indian last names

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after seeing that tumblr post of someone telling their story about how much diego luna being in star wars rogue one meant to them and their father I decided to share my story of why riz ahmed being in rogue one meant so much to me. i am 50% white 25% indian and 25% pakistani. growing up i went to small private school which was probably 99% white kids and 1% non white kids. i remember one time in 1st grade a group of kids in my class got into an argument on how to pronounce my last name. i have an indian last name. they made fun of how it sounded and they made fun of the other ways it could be pronounced. my first name is also indian and in further grades id be teased for it too. from as long as I could remember i was so embarrassed and so insecure to be part indian/pakistani. i used to cry about it as a five year old. A FIVE year old. when i was 6 i went to india for the first time and had to take off two weeks of school. i remember not wanting to tell any of my classmates where I was going but my teacher announced it. as a six year old, being so ashamed of a huge part of who you are is terrible. it feels terrible. around 8th grade is where i started to realise there was close to no indian/pakistani representation in hollywood. if there was, it was an extremely stereotypical role or such a tiny role you could miss it. i wanted there to be a brown skinned main character in an american tv show I watched so so badly, or a brown skinned superhero in a marvel movie, or a brown skinned main character in ANYTHING.. skip to the past couple years. priyanka chopra getting cast as the main character in quantico meant so much to me. if im not mistaken she was one of the (if not THE) first indian woman to be cast as the main character in an american tv show. dev patel, the impact he’s made on hollywood, meant. so. much. to. me. seeing slumdog millionaire win best picture at the oscars, as a 10 year old I almost cried I was so over joyed that an indian movie where they speak partly in hindi actually won. riz ahmed, the first time I saw him was in nightcrawler. I didn’t even know he was in it, it was just exciting to see that representation in film like that alongside jake gyllenhaal. all these little or big parts these indians or pakistanis have gotten in hollywood over the past few years, all of them meant so much to me. that gets me to riz ahmed being in rogue one. it even meant a lot to my dad. seeing this diversity, in a star wars movie, one of the biggest franchises in the world, and one of me & my dads favorite things in the world all through out growing up. representation MATTERS. when i was growing up, if there was an indian superhero, or a pakistani main character in star wars like there is now, maybe i would’ve loved who i was a little bit more. I needed someone like me to look up to as an 8 year old. in the past couple years ive learned to truly love my indian/pakistani side so so so much, it’s my favorite thing about myself. im saying all this and telling my struggles as just a 50% non white. if I felt like this as still half white, then you can only imagine how 100% indians or any other race must feel. representation matters!!! im so glad the steps hollywood film and shows have made over the past few years to bring more representation to our screens. but, it needs to be more & im excited to see how much more there will be in hollywood in the future

anonymous asked:

This isn't targeted as racism or as hate, its just been something that has been bothering me. I think you have gone overboard with the poc faceclaims bcos there was still a lot of racism in 1980s, england isnt all that racially diverse IN THE FIRST place. i dont see purebloods marrying into black families. also pandora lovegood CANT be black, luna looks like her mother, luna was explicitly stated to have blonde hair and blue eyes. its the same as making poc charas white tbh

Messages like this are exactly why we make an effort to have a lot of POC faceclaims. 

Why are you so threatened at the idea that a fictional character might not be white?

I almost wanted to ignore this message, but instead I’m going to try to touch on each of your points here.

1. “england isnt all that racially diverse IN THE FIRST place”

I’m not sure where you get the idea that England isn’t racially diverse – London, which is the main setting of this RP, in particular. London is, and has for a very long time, certainly before the 1980s, been a hotbed for immigration, especially from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean (Jamaica in particular). London has a huge non-white population. Want proof? Check out this map of common surnames in London and their origin

Did you know that the third most common surname in London is “Patel,” an Indian last name?

