Why the Diaspora is not as interesting to me

By Razib Khan 7 Comments

A friend of the podcast mentioned with a bit of surprise that so much of it was focused on India as opposed to the Indian Diaspora (you can substitute “South Asia(n)” into “India(n)”). When this weblog was started at the end of 2010 it was probably more Diasporic in orientation. That was the era when Sepia Mutiny was winding down, after all.

Today I’m not as interested in Diasporic topics for two reasons. First, the Diasporic identity in the USA is pretty stable and clear. Most Indian Americans are basically Americans with their own particular cultural twist or accent.  This is widely understood. In particular, culturally young Indian Americans have assimilated to the same broad identity as liberal white Americans (with some exceptions). The big questions of who and what brown Americans are going to be seem to have been answered.

The second issue is that India is a bigger deal today than it was in the 2000s. From a purely anthropological perspective, what’s going on with 1.3 billion Indians (+ 400 million other assorted South Asians) is more interesting to me than the concerns of tens of millions of Diasporic browns.

(the exception is something like an interview with an India American going through the modern arranged marriage; in contrast, telling me you only date other South Asians is not too interesting, as it’s basically what everyone else does, but brown)