Challenges Facing Anglo-Indians
As previously discussed in my article about Anglo-Indians, I mentioned that they are a group of people who have roots in India as well as other nationalities. Because of their mixed heritages, as well as the changeover from the colonized India to the independent India, many AI's are incorrectly viewed as Indians by people who don't know about their culture. They assume that because of the color of their skin or mannerisms that they "speak Indian" (which is comical, since India has 27 dialects), or are in the know with all the other Indians who might be in the area. Other times, they are confused with African Americans (or other countries) or Latinos. That's not to say there aren't AI's with such heritages, but even for those who are mixed, they were not raised in those traditions or languages. All Anglo-Indians have grown up with English as their primary language.
Speaking from experience, I can say that I have been spoken to in Spanish, been asked if I know Dr. so-and-so because that person was Indian, been invited to be a member of a Black fellowship group for women, questioned about my beliefs, accused of dating (and marrying) outside of my race, and have drawn the interest of missionaries and Arabs. While it is in some ways entertaining to hear the remarks of those who don't have a clue about the sub-culture, it does get tiresome. One thing that AI's have long struggled for is a voice and identity, which is something people of all nations have fought hard to maintain. You would never think to insult the Irish by calling them Scotts; nor would you lump Belgians with the French or Canandians!
Another problem for AI's is their isolation from other Anglo-Indian communities. This is especially true outside of India, where AI's who have obtained citizenship or residency in other countries don't always move to places where other AI's live, and their families live across the globe. To address this issue, several associations have been established to bring as many AI's together as possible. And with the advent of the Internet, it has been easy to join e-groups and chat boards, use Skype, and sign-up with social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.
To connect with other Anglo-Indians, check out these informational sites and associations:
- Anglo-Indians site
- The Danapur Branch of Anglo-Indians
- Anglo-Indian Calendar of Events
- Spark Anglo-Indians
- Anglo-Indians in Australia
- Movies about Anglo-Indians
- UK Anglo-Indians
- Anglo-Indian Online Community
- Anglo-Indian Facebook Group
- Anglo-Indians Jive Dancing (You Tube Video)
- Anglo-Indians in the USA Facebook Group
- Anglo-Indian comedian Russell Peters "Saying Hello in Indian"
- Anglo-Indian Heritage Interview