When Indian started immigration to America in the 1970’s(and/or earlier)they were the odd ones out. Indian? What Indian? Like Native Americans? OH…the dot Indians! Who Columbus looked for….
This is the pioneer generation of Indian-Americans who had a face a lot of these questions firsthand about who Indians are. They are the generation who raised the first generation of Indian-Americans who grew up here, who went through the most since it was a whole new community. They were in school & work with almost no other Indians around them.
The second generation is here, who have seen a lot of influence from India. We have seen our parents generation and Indians here. We grew up with a handful of Indians around us, but not any thing extreme. We thank the generation before us who has to absorb a lot of the “what species are you” type questions. We went through an identity crisis jus like our previous generation. But, a lot of us are coming out now, to find ways to embrace our culture and pave our way. Coming out with creative ideas, wanting to make our mark for our heritage and identity. We grew up with 90’s Bollywood and that gave us comfort in connecting with our heritage & culture to hold on to what we are as we faced the unknown in school and workplace. Now we are at a point where we know we don’t want the next generation to go through that, and we feel empowered to be in a place where we can make a change!
We, as Indian-Americans from all generations, are at a point where we can see the next wave of creativity empowering asians, and especially South Asians. We are making our mark and creating our own legacy and heritage as Indian-Americans as a community. The new cool will not be” forget your heritage blend in and be happy to be here” it will be ” be bold, make your mark, love yourself, pave your way and make your voice heard you and your people matter you are here to stay and you have a place”
We see that just like everyone else immigrated to America and made this their own, so did our people. And now it’s our turn to make sure our home that we make here doesn’t get washed away. That we keep what makes us Indian, we keep ourselves grounded, we make sure that people don’t regret coming here.
Because our parent’s didn’t come ALL the way here for a better opportunity to completely lose who we are.
We can embrace American culture, values, and still speak our language, love our food, love our clothes, loves our festivals, customs and everything else! We can be both. We can raise our generations here teaching them how to balance both. We can empower our next generation to be their best selves, to look within and reach their full potential doing what they want to do in life.
Even in the film industry, we see SO many people just like us who are making a mark. So many CEO’s are making a mark. The time is now to make your mark. You don’t have to hide from being Indian. You don’t have to change your name to Amy, Sammy, or anything that it’s not. You don’t have to hide your curry that you take for lunch. You don’t have to hide your music, language or anything else. BE YOU!
“The Indian Girl”
Connect with me on Instagram: Meri Sanskriti,would love to hear from you and your experience!