South Asian Identity Analysis

1252 Words6 Pages
Many South Asian immigrants were proud of their heritage and home country, but while they were not interested in losing their identity those that did permanently settle in the United States experienced racism, that impacted their experience in the States as well as their immigration and access to citizenship. Bald addresses nineteenth century South Asians settling into African Americans. Leonard addresses a group that settled in the Imperial Valley in California with Mexican immigrants. Wherever the South Asians took residence in the States they were normally seen as non-whites and this clearly impeded their naturalization because laws of identifying who could and could not become a citizen or have rights were complicated by the color of your…show more content…
Leonard discusses that the Punjabi immigrants that married the Mexican immigrants in their community had to balance their faith and their spouse’s Catholicism when raising children in a new country that had a mainly Protestant identity. Most interesting is the entire idea of identifying as South Asian at all, it provided clarification to the Asian identity which was most often used for the Chinese and Japanese but provided no clarification to the common reader. Moreover, the standards for being South Asian can vary from nation to nation with Menon noting “South Asians in Britain have been and continue to be included in the designation black, the racial identity of South Asians in the United States is more flexible…South Asians have the dubious distinction of being Caucasian, and not yet white…” Sridevi Menon focused on how their identity as American rather than Asian, Asian-American, or South Asian shaped their adaptation as well as the adaptation of their children born in the United States. Leonard has been the only other source to delve so deep into the historiography of the second-generation and was briefly acknowledged by Menon. She acknowledged that there was a change of identity because anything separate from their home country…show more content…
From the beginning with Colonialism, while briefly mentioned in one source, being an absent narrative. It raises questions on validity, documentation, and American History. Women are also missing from the narrative. When they were included it was in regards to women’s communities, their children, marriages, or sex work. Though South Asians may not have traveled as families at first, they did so in the Imperial Valley and do so presently. Leonard could have expanded on their immigration experience and the many scholars that discussed modern immigration of South Asians should have included their
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