Growing up as an Indian, I generally had an association with the expression “Asian-American.” I was kind of an Asian descent however, it generally felt like that word wasn’t implied for me, and that Asian-Americans was being alluded to some other group of individuals. At the point when individuals from America consider Asians they would consider somebody of Japanese, Chinese or possibly some person of East Asian descent. A man I knew used to joke that you weren’t Asian unless “You had the eyes.” Most of American societies pass by this perspective as well.
At the point when the news discusses Asian representation in media, it is constantly centered around East or Southeast Asian individuals and not South Asian individuals. The stereotypes that are targeted at Asian people didn’t seem to apply to me either. Myself and other Indian-Americans men never felt the stereotype that we are somehow more unassertive that has been leveled at men of Asian descent. Realizing that 9/11 happened had alienated individuals who appear as though me from the word Asian-American.
At the point when individuals discovered I’m Indian, their response was either that South Asian or Indian was its own special category, or that India isn’t sufficiently diverse from the Middle East to matter. I’ve generally been tossed into the Middle Eastern or Muslim category in view of the way I looked. Honestly, I can kind of realize why most Americans think of East or Southeast Asians instead of someone like me. East Asians have been in this country longer than Indians have, and when they first came, they came in larger populations. The opposite is true in places like the UK, where “Asian” refers to Indian or Pakistani people. I can’t speak for other Ethnic Groups, but I feel like “Asian-American” is an overly broad and all together bad term to use.
It assumes that the entirety of Asia is somehow similar, whether it be culturally or physically. This lumps together disparate cultures with entirely different histories, religions and languages. It irregularities together a man from Israel with a man from Korea, or a man from Uzbekistan with somebody from Vietnam. These are societies and people groups that are different to the point that we should cease from placing them in some larger ethnic group.
Reading that last part, some of you may have felt that Israel and Uzbekistan aren’t Asian nations, yet that is precisely the issue with the term. The two nations are on the mainland of Asia, so they are Asian. In any case, in one case we think of them as Middle Eastern and the other is viewed as Central Asian on the off chance that they’re viewed as Asian by any stretch of the imagination.
A few nations don’t fit into Asia neatly. Is Turkey Asian or European or Middle Eastern? Why is Egypt viewed as Middle Eastern, in fact Asian, when it is in Africa? Would we call a man of Egyptian or Moroccan descent an African-American? Why are Filipinos viewed as Asian/Pacific Islanders and the Japanese are not when Japan is likewise an island in the Pacific Ocean? All the better we can do is part them into littler gatherings: East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East potentially even North Africa too. When I get requested that what it implies be an Asian American, I for one need to state it doesn’t mean anything, in light of the fact that the term is itself inane.