How #SouthAsian #Americans Are Building a New #AmericanDream

Some second-generation South Asians grew up in less fortunate circumstances than Bazaz and Kondabolu. They were raised by parents who slaved away in physically demanding blue-collar jobs that more often than not were low paying. Notably many Indians from the state of Gujarat bought and ran budget motels. South Asians without money or advanced education washed dishes, stocked shelves at grocery stories, and drove taxis, which is what Tanzina Ahmed’s father did. (Click here to read about how Indian Americans came to own half of U.S. motels.)


When Ahmed came to New York City from Bangladesh in 1990 as a five-year-old, she barely spoke English. The language barrier made it difficult to make friends at school. Despite her struggles or perhaps because of them, Ahmed excelled in school. She got impressive results on the SAT, including a perfect score in the verbal section.

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Post Aziz Ansari, 6 Tips for Safe Dating in 2018

A few of “Grace’s” comments reveal that she has been hurt (maybe in similar ways) by other men before. When I read “coercion,” I recalled a 23-year old woman (friend of a former roommate) who said: “I wasn’t really into it” and “I felt like I was coerced” after she got out of a short relationship with a slightly older teaching assistant in her law school. In my mind then, this was the type of strong, smart, and assertive woman that I didn’t think could be coerced into anything. But that’s how she felt, and others’ feelings should not be dismissed. I remembered how some of her fellow law students empathized, while others judged her for going out with a man in hopes of getting a better grade.

Modern Romance

Source: Post Aziz Ansari, 6 Tips for Safe Dating in 2018

The DFW Desi, Vol. 200

reflections from

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