Thursday, May 08, 2008

Embracing Ones Own Identity

It is very common to hear about an identity crisis among second
generation Indian Americans. They feel lost between two worlds; are
they Indian; Are they American; Are they losing their sense of
identity; and the list goes on. It is genuine no doubt, but it is also
refreshing to see them embracing their unique identity, as mentioned
in this article in the Detroit Free Press.

An excerpt from the article,
"Ami Turner, 29, whose parents emigrated from Gujarat, India, was born
in Detroit and grew up in Sterling Heights with mostly white and
Arab-American classmates."
"I had fairly fair skin and dark hair, and a lot of people thought I
was Arabic," she said. "When I first went to high school, all the
Arabics had their own little groups, and they thought I was Arabic, so
they hung out with me. And then when they found out I wasn't, I got
phased out."
Turner has hung onto her heritage through 21 years of Indian dancing
with the group Nadanta, something her parents encouraged her do to
preserve a cultural connection.
"I'm very proud of being Indian," she said "That's what Nadanta taught
us: 'Don't hide who you are.' " It's something she has started passing
onto her 23-month-old son, Rohan, and 4-month-old daughter, Isabella,
who are their own genre of Asian American: Hapa, a term referring to
multiracial Asians. It sometimes serves as an acronym for Half Asian
Pacific American. Turner's husband, Andy, is caucasian and Catholic,
but she has preserved her Hindu beliefs, speaks Gujariti and Hindi,
and has started passing down a mash of everything to her kids --
Christmas and Diwali, naan and hamburgers -- assembling the
accoutrements that will shape them as Asian Americans."

Read the full article at --

No comments: