Does It Matter Where You Come From? When Someone Offers You a DNA Test, It Suddenly Does…

(This article was originally published in the Huffington Post)

Like millions of others, I saw The DNA Journey video by Momondo and pondered the question it poses: ‘Would you dare to question who you really are?’

Now, if you’re British and white and someone asks you where you’re from, you’ll reply, ‘Britain’, and move on. For the rest of us, shaded olive all the way to black, it’s a struggle.

The question offends those who were born here, galled by the insinuation that dark cannot equate a true Brit, while immigrants who’ve done their level best to integrate feel it throws them back to square one. Even those of us without a chip on our shoulder about being judged by our roots find it peculiar that complete strangers say hello by asking where our parents lived when they were little. Continue reading “Does It Matter Where You Come From? When Someone Offers You a DNA Test, It Suddenly Does…”

So This Is How It Feels To Be A Proper Indian

(This article was originally published in the Huffington Post)

indian cowboy

As if hailing from the Indian sub-continent wasn’t exotic enough.

My hate-affair with jazzing up one’s ancestry began when I came to the UK in the mid-80s. My family fronts the unexpected migrant tale of leaving behind a perfectly privileged life of tea estates and maids in Bangladesh to start anew for the sake of our education (my brother was finishing college and the universities there were as much a hotbed of extremism then as they are now). Much of my family were heavily involved in the war of independence just before I was born, so I was raised to love my country and was, as patriots are wont to do, proud to be a Boy of Bengal. Continue reading “So This Is How It Feels To Be A Proper Indian”