Open Thread: This Post Removed For Renovation

There was an identity post here, but I botched it badly.  Let me try again:

I am interested in talking about South Asian or related identities in the diaspora in way that are not profoundly framed by and dominated by the features of South Asian American spaces.  I mean a space for the intersections and complications and silences that are not present in those conversations.  For example: What are the identity issues that Gulf desis face (and how do they vary across class, gender, country)? What is it like for a Sri Lankan-diasporic person in South Asian American spaces?  How does a joy of BDSM relate to South Asian sexualit(ies)? What particular issues do mixed-race desis or women face in difference countries? What is it like for a Jain given the Hindu/Muslim dichotomy that’s most frequently drawn in discussions of South Asia? How does British Punk culture or queerness fit with race? What does misanthropy mean for group identity as a whole? What is it like for someone from a place that’s sometimes described as South Asian and sometimes not?  What is it like to be Chinese and from Calcutta?

The idea is to broaden the discussion beyond the relatively narrow framework in which it has happened on South Asian American diasporic blogs.  If you have any thoughts on these issues, please feel that you're welcome to contribute whenever and wherever possible (here and elsewhere).  Thanks.

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Comments

Dude. I gotta say, I find

Dude. I gotta say, I find your tone here to be offensive and off-putting. First of all, it's so damn hard to understand what you're trying to say in these identity posts, that I completely understand why people are giving you all kinds of responses back. I, personally, have to read your posts several times to understand what questions you're throwing out to the crowd and then I respond to what I *think* you're asking, but I can't be sure. And that's fine, because you have a right to talk about whatever you want in the style of your choosing, but DON'T then come back and complain about the nature of the debate when it's your fault that nobody can figure out what you're trying to say in the first place. I don't know what kind of hang-ups you have with your own identity experiences, but it really seems like when you start talking it, some of your own anger obscures the points that you are trying to make.

I wouldn't say anything except that it feels like you're attacking would-be posters by maligning masturbatory comment-writing (what does that even mean?!?!) and threatening to delete posts that don't fit what you're looking for. How on earth do you expect and open and honest discussion of identity when you put these contraints on it to begin with?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're railing against (and if I understood it, I might agree), but THEN PLEASE WRITE CLEARLY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. You can't throw out confusion and expect to get lucidity back.

Thanks for your honest words,

Thanks for your honest words, and, sincerely, sorry. My intent was not to be offputting or offensive. explanation: I found this exchange extremely frustrating and didn't know what to do about it - it's what allowed my anger to get the best of me in writing the original version of this post.

Dr. Anon, I'm sorry you found

Dr. Anon,

I'm sorry you found my exchange with you frustrating (and I am not sure how much of my own comments and your issues with me showed up in the original post, since I didn't get to see it); I was getting frustrated too because I felt like your own identity issues were the point of reference for all of the diaspora and the whole South Asia shabang. Moreover, I don't mind theorizing and taking an 'academic' view of things; but I thought that the classroom reasons you were giving were incongruent (and sort of incomprehensible) with even simple facts. My point had been that not every diasporan AND South Asian from all over the globe has the same set of issues as you and me.

My two cents (and I hope this doesn't fall under 'masturbatory comment writing'): I think that it's a terrible mistake to collapse South Asian American diaspora with the South Asian diaspora world-wide, and South Asian American with South Asians. You've said this in the post above, but I still think it is worth mentioning because it's easier said than done. Again, based on my time here in Nepal, I've learned that my life and upbringing share similarities with North and West India and Nepal even, but I am reminded that I was not born and raised here in any South Asian country; even young Nepali diasporans I've met here say that in many ways, they too, like me, are learning about Nepal.

That said, I've also come to increasingly feel like a lot of the identity issues that diasporans wallow on about (and god knows that I've written quite a few of those posts myself)is somewhat of an indulgent luxury. In Nepal, people are scrapping to get by, thinking about the daily worries of food, clothing, shelter. Just witnessing the fight for the barest existences whittled down much of my introspection on my own identity issues; most people here do not share the same concerns and fixations as me. All I am advocating is that if you're going to speak about South Asia AND the various South Asian diasporas, then to try and understand what is exactly going on in these various locations without always using yourself and your experiences as a point of reference (in contrast to the other thread).

It is certainly hard for all of us, but it is also too easy to sit in a classroom in America, for example, and work towards being an 'expert' on South Asia by reading everyone else's take on it; it's even easier to use one's own experiences as a security blanket so that we don't have to step out of our own cocoon (BTW, this last paragraph is not personally directed at you, just in general, including myself.)

"What are the identity issues

"What are the identity issues that Gulf desis face (and how do they vary across class, gender, country)?"

From my understanding, I don't think they are exactly the same as us South Asian Americans. Perhaps the proximity of South Asia allows for more regular trips to South Asia, and fighting for basic human rights seem to be the foremost preoccupation. Maybe Aigre Doux can jump in on this...?

Desi Italiana, What you say

Desi Italiana,

What you say above is correct, which is why I think we should both probably sit this one out.

OK?

How does a joy of BDSM relate

How does a joy of BDSM relate to South Asian sexualit(ies)?

Could someone please tell me what "a joy" of BDSM, means????

yeah it means that you take

Honey, I KNOW what BDSM

Honey, I KNOW what BDSM means.

But your (old) english (?)

How does a joy of BDSM relate to South Asian sexualit(ies)?

You need to do some serious proof reading of your posts before you post.

Domination and submission are

Domination and submission are very much part of South Asian relationships.

Men are expected to dominate and women are expected to be submissive.

Ain't nothing new there.

Domination and submission are

Domination and submission are very much part of South Asian relationships.

Men are expected to dominate and women are expected to be submissive.

Ain’t nothing new there.

I agree, but I think you can complicate the issue with a more complicated understanding of gender (for example, what happens in same-sex relationships? how do you explain the "passive husband, overbearing wife" phenomenon?). And when you start considering the joint family as a place of hierarchies of power that might inherently generate abuses against women (including by women), what does that mean for gender and power?

And how do power relationships relate to what "more enlightened" people do in the bedroom (or the kitchen) and whether it's violent or okay?

You need to do some serious

You need to do some serious proof reading of your posts before you post.

I agree, since it was unclear, but did you have trouble understanding the title of the joy of cooking? :)

I agree, since it was

I agree, since it was unclear, but did you have trouble understanding the title of the joy of cooking?

Ahhhhh.... typical desi man, wants someone else to do the cooking! LOL.

lol :)

lol :)

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