Browncast Episode 69, You’re Southern South Asian!

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This episode Razib and previous guest Surya Yalamanchili talk about the updated ancestry composition for South Asians from 23andMe. For nearly a decade we’ve all been 95% “Broadly South Asian.” Now most of you are part Bengali!

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34 Replies to “Browncast Episode 69, You’re Southern South Asian!”

  1. Southern Indian Subgroup is definitely identifying Tamil Brahmins although they give it a more politically correct name. Relatives of mine are getting 90%+ although it seems that we are all Bengalis now!

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    1. “lands and people below tropic of cancer are southern south asia”
      Including Bangladesh? Or just India.

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  2. @Razib Khan
    I got a few questions to ask regarding IE genes 🧬.

    How many percent of Steppe R1b populations (Yamnaya/Afanasievo) have Blonde-Red hair and Blue eyes?

    Do Eastern_Steppe_MLBA and Eastern_Steppe_LBEIA come from the same Indo-European cultures?

    What period in Bronze Age did East Asian Mongoloid admixtures started becoming predominant among Eastern Steppe Indo-Europeans?

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  3. As a Maharashtrian, I’m almost 50:50 north/south. A Vindhyas man… 15.5% Southern Indian Subgroup, perhaps i should refrain from beef on Mondays. Although I picked 1.8% Bong as well, so meatless mondays and fish fridays it is for me i guess.

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        1. Southern South Asian 38.8%
          > Southern Indian & Sri Lankan 36.5%
          > Malayali Subgroup 0.3%
          > Broadly Southern South Asian 2.1%

          Central Asian, Northern Indian & Pakistani 31.1%
          > Northern Indian & Pakistani 20.9%
          > Bengali & Northeast Indian 1.8%
          > Broadly Central Asian, Northern Indian & Pakistani 8.4%

          Southern Indian Subgroup 15.4%
          Broadly Central & South Asian 12.6%

          Western Asian & North African 1.9%

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          1. Razib: Yes, I know.I was asking Amey to post his, which he has now.

            Amey:
            Thanks. Interesting how much more Southern and less Northern your breakup is compared to mine (posted in another thread). I wouldn’t have guessed such a big delta between a Maharashtrian and a Southern Rajasthani person. In my mind (and I suspect many other’s), South India is the four Southern states, and Maharashtra is clubbed with Gujarat and Western/Southern MP.

            We need more 23andMe breakups posted here:)

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          2. “In my mind (and I suspect many other’s), South India is the four Southern states, and Maharashtra is clubbed with Gujarat and Western/Southern MP.”

            Culturally, Gujjus are closest to us if you dont count Goans. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Northwestern Maharashtra formed a part of Maharashtri Prakit continuum of which Marathi & Konkani are descendants.

            I guess what this tells us is that Marathis are midway between South and the North even though culturally we are closer to North than the South (we do have lot more Dravidian influences than any other non-Dravidian culture fwiw).

            My newfound 15.4% Iyer-ness is the bit thats throwing me off hehe!

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  4. As Razib said on the podcast, these ethnic labels are quite misleading as they are not MECE. The current ethnic/regional “breakup” is a function of (among other things) the current sample set that 23andMe has. For example, Southern Indian Subgroup aka Southern Brahmins shows up for various folks because they have a large sample size of Southern Brahmins (due to their disproportionate representation among educated and tech forward Indians in the US). Once 23andMe has a sufficient number of Maharashtrians, Gujaratis and UPites we might see the high Bengali or Southern Subgroup stats go away for folks that are not truly of those ethnicities.
    For this reason, I in some ways prefer the Harrappa Ancestry taxonomy as it used MECE (to the extent that it is possible; since we all go back to common African ancestors from 200K years back) groups such as ANI, ASI, Northeast European, Northeast Asians etc.

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  5. “Once 23andMe has a sufficient number of Maharashtrians, Gujaratis and UPites we might see the high Bengali or Southern Subgroup stats go away for folks that are not truly of those ethnicities.”

    Oh, is that the reason? I thought its because Bangladesh is a separate country and S-India is a semi-separate country anyway, both of these listings (Bengali and S-Indian) warranted a separate listing than the generic Indian/S-Asian (similar to how they have generic Somalia or Finnish etc) .

