Friday, August 1, 2014

An Indian Abroad

The conversation is always the same.

"Where are you from?"
"No. Where are you really from?"

This not-so-subtle way of asking why I am brown is a component of most introductions and typically occurs after people stumble over my name and before they ask whether I know any good Indian restaurants in the city. It's taken a lot of convincing, but my dark skin, love of saag-paneer, and occasional Bollywood dance breaks, do not make me any less Canadian.

And this concept is not exclusive to the Great White North. In Germany, the stereotypical poster-child might be a french-braid wearing, beer-loving, lederhosen-sporting damen but not everyone in Deutschland fits that mould.

Though the country is made up primarily of native-Germans, according to a Eurostat poll from 2010, Germany has the highest number of foreign citizens in Europe—including Lovely and Monty, two cab drivers from Hamburg and my new favourite YouTube celebrities. 

I am currently at a Punjabi-German wedding that is bringing together brown people from England, Canada, the US, and other areas of Europe in addition to the motherland. The hosts switch effortlessly from fast-paced Punjabi to forceful German to giddy English and laugh all in the same language.

In this gathering of global citizens, it seems like no matter what your skin tone, accent, or preferred cuisine, home is where the heart is. 

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