Desi Diaspora

Posted In Desi By RateDesi - 11 Jan 2019

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Desi Diaspora Desi's Living in Western Countries

Desi diaspora in the west has its challenges; however if you manage to play your cards right, your problems can easily be sorted out. Here are 10 things you have to keep up with if you’re a desi living in the West:

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Yes, party!

When you’re a desi you know we are big on our festivals and love to go all out; be it the festival of ‘Eid or Holi. Living in the West it can be difficult to find the right kind of people to party with especially when they don’t know about your culture and what these practices mean to you.

However that doesn’t mean that you can’t share the experience with them though; after all we enjoy Christmas and Halloween as much as they do.

But the traditions you have in your hometown aren’t something you can mirror exactly in the West. The sheer khurma in the morning, asking your uncles and aunties for eidi along with your cousins, fighting over who got the most, the list goes on.


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Who’s Your New Friend?

When you’re desi your friends are always scrutinized, no doubt about it. Being a desi in the West however, sets off even more alarms in the minds of our parents.

Especially if it’s a boy (the poor soul). Most of our parents do accept the fact that yes, boys can be just friends too but we have to understand that’s it’s a hard pill for them to swallow due to the generation gap we have.

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Staying True to Your Roots

No matter what people may tell you there’s always this unspoken cultural difference between you and your foreign friends. You may not always feel it but it does come up eventually. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

You should embrace your uniqueness and be proud of where you come from and the culture you grew up with. That’s what makes it even more important to preserve and practice it in an environment where it’s not common.

The treatment of your elder’s and the respect you give them, the importance of family and the bond that you have with them are just some examples of desi culture which I think are vital and not something we should give up in a new environment. It’s a learning experience for both parties when two cultures merge together and it can be so much fun.

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Source: Desi Speaks


Another thing you have to keep track of is the food. Or the lack thereof. You never really fully understand the phrase you are what you eat till you don’t get the food your stomach is used to. When you are truly desi, any other type of food pales in comparison to the type you grew up with.

The parathas, chicken karhai, mutton korma (I’m barely scratching the surface here). Food is one of the many things you miss the most in the West.

Sure we all love mac and cheese but how does that compare to the tangy spices that have been making our taste buds sing since childhood?

Sure you have desi restaurants in the West but do they really compare to our authentic desi cuisine?

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The amount of freedom we get in the West can be overwhelming. Growing up as a desi you’re always concerned with your personal safety.

Of course we aren’t as developed as the Westerners when it comes to security measures and that does restrict a lot of our movement especially if you’re a female.

In the West however, you face no such problems and children can go out to play in the streets without the need for any supervision as such; or you could come home late without your parents worrying too much about your safety.

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Source: Youlin Magazine

Time Zones

Another thing you have to keep up with as a desi in the West are the time zones. If you live in America, those long distance skype calls to your family can be difficult to attend and receive. Well what you can expect with a whopping 10 hour difference!

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Where Are You From?

Those fishy sideways glances can be much of a pain but what can you do? Many times people are tired of explaining how they may look like a desi but are born in the West.

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Home Sickness

For those of you who migrated from your hometown, you often feel the burden of homesickness. The company of your family or extended family is something that nothing can replace; the memories you make with them and the nostalgia does get to you at times.

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Source: Youlin Magazine

Finding it Hard to Fit in


It certainly can help if you find people from your own community. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to bond or interact with your fellow Western colleagues and friends but you do find a sense of home in similar communities for those who need it.

The West is pretty diverse with 50 percent of the population consisting of people who are other than white. Desi’s on the other hand make up a minute 0.9 percent. So, close knit communities do help fill that need of familiarity with your surroundings, especially if you have a hard time fitting in.

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Source: Something Haute


We can be a little stingy with the doe when it comes to tipping. In the West people are generous when it comes to tipping their waiters.

Not to mention their hairdressers and cabbies too but not as much as the waiters… confusing am I right?

In the end it doesn’t matter if you’re desi or not; adjusting or keeping up with a new culture can be difficult anywhere. You just need a good support system to back you up be it your friends or family.

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