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    1. Just my guess. Perhaps Razib or someone else who is more knowledgeable can comment and confirm or correct.

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        1. They should’ve named the group as Central Asian, Pakistani, Northern Indian and Bangladeshi.
          Also NE Indian makes more sense as an independent subgroup. An Indo-Aryan language-speaking Manipuri(Bishnupriya) is more closer to a Bengali than a Tibeto-Burman speaking Manipuri(Meitei). I suppose a Bishnupriya Manipuri would be 60% Bengali like and 40% NE Indian and a Meitei would be the opposite.
          Even phenotypically, Bishnupriya people look more Bengali/Indic shifted compared their Meitei neighbours:
          Bishnupriya Manipuris:
          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Bishnupriya_Manipuri_girls_with_their_cultural_attire.jpg

          Meitei Manipuris:

          https://www.ywamfrontiermissions.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Lai_Haraoba_Fest_20140610_1_4.jpg

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  6. Southern South Asian 66.3%
       Southern India and Sri Lanka  64.6%
       Malayali Subgroup    0.2%
       Broadly Southern South Asiaa 1.4

    Central Asian, Northern Indian and Pakistani 14.6
       Bengali and North East Indian 4.5%
       North Indian and Pakistani 3.9%
       Broadly Central Asian etc 6.2

    European 7.5%
       North Western European 4.5
       Southern European 0.1
       Broadly European 2.9%

    East Asian 1.1
       Chinese and South East Asian 1.0

    I have dry earwax rs17822931: TT
    Possibly from the Chinese via Bengali ?

    I am surprised to have more East Asian than Razib (0.1) vs 1.0 for me.

    Screenshot here.
    https://imgur.com/CUAyAtO

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    1. Are you Sinhalese or Tamil?
      Sinhalese claim to descend from Bengalis might be partially valid, although I’m sceptical about the Chinese related east Asian. Only Bangladeshi Bengalis and North Bengalis have NE Asian like ancestry where West Bengal and Orissa have mainly Munda like east Asian. I doubt sinhalese bengali like ancestors were from east Bengal. You got more Chinese than Razib which is quite interesting, perhaps Srilankans got those little Chinese from diaspora, for example from countries like Malaysia/Singapore?
      Also, the Sinhalese language doesn’t sound very eastern Indo Aryan like Bengali or Oriya; Sinhalese evolved from Maharashtri IIRC.

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      1. Pretty obvious a mutt, a mixture of many.

        If you want Label/s: 3/4 Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese, 1/8th Irish.

        got those little Chinese from diaspora for example from countries like Malaysia/Singapore?

        The south/sinhalese areas have very small minority of Javanese (called Malays in English, In sinhalese Ja). Who knows, from where I got it, but it is real as I have rs17822931 TT: Dry Ear wax which is mainly present in East Asian populations.

        Also, the Sinhalese language doesn’t sound very eastern Indo Aryan like Bengali or Oriya; Sinhalese evolved from Maharashtri IIRC.

        Sinhalese is diglossic.
        Proper, Grammatical high flown Sinhalese is derived from Pali.

        Spoken Sinhala is a mish mash of words from Pali, Old Sinhala, Tamil you name it. If you cant distinguish the words tone and intonation sounds like Jaffna Tamil.

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        1. “If you want Label/s: 3/4 Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese, 1/8th Irish.”

          It seems your Irish is genuine euro and not Indo Aryan type NE Euro via Bengali or whatever group migrated from the north. What %age of NE Euro did you score in harappaworld?

          I would like to know about Tamils from SL. A sinhalese guy once told me that Jaffna tamils are different from Tamils from eastern province, he said jaffna is mainly inhabited by vellalar like mid caste, but eastern province tamils are SC type. Also the Tamils that live in the central highlands are emigrant from India.

