Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

February 14, 2013

The Aerogram

Filed under: Uncategorized — Razib Khan @ 11:32 am

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Some of the last generation of Sepia Mutiny contributors are involved in a new webzine, The Aerogram. Check it out.

February 12, 2013

Where secular nationalism lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — Razib Khan @ 9:33 pm

BANGLADESH-articleLargeIt is interesting to observe that whereas in the core Arab-Turkic-Persian world religious nationalism is dominant, as it is in Pakistan, in a place like Bangladesh (or Indonesia or Malaysia) secular nationalism is vibrant, and holds its own. This is not to say that Bangladesh and other Muslim majority nations characterized secular nationalism lack sectarian strife or Islamic chauvinism. There is plenty of that to go around. Rather, it is to point out that in Bangladesh, unlike Pakistan, it is viable to contend in the public space that Islam is not an the ineluctable fact around which the core of the national identity revolves.

The recent mass protests in Dhaka illustrate this. Popular sentiment is by and large against Islamic activists, who are viewed as illegitimate and unpatriotic, rather than being above reproach. It shows the vigor of a Bengali Muslim nationalism which gave rise to Bangladesh, which is distinct from, though incomprehensible without  reference to, the older Bengali nationalism of the Hindu elites of Calcutta. What is peculiar about this nationalism in a South Asian context is that it is a construction of the late 19th and 20th centuries, as Muslim Bengali elites began to demand their voice at the same table as Hindus and Urdu speaking Muslims. In much of the subcontinent to be Muslim is to give a nod to the primacy of Urdu  elite culture. This is not the case in eastern Bengal, what became Bangladesh. Hundreds of millions of Muslims on the eastern fringe of the subcontinent have fully religiously robust lives ignorant of Urdu high culture, without any sense of alienation from their identities. Bengali Muslim identity post-dates the Mughals, it is not a product of them.

No doubt this severs Bengali Muslims from the rich Mughali and Islamicate heritage which their co-religionists from Punjab to Hyderabad draw upon. But it is the same situation which afflicts Javanese or Malay Muslims. Though Indian Muslims may have been critical vectors in the transmission of Islam to maritime Southeast Asia, South Asian Islamicate culture, and its Urdu veneer, was never transmitted. And interestingly like Bangladeshi nationalism these cultures have been able to integrate their religious identity with secular nationalism, without either marginalizing the other (Indonesian Muslims arguably place less emphasis on Islam in their self identity than Malaysians). I do not know if this is some particular structural problem with Islamicate/Urdu high culture, where it is unable to properly integrate religious identity into a secular nationalist model, but it is a peculiar observation. Though racially and linguistically, and by most cultural standards, Bangladesh is part of South Asia, in regards to the primacy of secular nationalism it is far more like Southeast Asia than it is like Pakistan.

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February 11, 2013

American Born or Raised Indian American outmarriage rates don’t change

Filed under: data,Intermarriage — Razib Khan @ 7:16 pm

In the early-to-mid 2000s I had a discussion with friends who were involved in the Sepia Mutiny blog about the trends for outmarriage rates in the Indian American community. Now that we have Census 2010 data we can compare.

US born or US raised Indian Americans married with US born or US raised
Ethnic identity of spouses
Indian Other Asian White Black Hispanic Others
Men 2010 62.4 4.5 25.6 0.7 3.5 3.4
Men 2000 65.2 4.3 27.3 0 4.3
Women 2010 52 2.9 37.8 2.8 2.1 2.4
Women 2000 54.2 0 39.1 4.3 4.2

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American Born or Raised Indian American outmarriage rates don’t change

Filed under: data — Razib Khan @ 7:16 pm

In the early-to-mid 2000s I had a discussion with friends who were involved in the Sepia Mutiny blog about the trends for outmarriage rates in the Indian American community. Now that we have Census 2010 data we can compare.

US born or US raised Indian Americans married with US born or US raised
Ethnic identity of spouses
Indian Other Asian White Black Hispanic Others
Men 2010 62.4 4.5 25.6 0.7 3.5 3.4
Men 2000 65.2 4.3 27.3 0 4.3
Women 2010 52 2.9 37.8 2.8 2.1 2.4
Women 2000 54.2 0 39.1 4.3 4.2

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Before Jeremy Lin

Filed under: Identity — Razib Khan @ 3:22 pm

Anyone who followed college basketball in the mid-90s is familiar with Rex Walters. Less well known is that he is half-Japanese. Some of the issues he presents are probably generalizable. Brown Americans (as in born-in-the-USA or raised-in-the-USA) have a high outmarriage rate. After a year of hearing from people that my daughter “doesn’t look Indian at all,” I’m a little more conscious of the inferences people make about you based on your physical appearance. I don’t think it’s a major issue, and will become less so as more and more mixed children grow up and habituate people to non-pigeonholeable diversity.

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