2. “there was still a lot of racism in 1980s”

Was there racism in the 80s in London? Sure. There was racism, there was homophobia, there was all sorts of prejudice; there still is to this day. Are we ignoring that? Not at all. Some of the characters in our rp are dealing with the reality of historically appropriate racism and homophobia. Others like to use this roleplay and their characters to escape the kind of racism and homophobia they face in their real lives every day. Because guess what? Fiction is more often than not a form of escapsim, not a 100% accurate reflection of reality. This is a world in which magic exists; why is the thing most unbelievable to you that a few characters might not be white?

And racism never stopped non-white people form existing. Racism wouldn’t have existed in the 1980s if there hadn’t been POC around to be the targets of it. 

There’s still a ton of racism in the world today. But trying to change our way of thinking so that “white” is no longer “normal” or “default” is one of the best ways of combatting that.

3. “i dont see purebloods marrying into black families.”

Who said they married into black families? Who said they didn’t start out being black? White people have never, ever had a monopoly on magic. In fact, there are real life things a lot closer to magic in Caribbean and East Asian cultures than there are in white Anglo-Saxon ones. Why can’t the Potter family be from a long long line of Indian wizards, who had magic before they even moved to England? 

We don’t seem to question the fact that the Shacklebolt family – one of the Sacred 28 – is black. Did white purebloods marry into a black family, or were they just a magic family who happened to be black in the first place? What about the Shafiq family, another Sacred 28 name that is clearly of Middle Eastern origin? So why is it unbelievable that any of the other Sacred 28 pureblood families might have been non-white as well? 

Race is hardly ever mentioned in the Harry Potter books. In fact, blood status seems to take priority as the major form of prejudice in the Wizarding world. Who is to say that racism isn’t an issue for Wizards? While the muggle world was preoccupied with oppressing people for the color of their skin, maybe the Wizarding world didn’t bother seeing that as anything but a physical trait; they had other things they could use to marginalize and oppress people. 

So, if race doesn’t matter nearly as much as blood status, why wouldn’t a pureblood marry someone who happens to be black, but is also a pureblood? I mean, everyone talks to much about the inter-marrying of the pureblood families, it’s unlikely that, as there are canonically at least two non-white pureblood families, most of the purebloods we encounter aren’t at least somewhat mixed race. 

4. “pandora lovegood CANT be black, luna looks like her mother, luna was explicitly stated to have blonde hair and blue eyes”

Did you know that people who aren’t white are capable of having blonde hair and blue eyes?

Do me a favor and google “black people with blonde hair.” Guess what? They exist. 

Do me another favor and google “black people with blue eyes.” Guess what? They also exist. Whether from mixed ancestry or from genetic mutation, these are actual people who actually exist. It’s not impossible that a white parent and a black parent would have a child with blonde hair and blue eyes, not to mention the fact that hair and eye color aren’t the only way you can resemble a parent. Maybe Luna has her nose, her smile, her facial structure, her hair texture, or a general posture and presence that resembles her mother.  

5. its the same as making poc charas white tbh”

Even if these are characters who you think cannot possibly be POC, making these characters POC isn’t the same as making POC characters white. I’m not going to try to explain it any more articulately than this post does.

We don’t need more white characters. There are plenty. But there are hardly any roleplays on tumblr that have numerous POC options for their players. 

It’s this kind of toxic thinking that makes a lot of POC uncomfortable in the rp community, and in fandom in general. It’s this kind of toxic thinking that means we need to have RPs that encourage racial inclusivity instead of just assuming a character is white until stated otherwise. 

If that’s not the kind of RP you’re looking for, don’t join us. Leave. Block us, ignore us, pretend we don’t exist. But please don’t come into our space – a space we are trying to make safe and inclusive – and tell us we can’t do what we’re doing. And don’t you dare try to tell us that what we are doing is as bad as whitewashing when we have made at least two POC players vocally more comfortable in the RP community by making an effort to have a variety of POC characters.

A few years ago my street artist pal Posterchild had a website where he posted his stencil work.  I hosted it for him and acted in some ways as his public face, since he had to stay anonymous.  

