I Am More Than Saris, Curry, Yoga, and Henna


by Antara Mason

This article is part of a campaign co-sponsored with the Washington Leadership Program (WLP) called #SouthAsianAnd—a campaign to showcase the stories of South Asians in America beyond our race and the stereotypes attached to it. On April 14, we hosted a Twitter chat to discuss our South Asian identity and beyond. To chime in, follow #SouthAsianAnd on Twitter. 

I am more than brown skin with a whitedialect. I am more than dark, unbleachable hair and gold makeup. I am more than saris, curry, yoga, henna, and a beauty pageant winner.

I am more than the lucky one who isnt living in poverty. I am more than any medical, law, or engineering degree. I am more than a voice on the end of a call line.

I am more than what Donald Trump declares to be dangerous and erratic. I am more than what my parents expected of me.

I enjoy Starbucks, Apple, Facebook, and curry with beef, but am not limited by it. I enjoy interacting with other Indians in large groups, but I am also not limited by them. I enjoy dating whatever Indian boy my crazy mothers friend set me up with on Wednesday for coffee, but am not limited to him.

I give myself the right to wear a dupatta wrapped snugly around my head for warmth despite what others may say. I give myself the right to fit into societys stereotypes if that is what I feel is correct for me. I give myself the right to speak about racism even when it makes my white coworkers uncomfortable. I give myself the right to disappoint my parents and not go to college if I dont want to. I give myself the right to wear the bindi and to drink chai by the gallon.

[Read Related: Going Mainstream: Dealing with Cultural Dilution as an Indian-American]

I am so much more than just South Asian. I sing, I dance, I talk, I write, I work. I go clubbing, I call for Uber rides, I laugh while shopping in name brand stores, and I am obsessed with red lipstick. I love Ariana Grande and Star Wars. I eat McDonalds but go home to chug a mango lassi.

My soul is an amalgamation of red, white, blue, orange, white, and green. I will do whatever reflects it best day by day.

Antara MasoAntara Masonn is a freshman at Boise State studying secondary education. She enjoys pondering odd and unique thoughts in-between her favorite job being a barista. She’s a “SuperWhoLock” to the death and loves her friends even more! The sooner she can get out into the world and start changing things for good, the better! Tally Ho!

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