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Hip Hop saturates the streets of suburbia; the youth adopt non-colloquial slang – Kevin Gnapoor from are great, comical examples.The truth is, this shared lifestyle often ends at the family door.
Though the groundbreaking movie, Fatima lives in New York City and recently married her husband Ibrahim, an African American man.“My parents are not the traditional South Asian parents – they are more activist types, this includes even my extended family, and they understood my struggle finding someone, and the fact that Ibrahim and I share a faith, which was a big deal for me, definitely helped.But I did have some of my male cousins make comments like ‘if you need money, let me know’, in a very concerned fashion.” Fatima says, “I mean everything was fine, but still, we had a small wedding, and I was very purposeful in not involving my community at the wedding – it would be an assumption that I was ‘downgrading’, ‘misbehaving in New York City’ or ‘retaliating’.I mean, there’s a reason Ibrahim and I chose to live in New York City, and not go back to the Midwest [where I’m from].” Not to say everything in Fatima’s mind is ideal, and the only hindrance is the possible buzz of the Auntie gossip mill, “Of course there are things like, my Mangalsutra at my wedding, which in my family is given by the Mother-in-Law, was given by my Aunt, and some gaps in day-to-day cultural things.“He was disappointed.” The words blinked at me on the computer screen, and released a strong cocktail of emotions – a combination of irritation, irony and even apathy.My brother was relaying to me, via chat, my father’s reaction to me casually dating a White guy for a few months. It’s never something any self-respecting South Asian 1st generation child deals with well, especially when it comes from their parental units.
I was a bit miffed – of course, I both understood and disdained my parents’ preference for me to date the ever-so-coveted Gujarati Doctor, but putting my interracial relationship on par with a traffic ticket I received at 16, or when I got in trouble for talking too much in 3rd grade, seemed a bit extreme.
Interracial dating, while nothing new to most immigrant communities in America, is still something fresh for South Asians in their respective communities.
Most South Asian parents wish or demand for their progeny to mate with the identical cultural background (sometimes down to native village).
There is a sense of superiority seen in the South Asian American community – the thought that dating someone outside of our own racial construct is “settling” for something not as good.
This attitude is often escalated when it comes to unions between Black Men and South Asian Women.
The irony is that Black culture is emulated by segments of South Asian youth.