Race, Migration and the Indian Diaspora

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The relationship between race, migration and the Indian diaspora is one of complexity. The Indian diaspora resulted in Indians in many areas of the world, which soon gave rise to migration. These migrant Indians are still heralded as Indian, despite many not having been born in India, and, through migration, race then becomes their defining characteristic. With this, race becomes the basis of comparison and praise for some, but brings with it racial tension. However, racial tension is often tempered by cuisine as a shallow form of acceptance and multiculturalism. Hence it can be said that the Indian diaspora lead to migration, which was followed by race as a defining factor and racial tensions that are shallowly mitigated by acceptance of Indian cuisine.
South Asian immigrants have a long standing history within Canada, and in British Columbia in particular. This Indian diaspora, the dispersion of Indians from their original homeland, is well rooted in Canada (Geary 2014). Indo-Canadians represent three percent of the Canadian population at large, and are the second largest minority behind Chinese-Canadians (Geary 2014). In fact, the South Asian populace as a whole is growing faster than overall Canadians, at a rate of thirty-three percent for South Asians versus four percent for Canadians as a whole (Geary 2014).
The earliest East Indian settlers arrived in the 19th century, primarily from the Punjab region (Geary 2014). Many of these immigrant were Sikh, and brought with them their rich culture and religion (Geary 2014). In 1906, the Sikh settlers established the Khalsa Diwan Society to look after cultural, religious, and political needs of its members (Geary 2014). Then, in 1907, the first Sikh temple was built (Geary 2014). ...

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...ifferences are mitigated by the cuisine as a shallow form of multiculturalism, there is still a need for growth and racial acceptance of Indians as a culture.

Works Cited

Buettner, Elizabeth. 2012. “Going for and Indian: South Asian Restaurants and the Limits of
Multiculturalism in Britain.” Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia.
Edited by Krishnendu Ray and Tulasi Srinivas, University of California Press: 143-174.

Geary, David. 2014. Power Point Presentation for April 7th 2014, ANTH 403J at UBC

Lim, Thea. 2008. “In defense of Russell Peters: Are racial stereotypes ever funny?”
Racialicious. URL:http://www.racialicious.com/2008/08/01/in-defense-of-russell-peters- are-racial-stereotypes-ever-funny/. Accessed April 6, 2014.

Prashad, Vijay. 2000. “Of India.” The Karma of Brown Folk. Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press: 1-9.
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