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American-Born Confused Desi: Wikis


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American-Born Confused Desi (ABCD) is a term used to refer to Indian born in the United States, in contrast to those who were born overseas and later settled in the USA.[1] However, the term has been adopted by other South Asian communities, especially Pakistanis.



ABCD or American-Born Confused Desi has become a polarizing factor in the Indian or Pakistani diaspora in the US, with first-generation immigrant parents and young Indians of second or latter generations.[2] Though the term was originally coined in reference to Indian-Americans, it has been adopted by the South Asian community at large. The term "desi" comes from the word "des" (homeland) in Sanskrit and Hindi; and "desi" and is used to mean anyone from the subcontinent including India and Pakistan.

The longer and lesser known form "American Born Confused Desi, Emigrated From Gujarat, House In Jersey" is also occasionally seen; playing on the alphabet theme, it has been expanded for K-Z variously as "Kids Learning Medicine, Now Owning Property, Quite Reasonable Salary, Two Uncles Visiting, White Xenophobia, Yet Zestful" or "Keeping Lotsa Motels, Named Omkarnath Patel, Quickly Reaching Success Through Underhanded Vicious Ways, Xenophobic Yet Zestful".[3] The former version of the A—Z expansion was proposed by South Asian immigrants as a reaction to the latter version which is derogatory towards them.[4]

Confused Americanized Desi (CAD) is a related term, which refers to people of Asian origin who are both born and living in the subcontinent but tends to follow western lifestyle and values. This can be seen especially in Mumbai in keeping up with Page 3 Culture.

Cultural implications

Among Indian Americans, the term may be considered divisive, as first generation Indian Americans use it to criticize the Americanization and lack of belonging to either Indian Asian or American culture they perceive in their second-generation peers or children.[5] Writer Vijay Prashad describes the term as "ponderous and overused" and notes it as one of the mechanisms by which new migrants attempt to make second-generation youth feel "culturally inadequate and unfinished."[6]

See also


  1. ^ Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalan, "Diaspora, Hybridity, Pedagogy", Peripheral Centres, Central Peripheries (ed. Ghosh-Schellhorn, Martina & Alexander, Vera), page 116, LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster, 2006, ISBN 3825892107
  2. ^ Airriess, Christopher A., Contemporary Ethnic Geographies in America, page 287, Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, ISBN 0742537722
  3. ^ Das, Diya (2007). The Evolution of an Identity: Indian American Immigrants from the Early 20th Century to the Present. Tribute Books. p. 60. ISBN 0979504562. 
  4. ^ Mitra Kalita, S., Suburban Sahibs, page 13, Rutgers University Press, 2005, ISBN 0813536650
  5. ^ Skop, Emily. "Asian Indians and the Construction of Community and Identity". in Ines Miyares, Christopher A. Airriess. Contemporary Ethnic Geographies in America. Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 287. ISBN 0742537722. 
  6. ^ Prashad, Vijay (2000), The Karma of Brown Folk, University of Minnesota Press, p. 131, ISBN 0816634394 

Further reading



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