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About Being Desi

I recently became a Desi.

Its true that I was born in India, but Indians in India don’t refer to each other as Desi. Indians only become Desi when they set foot on foreign soil.

Desi doesn’t just mean “of Indian origin”. It encompasses all the national identities of South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The word Desi has another meaning in Indian Aesthetic Theory. Desi culture is Popular culture: the way of life of common people, replete with regional variations. Desi culture is specific, local, and crowd-sourced.

I love the word. I’d be hardpressed to find another word that expresses the expansiveness and inclusivity of South Asian culture.

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