Saturday, December 27, 2008

#207: Talking About Interracial Relationships

If there's one thing Indians like more than interracial relationships it's talking about interracial relationships.  From Telegu Convention Youth Forums to South Asian Lit discussion sections, Indians love opening up about the role dating white men and black men play in the Indian American community.  We write short stories about it; we make movies about it; we article about it; we build entire identities around it.

Karina: I think Raghav likes you; you guys should go out.
Karishma: As if.  I don't date Indian dudes.  Their finger nails are always yellow from the subji they eat with their hands.  I'm going to marry a Jonas Brother and have hot mixed babies like Halle Berry.  Wait, is Chris Brown single?

The topic of dating interracially is usually brought up by a particular Indian girl who considers herself "unique."  She likes "rock" music, not "r&b."  She majors in "anthropology," not "biology."  She does TFA, not MBA.  She doesn't do Bollywood and she most definitely does not date Indian boys.  

"Indians are so cliquey," she says, "I just don't identify with them."  In response there are the Indians who date Indians who look down on her; the Indians who date white men who look down on other Indians, and the Indians who date black men who look down on everybody.  

The arguments for and against interracial relationships in the Indian community travel the spectrum.  There are those who think Indian girls who date outside their race are self-conscious and ashamed; there are those who think Indians who exclusively date each other are afraid and close-minded; there are those who think it's subconscious and those who do it with purpose.  Any way you churn the chutney, one thing is for sure, when it comes to interracial dating Indians have no shortage of opinions.  

Just don't date a muslim; that will get you disowned.