I visited someone in Oakville the other day. Bengali guy, new house in a new subdivision, housewarming party and all that. In the middle of showing me the house, the uncle turned to me and said, "You know what's the best part of this area? All around, for miles, no desis. All white people!"
He positively beamed as he said this.
I could only stare. I wish I could find it in me to be rude and reply, "Well, uncle, too bad your neighbours can't say the same thing!"
Sure, I can understand some of the issues if you live in an area where there's lots of Bengali people. I sympathize with you if you have to go to Crescent Town to deliver a pack of sweets to Kulsum Aunty because your brother got his G2 driver's license, and God forbid should you talk to any girl on the way there, because 4th floor's Rohima Aunty, the BBC of aunties, is ever Watching, and will report how you went on and on with the daughter from the new family who had just arrived from Kuwait, all because she held the door open for you as you had forgotten Kulsum Aunty's buzzer number.
Yes, that can be a problem.
But some people wear their dislike of people of their own race as a badge of honour, and this I cannot stomach.
For some reason, I just can't imagine a white guy saying the following.
"Well, Jim, this area is so good. No white trash for miles! All Jamaican, Tamil and Bengalis here. Delightful! I must tell you, I am sick of the bland cooking these white people do. When these brown guys cook in the middle of a hot summer afternoon, a delightful aroma fills the neighborhood - so exotic!"
This sort of post-colonial hangover is not just limited to finding a house in an area devoid of desis. It also appears in the form of people like Michelle Malkin, an American of Oriental descent who delights in telling the right-wing why the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War was a good thing. It appears in the form of the Muslim who thinks all hijab should be banned because "we" should "integrate".
I, for one, have no problem with other cultures. And I, also, do not have a problem with mine.
Now, in the tradition of a favourite blogger of mine (Samosa), I leave you with a video. They say the hijab and the niqab are supposed to make a women less alluring. Ya, right!