10 Things Every Desi Who Grew Up In America Will Understand
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Politics and Activism

10 Things Every Desi Who Grew Up In America Will Understand

"OMG, your culture is so colorful!"

10 Things Every Desi Who Grew Up In America Will Understand

Growing up is hard enough already. But if you're desi (having roots in South Asia), then it can be that much harder having to deal with occasional, albeit unintentional, ignorance. And if you grew up in an area that didn't have very many other South Asians, then you know what it's like to constantly have to code switch. Here are 10 things that will look familiar to anyone who's had to deal with the struggle.

1. Having the highest spice tolerance out of all your friends

And when you could finish an entire bag of hot Cheetos at lunch without taking a sip of milk, you got instant respect.

2. Going over to a non-Asian friend's house and silently dying when they told you to keep your shoes on

But you still probably took them off anyway because you're not a monster.

3. When you start the India chapter in history, and everyone looks to you for the answers

You can only listen to your teacher butcher the word "Chandragupta" so many times.

4. Using your "Starbucks name" wherever you go

Because spelling out your name all the time gets annoying fast.

5. People constantly asking if you worship cows

And the answer is yes; every day we go and pray at the hooves of Lord Bessie. May she grant all of our dairy-based desires.

6. Cringing every time someone conflates Middle Eastern and South Asian culture

"Do you know how to belly-dance?"

No, but I do know how to use a map.

7. Everybody wanting you to teach them how to say something in "Indian"

Just make sure they teach you how to say something in "American" first.

8. Having code words for everything

The instant you step outside of your house, Bal Vikas and Balagokulam become "Sunday School," your Mama becomes your "uncle," and dosas become "rice pancakes." It's like having to learn a whole new language.

9. Dealing with post-"Slumdog Millionaire" ignorance

"Is that what it's like whenever you go back to India? I'm so sorry, that must be terrible!"

Almost as terrible as this conversation.

10. "Are you a feather Indian or a dot Indian?"

The worst part is the realization that your entire culture has been boiled down to a single dot.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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