Robert, I haven’t been to the States but based on what I heard from the Yanks I know personally as well as “desis” living there and online forums of course, Indians don’t really blend in too well. I heard that the “desis” in America are weird, social misfits even up to the 2nd generation. They are stereotyped as nerds and rejects. I mean the Oxford English Dictionary even has a term for these people with identity issues – ABCD – American born Confused Desi.
I would like to spend some time in United States, and of course my no.1 priority is to visit nightclubs in Las Vegas, music fests in Austin, Texas and partying at the beach in Miami – I want to meet lots of pretty girls 🙂 but don’t really want to be clubbed with one of those loser ABCD’s. In what ways can I avoid being stereotyped? In one way I do stand out from them, I have a lovely accent, girls LOVE HEARING my voice.
Is it something to be taken seriously, do you have any advice for me? From my recent experiences in Europe, I did not face any disadvantage for being an Indian. However, I did not always announce my nationality unless someone asked. Most Europeans automatically took me for an American because of my accent and would act surprised that I’m not one.
Here are some jokes on “desis”, well there is a ring of truth to them.
Well, around here we just have Punjabis and a few Gujaratis. The 1st generation Punjabis keep to themselves, but some of the younger ones are assimilating to US culture in a very big way. First generation Punjabis males of any age tend to be very masculine and sure of themselves. I would even call them macho. The only reputation they have around here is that the older ones do not want to mingle with Americans, even White Americans, at all. A lot of them are not even very friendly. But a lot of the younger ones are quite friendly.
The 2nd generation Punjabis around here are “Joe Cool” types. They remind me of the surfers that I grew up with. They are some of the coolest dudes in this whole town. They are very, very smart and value intellectual stuff a lot. 2nd generation Punjabi males have all assimilated 100%. They are just like me.
The females do not assimilate too much, and they tend to marry other Punjabis. But a lot of them are very beautiful. The young Punjabi immigrants are often very bright, and they tend to hang out with each other in social groups of males and females.
The males are “Joe Cool” types, the women tend to be beautiful, and they both spend a lot of time in coed study groups. They do not want to mingle much with non-Punjabis. They are very much into studying all the time though. But these are weird “Joe Cool” types that nevertheless study all the time. It is like studying is cool in their culture and not nerdy.
I suppose there are couples among the young people, but you do not see much of that. I have heard though the grapevine that the Punjabi girls are very reluctant to give it up even to Punjabi guys, and they practically want to be virgins until they are married.
We have a few Gujaratis around here who are part of the merchant caste, whatever that is. They are rather uppity and arrogant and really do not associate at all with non-Gujaratis. They are all immigrants. Some of the women are quite beautiful.
Bottom line is around here there are few if any of the “Indian nerd” types. I assume this stereotype exists, but we just do not have that stereotype around here. No one hates Indians around here or thinks they are nerds or anything like that. The only reputation they have is being clannish and sticking to their own kind. There is no downside to the local women in being an Indian male in this town.