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          1. Good question l. Just an aside:

            Parody tribute to the fact that Steppe always makes a splash

            My steppe bring all the browns to yard, my NE euro is higher than yours, my med is higher than yours 😉

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          2. What %age of NE Euro did you score in harappaworld?
            NE Euro 4.5% + Mediterranean 4.7% on Harappa
            S Indian 52% Baloch 29.7% SE Asian 2.4%
            So approximately comparable.

            http://sbarrkum.blogspot.com/2013/04/sinhalese-and-tamil-dna-admixture.html

            A sinhalese guy once told me that Jaffna tamils are different from Tamils from eastern province, he said jaffna is mainly inhabited by vellalar like mid caste, but eastern province tamils are SC type. Also the Tamils that live in the central highlands are emigrant from India.

            Caste wise (a social construct) all Sri Lankans, Sinhalese and Tamils are Sudra’s.

            DNA wise we are all quite similar, closer to Scheduled Castes of India. Some Sri Lankans like to highlight their very lesser spattering of North Indian or whatever.

            I consider myself broadly a scheduled caste type, with some Euro thrown in. There has to be a decent percentage of the population with such mixes, given that Sri Lanka is an Island in the middle of ancient trade routes.

            Then 500 years as an European colony, and a small population in the past, probably less than a million will do the trick.

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  7. Around 31 mins, Razib talked about a guy who is a Nadar and Razib thought Nadars are commercial or agricultural caste.
    Till 19th Century Nadars also called Shanars were/are a caste of toddy tappers and got the worse end of caste system both in present Tamilnadu or under Kerala kingdoms. From latter 19th C, they organized more and more with caste associations, moved into small businesses in urban areas and later into bigger businesses. They are an example which have done very well in the last 150 years , from a near dalit status to fairly prosperous caste. Nadars are a good example of mobility within a caste based society

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    1. “They are an example which have done very well in the last 150 years , from a near dalit status to fairly prosperous caste. Nadars are a good example of mobility within a caste based society”

      I would like to put forward another opinion for Nadar success. This is not a great example of mobility within a “caste based society”, but the opportunities provided by a outside agent disrupting status quo and upending traditional power structures.Progress wasn’t made under a traditional Hindu kingdom of the past, it was made during a time period of direct British rule (Madras Presidency), who for better or worse affected culture and society. For the Nadars, it was a benefit as they progressed in education and became better organized to promote their issues and causes.

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      1. Yes . what contributed to the community success was caste organizations, which gave individuals morale and social and financial backing. This is turning upside down modern sociological theories which say individualism is the key to economic success.

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    2. Nadars ran many of the wholesale and transport business in Colombo/Pettah market. Shops and Tea transport in the hill country.

      I thought the Nadars were a caste from Jaffna, I guess not.

      Nadar’s are knows as hard headed business men.

      Kattar Aloysius I think was Nadar. He was the larget Dryfish exporter and later diversified .

      His grandson Arjun Aloysius was the kingpin behind the Central bond scam. He is the son in law of Arjuna Mahendran the former Central Bank. So a good possibility Arjuna Mahendran too is of the Nadar caste.

      Tamils (Jaffna and Indian) in Sri Lanka, tend to be caste conscious. A Jaffna Tamil families ar emore likely to marry into Sinhalese than an Indian Tamil (go figure).

      https://www.google.com/search?q=nadar+pettah

      http://forum.srilankaequity.com/t30606-demise-of-mr-k-aloysius

      http://www.ft.lk/columns/Bond-scam-steps-into-4th-anniversary-today/4-673590

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  8. ”My steppe bring all the browns to yard, my NE euro is higher than yours, my med is higher than yours 😉”
    @thewarlock yeah, that’s a fact 😄. If a Gujju Patel, a UP brahmin, a Bangladeshi and a Telugu Reddy go to a Cafe in Munich, Is the German Bartender able to guess who has more NE Euro? All he can perceive is a bunch of brown customers.

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  9. @sbarrkum
    “DNA wise we are all quite similar, closer to Scheduled Castes of India. Some Sri Lankans like to highlight their very lesser spattering of North Indian or whatever.”

    But there’s a difference between SC south Indians and mid-caste southern Indians as Razib analysed many times. A mid-caste “Reddy” from Andhra is 33% AASI, 67% west Eurasian but an SC “Mala” from the same region is 48% AASI, 52% West Eurasian.
    North Indian SC types have a similar AASI-West Eurasian ratio to Tamil mid-castes, For example, Nadar(Tamil mid-caste) and Baiswar(UP SC) have same AASI-West Eurasian ratio.

