I may have mentioned a few times that I’m British Asian and the colour Brown. Whilst I love the mix of East and West cultures I’ve grown up with there are a few things that people say to me that I’ve never really been able to comprehend because I’m just as British as they are.
Living in the UK, one of the most diverse countries in the world it does make me shake my head in bemused wonder;
- Where are you from?
I answer with I’m from Scunthorpe (no-one’s heard of it). They reply with, that’s unusual name where are you really from, oh I’m really from Birmingham as I was born there (you couldn’t get more central to the UK if you tried!). No, where are you really, really from with a name like Mandeep? Oh, sorry I didn’t understand the first TWO times you asked, well where I’m really, really from is my mother’s uterus! Don’t ask again.
- Indian Restaurants
It may surprise some people but I don’t like eating out at Indian restaurants, they stress me out. Just because the Asian in me is Indian doesn’t mean they cater for me, they cater for you my Caucasian friend! The other thing is that when we do venture out to Indian restaurants my white friends ask me what certain food items are. I HAVE NO IDEA!
One I’m vegetarian and I hate cooking so my food knowledge is non-existence (just today I bought sausage rolls, the plain ones not the pork and cranberry because I didn’t think everyone liked pork…turns out ALL sausage rolls will most likely be pork! Doh!). So culinary expert I am not.
Two, I have no idea the difference between a Korma and a Vindaloo (had to Google to make sure they weren’t the same thing). I can barely recognise anything I’m able to eat. It may come as a shock to some, but Indian’s don’t eat this food at home! Besides in Scunthorpe there are no real Indian restaurants they are all Bangladeshi.
- Speak Indian
Oh I love this request, can you speak some Indian? No, no I cannot because ‘Indian’ isn’t a language it’s a race of people from India. I’m from a Punjabi family and I speak Punjabi, if you wish for me to perform like a monkey I will speak Punjabi for you, maybe even impress you with some Hindi dialogue I know from films, perhaps a song and dance routine?
- Can you only marry another Indian?
No, I can marry whoever, as long as they are within this colour chart I’ve been advised to adhere too, the bit I’ve blocked out, you have to be that colour.
- Do you celebrate Christmas?
I believe the below will answer that question. (In all seriousness though I love Christmas, as the token Brown person at work, I enforce Christmas Jumpers, Tinsel Scarfs and Santa Hats as well as Secret Santa).
NB…This was (hopefully) a fun post for you to read to understand a little of my life and my interactions with….actually my friends, strangers don’t ask me the above questions! Hope they enjoy reading this!
Have a good day xo