and siblings got along just fine (they still do) but it was some members of the groom’s extended family that had a problem. Some went on about how “white women are w—-s” and others thought the groom was such a pimp because the wedding functions were going to be full of “freely available white girls” (in reference to the bride’s sisters, cousins, and some of her friends, and also some of the groom’s friends; most of these women were either married or had boyfriends). The groom’s father found out about this, and told those relatives to not attend any of the wedding functions if they were going to say such horrible things (the groom’s father no longer has any contact with those relatives).

    325· Suki Dillon said

    The way many in the community have shown respect for my parents cause they didn’t stop from my sister from marring a Sri Lankan guy. I still to this day here comments from people from what bad parents I have. Also my cousin daughter is going to an Ivy League school in the Northeast, but yet most people in the community want to talk about is that she has a white boyfriend and how my cousin and his wife were bad parents.

    If those horrid people say these things in front of your parents and cousin, they should be telling these people to f— off and mind their own business.

  48. I’m sure I am the weirdest Indian girl ever. To start with I don’t look Indian enough and everyone thinks I’m Italian, Arab or once (very weirdly) Japanese, when I’m actually a South Indian Muslim. Then I’m only ever, ever attracted to brown guys. But, and this is why I’m so weird, I’m always mean to the brown boys who flirt with me, especially if I’m attracted to them. Like I’m super-mean, for some unfathomable reason, and I’ll just act really stupid and stuck-up and superior. And I’m nice to white boys whom I’m not remotely attracted to. At 23, I’m beginning to think that it’s becoming patently obvious that I will be alone forever. Also I think all of these stats about race and marriage or love or whatever are so stupid. I mean really, anyone can be attracted to anyone right? But maybe people who are more attracted to people from their own background just don’t want to explain all of our many cultural weirdnesses to someone else (you’re going to do shave our baby’s head WHY?). Or maybe like me, it’s just an aesthetic preference–I mean there is nothing more attractive on a guy than melanin and stubble. :-P