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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

March 21, 2006

Written by C.N.

British Asian Divorcees and Technology

Divorced British Asians, much like their Asian American counterparts, are frequently caught between two worlds — their traditional Asian culture and contemporary British culture on the other. When British Asian marriages end in divorce, the divorcees frequently encounter a social stigma and ostracism from their Asian communities. That’s where technology and the Internet come in to help:

“The Asian success story is based on family, and marriage is the ultimate success story,” he told Reuters. “Family is the backbone. Its disintegration is a very serious threat to the Asian community.” For Hindu, Sikh and Muslim divorcees, marrying again can be a tough proposition. Asian families, Samra argued, can struggle to come terms with divorce. . . .

Samra’s site [AsianDivorcee.com] has provoked condemnation from some quarters. Samra conceded that the site may even increase the divorce rate among British Asians because it showed those trapped in unhappy marriages that there was a way out.

But he has won some support back in India. The Times of India, commenting on the site, concluded: “No one is sure if one Web site can change a whole community frozen in the aspic of the cultural mores of yesterday’s South Asia. But it may be worth a try.”

I found this article to be an interesting illustration of the the kinds of issues and pressures that Asians around the world frequently have to deal with as they continue to integrate into their adoptive societies while still holding on to different parts of their traditional ethnic culture. As sociologists describe, as the size of the U.S.-born Asian American population continues to grow, so too will the complexities associated with balancing two cultures.

Ultimately, the choice does not have to be limited to one culture or the other. Instead, many Asian Americans are creating their own unique culture that combines elements of both cultures into a new creation that is unique and personal. This may be the new form of the “melting pot” that can include intermarriage but also emerging forms of personal identity.

After all, America is the land of creativity and innovation . . .


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "British Asian Divorcees and Technology" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/03/british-asian-divorcees-and-technology/> ().

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