    “I consider myself broadly a scheduled caste type, with some Euro thrown in.”

    Perhaps an SC type indic population contributed the bulk of modern Srilankan genetic, even phenotype wise most Sri Lankans look somewhat similar to SC types. Also plausible that migration from Bengal, Orissa or Gujarat occurred, although they only partially contributed to the genetic formation of modern Srilankans, 1/6th perhaps. They brought NE Euro/steppe and possibly SE Asian ancestry alongside Pali language and Buddhism.

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    1. A mid-caste “Reddy” from Andhra is 33% AASI, 67% west Eurasian but an SC “Mala” from the same region is 48% AASI, 52% West Eurasian.

      I think its rather disingenous to lump ASI, Steppe etc as West Eurasian. Why not break it up. Then the AASI will look equally dominant as Steppe.
      Any a link to the analysis quoted, i.e. “Razib analysed many times”.

      Anyway I dont have an AASI break down. My 23andMe file is available at
      https://sites.google.com/site/sbarrkum/dna/genome_123andMe_v3_sereno_barr-Kumar.zip?attredirects=0&d=1

      They brought NE Euro/steppe and possibly SE Asian ancestry alongside Pali language and Buddhism.
      Pali and Buddhism was sent by by Asoka Mayura. By all early accounts Chandra Gupta Mayura, the Mayura Dynasty and the Sakya Clan (The Buddha’s family) were not Vedic Aryan Worshippers. Brahamanism as the Buddha called it. Yes, Buddha was a Prince, but it is much later, writers started to ascribe Kshatriya status. So yes Buddhism and Pali came from N. India but not from peoples tainted by Aryanism.
      Of course my arguements would be considered rank heresy specially by older Sinhala Buddhist. Think it is changing with the younger generation.

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      1. “I think its rather disingenous to lump ASI, Steppe etc as West Eurasian. Why not break it up. Then the AASI will look equally dominant as Steppe.
        Any a link to the analysis quoted, i.e. “Razib analysed many times”.”

        AASI is equally dominant as Steppe. It is the mesolithic Iranian related ancestry most dominant is south Asians. Btw I meant these posts :
        https://www.brownpundits.com/2019/09/07/the-intrusive-indo-aryans-had-a-huge-demographic-impact-on-south-asia/

        https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/nastreemix.jpg

        I was referring AHG_Related as AASI, Indus_Periphery_Pool and Central Steppe_MLBA as Western Eurasian. Do You think Indus_Periphery_Pool is not western Eurasian?

        Also found an SL genetic blog revealing Razib’s genotype project and stating the difference between Tamil castes and Tamil Dalits:
        https://sldna.blogspot.com/2019/09/new-genotype-analysis-for-sri-lankans.html

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        1. I was referring AHG_Related as AASI, Indus_Periphery_Pool and Central Steppe_MLBA as Western Eurasian. Do You think Indus_Periphery_Pool is not western Eurasian?
          Yes geographically western Eurasian. That would be like lumping Kashmiri Pundits and South Indian Tribals as Indian.

          I dont trust this reference blog post you gave. https://sldna.blogspot.com/2019/09/new-genotype-analysis-for-sri-lankans.html
          a) No author disclosure. (is it yours)
          b) Razibs plot with Tamil and Tamil_SC has been relabeled as SL_Tamil and SL_Tamil_SC
          All castes in Sri Lanka (sinhalese or Tamil) are Shudra, the highest caste being Farmers and 50% of the population.
          Sri Lanka does not have scheduled or Dalit castes which is an Indian construct.

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  10. @Kevin @sbarrkum
    Sinhala language comes from region between Bharuch to Sanjan. In ancient times that area was called Lata. The Lata/Lati language is still spoken by isolated groups of Jambu brahman, Kapil brahman, Motala brahman and Anaval brahman.
    There is written attestation of prince Vijaya goes to Jambu brahman.
    The cultural philosophy of buddism comes from Yajnavalkya Kanva shatapatha brahman. Compare suttanipatha with kanva recession. Later Buddhist schools developed into new ideology.

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