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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

Life At Tha Crossroads

African expatriates in India shrug off exclusion, create their own oases

Life At Tha Crossroads
Sanjay Rawat
Life At Tha Crossroads
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Doski Sly, a 31-year-old Nigerian, ticks off a list of things he had better be careful about while living in India. “I can’t talk to Indian women without the threat of being beaten up. I can’t rent a house without being humiliated, I can’t go to just any nightclub I want—they won’t let me in since I’m black. Plus, I can’t get my hair cut or beard trimmed at Indian salons, because our hair is different, and they don’t know how to cut it,” sighs this student of a private university in Delhi.

Sly’s dilemmas aren’t his alone, but actively shared by a majority of African expatriates in India. As African American Diepiriye S. Kuku-Siemons, PhD scholar at Delhi University, points out, “We still have to be chaperoned in Indian spaces by Indians.” But Indian racism towards Africans is an old story. The new story is that Africans like Doski and Diepiriye are no longer confined or constrained by that racism. Rather, that very sense of exclusion is quietly cracking...

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