Why #SouthIndianandProud Is Important

As someone with light skin privilege, born in England, raised by North Indian (Punjabi) parents, I have never experienced the oppression faced by South Indians. Most of this is based on stereotypes - 'South Indians are all dark and Tamil-speaking', whereas there is a mix of diverse languages, cultures and beliefs in South India.

A week or so ago, a hashtag Brown SZN was doing the rounds on Twitter; I don't 100% understand it, but apparently it's a clique of light skinned South Asians posting selfies. Going through the hashtag, it felt a bit Mean Girls - there was some tweets I found with a 'I was I could join Brown Szn but I'm not good looking enough' kind of vibe, and it made me feel very uncomfortable.

So, founder of @SouthAsianFem, Tricia Ferdinandt (@K0HIN00R) on Twitter started the hashtag #SouthIndianandProud, to open a discussion about the beauty and diversity in South India. Tricia explained that

...desi-ness I feel is already very North Indian and Pakistani oriented (light skin basically) so I wanted to create a tag where all my South Indians could join in!

With the help of her friends @soIatenights@stargirllilac@anj_rajan, the four girls started retweeting and spreading the word of being #SouthIndianandProud.

She wants this hashtag to reflect that

the whole of South Asia comes in so many different unique beautiful features, skin tones, shapes sizes etc. and there are SO many misconceptions about south india.

Tricia noted that a lot of deep seeded hatred was ingrained in Indians over years of oppression and a lot of that hatred, for South Indians, was internalised. She wants to open a door to South Indians, to tell them to be proud, post photos of themselves, and talk about where they're from. Having an open discussion is the start and hopefully, all people with light skin privilege will begin to understand the complex issues people with dark skin face.

As previously discussed, there is a lot of racism in India, and a lot of it starts with our own self hatred, misrepresenting ourselves (due to colonialism) and caste systems.

It's not easy to get a hashtag trending, but when @NathanZed tweeted about the hashtag, it blew up and the word spread. You should have a look, read the captions and the following tweets, to learn and immerse your mind into some beautiful cultures.