"Is it true that there are a lot more Mexicans hooking up with East Indians now?" a reader recently asked Gustavo Arrelano in his nationally syndicated column Ask a Mexican. "I know a few mixed Mexican-Indian couples, and I've heard that in some parts of the country, there are communities full of Mexican Hindus (products of Mexican-East Indian intermarriage)."
Arrelano, citing research by University of California, Irvine anthropology professor Karen Leonard, author of Making Ethnic Choices: California's Punjabi Mexican Americans, noted that Mexican women married men from Punjab in the first half of the 20th century, partly because immigration policies kept Asian women from coming to America. Mixed couples faced discrimination from both Mexican and Indian-American communities.
"Modern-day Mexican-East Indian couples can expect the same resistance from their kin, but I urge both cultures to unite under the beauty of our shared swarthy skins and hatred of American foreign policy," Arrelano wrote. "But a warning to East Indian suitors — whether you're Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Jain, whether your family is from Gujarat or Mumbai, Mexicans will call you ‘hind�.'"
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