Too Asian, Not Asian Enough

Media Diversified

by Kavita Bhanot

kavita-255x300Over the last two decades, in part due to the success of a small number of novels, plays, films, music albums and television shows, the term ‘British Asian’ has emerged as an identity marker associated with the cultural practices of second-generation South Asian immigrants, born and/or brought up in Britain. There is one overwhelming narrative associated with this label: the tale of the second generation’s efforts to assimilate into mainstream British society, and the clash with their ‘traditional’ or ‘backward’ parents, who hinder this process. According to this reading, these parents make life difficult for their children, who simply want to be ‘normal’ – to go out with friends, to have boyfriends or girlfriends, to drink, to wear Western clothes, to cut their hair in a Western style. The parents are seen to continue to hold on to traditions and customs that should be irrelevant to them…

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