A dash of Desi culture in US, UK and Canada

Desi is a word used to describe the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and their diaspora, derived from Sanskrit देश (deśá), meaning “land, country”. It is used to describe a person who comes from or whose family comes from India (and sometimes from Pakistan or Bangladesh), but who lives in another country.

In the U.S., as in other countries, some diaspora desis are creating a “fusion” culture, in which foods, fashions, music, and the like from many areas of South Asia are “fused” both with each other and with elements from Western culture.

For example, urban desi is a genre of music formed by the fusion of traditional Indian and Western urban music. The growing demand of popular programming for South Asians caused MTV to launch the desi-targeted television channel MTV Desi.

In the UK, desi communities have continued the fusion culture which first emerged during the rule of the British Raj, influencing music, art, fashion and food. There are now dedicated radio stations catering to British-South Asians such as the BBC Asian Network.

In Canada, desis have established sizable ethnic enclaves in areas such as Brampton, Ontario and Surrey, British Columbia.

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