The absence of South Asian and East/Southeast Asian Partnerships
Posted Sep 14 2009 9:00pm
Two weeks ago I was in New York City with five other Asian American females. Our ages range between 27-40, we are all college educated professionals, and we are all from the SF Bay Area. As we walked through the Upper West Side or danced in the Meat Packing District, dined on the Lower East Side, or shopped in Soho, one thing that stood out was the lack or absence of other groups of Asian American women. Sure there were families and mothers or grandmothers with small children but no small groups of adult Asian American women. This was made most apparent in bars and clubs where we would be the only all-Asian American group. Somehow, there were never any groups of all Asian American guys (maybe some South Asians with white friends) but only all white or all Black guys.
Looking at couples I noticed that many Asian American men from Chinese to Korean to South Asian were with white women. South Asian men in particular were almost always attached to white partners. Yet, for all the interracial dating going on, I never saw one mixed South Asian/East or Southeast Asian couple. Why is this? It seems that perhaps South Asians either have more in common with whites (very unlikely for newer generations), they have more opportunities to interact with whites (likely true at the University....and in many professions), or they experience some form of racial self-hate that causes them to want to date up the social ladder.
My friends and I all noticed the Asian male, white female trend and we were all bothered by it...those of us in interracial relationships with whites, those of us who date only Asian, and those of us who aren't dating either white or Asian.
Does anyone have any ideas? Enlighten me.
From my reading of South Asian American Literature, it seems like all out dating and marriage occurs with whites. Same goes for films like The Namesake (based on the book), Harold and Kumar, Popcorn Chutney (yes, the main character is a lesbian but she gets with a white girl while her sister gets with a white guy).