In 2009, he did a series of images of native astronauts, challenging the hurtful and racist assumption you too often see, where the First Nations are considered to a people of the past who don’t have a role in modern society.  That’s obviously bullshit, and he was trying to express that.  After they went up he got this email from Jenwa:

I watched your talk with some art students recently and I really enjoyed it. I go to your site because you show me some things I can’t find in Winnipeg. I like to ‘watch’ graffiti and yours is pretty interesting. I always liked your series of astronauts and especially the Native American ones. I even got the hoody and I think I sent you an e-mail about how pleased I was with it. 

Anyways, while I thought the series was awesome I never really knew there were as much to them as you described in your lecture. I figured you had some meaning behind them but you talked about it exceptionally well in this instance. I guess what you had to say revealed a few insights of my own and now I have a deeper connection with the series. 

As a Métis person who aspires to be a doctor, I feel about as ridiculous as your native astronaut. In fact, I don’t talk about this goal with people I know anymore because they feel the same way and feel I’m wasting my time. 

Maybe thankfully, I’m very fair despite being Chilean and native. In a sense, I’m granted a sort of anonymity so long as people aren’t aware of my heritage. I could be Italian… Some people think I’m Asian. I’m still confused as to if I should stop representing myself as my heritage couldn’t and let people assume or if I should stay firm. 

In any event, I have a new way to approach this. So, there is my personal connection to this. I was hoping to send something to you though. I work in a perfumery where we make a blend of sacred essential oils called Ishi. It’s inspired by the last Indian named Ishi and I would say it is like the rain that takes off my helmet. I was hoping to share it with you and send you a vial as thanks for giving me this realization.

Post wrote back:

I’m very glad you connected to the astronaut images and the talk I gave about them. For what it’s worth, I found your story inspiring. I do get alot of emails, and I rarely answer quickly, but I try to answer them all, and I read them all right away.

As soon as I read your email a few days ago, I began thinking of images! I decided on combining the “native” costumes available with the doctor costumes I could find. Not surprisingly, I only found 3 doctors costumes for women! The rest were nurses.

So I’m going to make all three. I’ve attached a photo of the drawing (on the right, the one on the left is something else) of the only female doctor costume that wasn’t “sexy”.  I haven’t yet had time to draw or cut the others. But with your blessing, I’d like to publish your great email on my site when I do put these up.

I hope you’re willing, and I hope your well!

She was down, they exchanged gifts, and when Post cut that stencil and put it up in Toronto…

…he made a special print just for her.

Though Posterchild’s site is now gone, Jenwa’s stayed in touch with him through me.  In 2015 she posted this on Twitter:

It’s been 7 years since Posterchild made me this painting. Next Spring, I get my MD. Just an update. 

That was last year, and in a little over an hour, Jenwa’s graduating.  She’s becoming a family medicine doctor.  I’m going to watch, and you can too: they’re streaming it online

You guys, I know Posterchild only had the tiniest role in this.  And my role was even tinier.  But to see art touch someone like this, to watch anyone set a goal so hard and realize it so expertly… I’ve got tears in my eyes.

I’m cheering for Jenwa.  

I do not wear feathers in my hair.

I do not have a long “Indian name”.

Yes, my last name is two words.

Yes, it really is Iron Eyes.

No, I cannot give you a name.

I have never been on a Vision Quest.

I do not speak to animals or spirits.

I am not fluent in my own language.

I am trying.

I do not drink.

I do not play basketball.

Get that headdress off your head.

You did not earn that.

Those feathers were not gifts, nor were you in enough battles for them.

Walking around with more feathers than Sitting Bull and Gall together.

I do not know the Native that you know.

My ancestors are Gall and Wanata.

My name is Dakhota.

My band is Hunkpapa Lakhota.

My ancestors were warriors.

Among the most fierce.

No, I have not scalped anyone.

But you are tempting me.

—  Frequently Asked Questions