Brown is sometimes used to refer to brown people in general or sometimes more specifically to the darker skinned Indo-Aryan and Dravidian of South Asia.
The term originates from the Hindi term pandit, which in turn originates from the Sanskrit (a language from ancient India) term paṇḍitá, meaning “learned” (see also Pandit). It refers to someone who is erudite in various subjects and who conducts religious ceremonies and offers counsel to the king.
My friend Dr. Daniel MacArthur thinks I’m quite erudite.
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Zach introduced us pretty well earlier. I’m Razib Khan, I generally cover science and history. I am also known as “razib the atheist” on the Sepia Mutiny weblog. I am brown. All four of my grandparents were born in the eastern part of Bengal, what became Bangladesh. Some of my great-grandparents were born outside of Bengal, from Delhi to Assam. But to my knowledge all my recent forebears are of South Asian provenance, though I suspect Burmese heritage as well.
I have known Zach Latif since 2002. We disagree on many issues, but we are united by a deep interest in history, the superstructure of culture, and the broader patterns of society. Additionally, we are both atypical as South Asians go. Zach, a Baha’i of Pakistani background and recent Persian ancestry. Myself, an atheist American of Bengali ethnicity and originally Bangladeshi nationality. I should also add that I have a deeply skeptical, and moderately unsympathetic stance, toward Islamic civilization, and general lack of comprehension of the abstruse biases of South Asian philosophy and religion. My own personal orientation is in sympathy with the Cārvāka.
Please also follow our twitter account: http://twitter.com/#!/brownpundits. Also, “like” our Facebook page.
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