What Does it Mean to be an Indian-American?

November 20, 2003

Source: Silicon India


On November 20, 2003 Silicon India published an editorial by Aditi Banerjee examining what it means to be a Hindu-American. She reports that "the new immigrants who are coming from India are identifying themselves not as members from a particular region, but as members of an increasingly unified nation. They are more apt to celebrate Diwali than Kali Puja when both celebrations fall on the same weekend. They are more likely to talk to their friends in Hindi than in Bengali. They are more likely to join NetSAP than the local Bengali association... The more conscious we are of how religion affects our identity and viewpoints, the more we can try to be open-minded and fair. If we deny the religious component of our identity, we just become blinded to what is going on in our subconscious and our own prejudices—we no longer know ourselves. Religion does not exist in a separate component within our being; it pervades and permeates our personal life and also our public life: our career, our social interactions, our conduct as citizens."