Monday, November 09, 2009

What's Your Indian IQ?

An interesting story written by Race and Culture writer at the Associated Press, Jesse Washington, about a young Mixed Indian/White girl who got in trouble at her school for piercing her nose.

The story begins like this:

"To 12-year-old Suzannah Pabla, piercing her nose was a way to connect with her roots in India. To Suzannah's school, it was a dress-code violation worthy of a suspension."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Now, what I found fascinating about this story is not that this young girl got suspended from school for piercing her nose, I was way more intrigued by the fact that her father is a Sikh and her mother is a Mormon from Utah. I'm wondering what that Meltingpot household is like? Aren't you just a wee bit curious? (Then again, it does imply that they might be divorced as Dad works in New England and mom and daughter are in Utah. Or not. Either way their family life sounds intriguing.)

Of course that is so not the writer's intention in writing this story. In fact, the rest of the story is about how assimilated Indians are in America, and by contrast, how much does the average American know about Indian culture. If you don't know a lot, but want to know more, the writer offers up the blog Sepia Mutiny for answers and information.

So what do you know? Do you have Indian friends on speed dial or is Slumdog Millionaire your only connection to Indian culture? Or maybe you're like me? I do have some Indian friends, celebrated Diwali in college and never met an Indian dish I didn't love, but yet don't feel like I know a whole lot about Indian culture beyond what is offered up for public consumption by Westerners, ala Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love. I also don't feel like I have any real sense of what the Indian community in America is up to or up against.

So how much do you know? Care to share?



This just in. Rather than just getting mad at JOP Keith Bardwell, one woman decided to use the opportunity to show Bardwell and the rest of the world that interracial couples make wonderful parents with wonderful children. And she's asking for your help. Check out her new Mixed and Happy blog and show some support. And at the very least spread the work on your own blogs.



Anonymous said...

Amardeep Singh isn't in fact the girl's father and is a blogger at Sepia Mutiny (and elsewhere). There's more conversation on his post there.

Anisah said...

Interesting story! My ex is Indian and we have one daughter who is 20 now. He was raised in Africa not India, so he has a different accent and some different cultural aspects.


ieishah said...

whatever the pierced girl's father's name, he is a practicing sikh (according to the post linked), and the question still remains, should she be allowed to wear a nose ring for cultural purposes? i don't know about that, so i'll tackle the indian iq question. f

irst, of all, anita jain's marrying anita is a great memoir about being an indian and an american and a general outsider and looking for a husband. i know that generally, indian girls of our generation are between two worlds: the 'western' and the traditional'; also that with all of its technical advances, india itself struggles with similar identity issues.

then there's the country of my parents' origin guyana. basically 50% indian/hindu. historically, lots of bad blood between us (blacks) and them. but i'm not sure caribbean east indians are who we're even talking about here.

dying to go to india, though.

and also, i've given you a blog award. come by my place to pick it up.

Curly Film Chick said...

I was actually going to study documentary filmmaking in Delhi, India for the month of January to do my study abroad, but I missed the deadline =/ anyway I''ve been exposed to India mostly through films by Mira Nair and Deepha Mehta and Sayajidta (sp?) Ray. Very interesting....

Dee said...

Have you seen the film Mississippi Masala? It's directed by Mira Nair with Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury, who in fact is the product of a White British mother and an Indian father. Good movie. Check it out.

My mother often said she dreamed about dating an Indian man. How strange was that? That was after my folks divorced. She also loves Bollywood movies and reading up on Aishwarya Rai--the reigning queen of Bollywood who is said to be the most beautiful woman in the world by some.

As for me, I've often thought about what it would be like to date an Indian man, or at the very least, a man from Sri Lanka. I'm not serious about it, nor do I find Indian men attractive, but it's something to consider. Am I wrong for thinking this way?

LT said...

Thanks for the update.


I am def going to check out Marrying Anita. Sounds great. And you bring up a good point about East Indians. Another layer to consider. And aww shucks, thanks for the blog award.

CFC and Dee,
Love, love, love Mira Nair. I don't think there's a film she's done that I didn't love. Mississippi Masala? Yummy!

LT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shuggie said...

There are two blogs for those who are more interested reading about US Female/East Asian Men relationships might be interested:

1) A Journey in Black and Indian Love
(This one is written by a Black American female married to an Indian man)

2) The Gori Wife Life
(This one is written by a White American female married to a Pakistani man)

I think they're both great and very interesting reads and I love to visit them frequently.

As for me, I find a good bit of East Asian men attractive and especially when I was working in NYC I used to see plenty riding on the Path.

One of the unrequited loves of my life is Indian (He actually liked me too, but was too chained by family expectation to not involve himself with a non-indian girl) - I felt very sad that he wouldn't take the chance on me or following love vs. tradition). I found him amazing and one of the smartest and funniest guys I've ever met. But, alas, that was years ago and I often think of him - I do know that he did marry an Indian girl of his caste/societal background (as was expected), he told me she wasn't very pretty - but, he just couldn't go against his family - I believe it was arranged. Makes me sad, but he did say that he liked her personality and was very nice.

I'm now married to a very cute, smart and humorous Egyptian guy (I had no interaction with Arabic guys prior, so falling for him came out of left field, literally). While I still regret that my Indian friend and I couldn't get together (even for just a date), my hubby is a great choice for me also and we've been together for almost 9 years.

Black Moses said...

I did learn from a half-Pakistani friend, who was told by her grandmother, that you better be sure to NOT pierce the right nostril, cuz that would make you a prostitute!

good to know, i think, for the ladies out there.