Recently, I joined an online dating website and it has been a very interesting experience. I exchanged messages with a few girls but none of them really cared about my background as much as the brown girls. So, after exchanging the initial pleasantry emails, the brown girls would cut the crap and ask what my background is. Here, I would like to mention that I have uploaded FOUR clearly visible photos which wouldn’t leave anyone in doubt that I am through and through Indian. Besides, in my profile I have clearly indicated my ethnicity as ‘Indian’. Whereas, the brown girls from the Caribbean and first generation Canadian born brown girls would put their ethnicity as ‘Other’.
Over, a period of time I learned what a brown girl in Canada is attempting to know when she asks about my background, i.e. whether I am born in Canada, the Caribbean or in India. To them all places of birth are acceptable although Canada or any western country would be preferable, but India is unacceptable. On some occasions I chose not to reply to the background line of enquiry until I spoke to them over the phone, because that works to my advantage as my accent pleasantly stumps them. For last several years I have lived outside India which probably has influenced my vocal chords and distorted my accent. Hence, I am often asked if it’s British. But I am not complaining because here in Canada it is working in my favor.
Anyway, one day I had an interesting exchange of messages with a girl of Indian descent from the Carribean. So, she asked the typical question. After dodging her question for some time, I could sense that she was losing patience with me. Hence, I told her I am an Indian. She wrote back saying I am sorry I have had bad experiences with Indians but I don’t date Indians. I replied saying mind over matter and you don’t matter. Unlike you I am quite comfortable in my own skin. I did give her a good ear lashing and further went on to ask her if she thinks she is not an Indian ethnically but some other race? And if she thought so, she should just go out on the street and ask a random person where they think she is from! No, jokes but my inbox just got inundated with her apologies and requests for me to call her. So much so that this girl even wrote to me using a Hindi expression “maaf karde yaar”.
I am not sure what makes a brown girl in a white country think she is far too good and sophisticated for a guy from India to date? Most of us, Indians born and raised in India who have migrated to these white countries are predominantly working in professional fields, we are well-read and widely-travelled. But the brown girls in a white country believe we are not cool or westernized enough or that we may not get their white humour or simply that we are not polished enough. My grandfather didn’t come here as a coolie or a saw-mill worker, not that anything is wrong if one chooses either of these occupations. With all humility, I say that I came here armed with skills, experience and education that is regarded very desirable in most countries and I pick & choose where I want to live and work.
My experience with white girls has been strikingly very different. They appreciate my multi-lingual skills, find my skin tone exotic, and are fascinated by my culture i.e. Hinduism / Buddhism, Yoga, Indian songs & dance, Tantra to Kamasutra and of course are fond of Indian cuisine. The brown girls by selecting ‘other ethnicity’ attempt to dissociate with their heritage are not fooling anyone but themselves. According to me, they are making themselves a laughing stock. I don’t understand their problem in calling themselves Indian – you can be Canadian-Indian, Carribean-Indian. How can you uproot yourselves? It’s surprising how the white girls are curious about Indian culture and the brown girls perhaps don’t know enough about it or even if they do, they seem ashamed of it.
I on the other hand, firmly believe that I am the inheritor of a very unique and special civilization. Give me Pride!