Recently, 23-year-old Priya Bahl had to remind her four white friends yet again that she is not the token Latina of the group, but in fact the token Desi.
“I know that their hearts are in the right place,” says Priya. “But I’ve told them on multiple occasions that my family is from Bangladesh and they still ask me if burritos are different ‘where I’m from.’ I’m like, ‘What?’”
After becoming friends at Reed College, the four white friends were excited to welcome Priya to their group.
“Karen, Claire and Ella were like, ‘you have got to meet Priya,’” says Katie. “It’s been really cool having a Latina woman in the group. It’s so important to me to learn about other cultures. Plus, I get to practice my Spanish!”
Despite Priya’s attempts to clarify that she is not from any Spanish-speaking country, her friends still don’t understand.
“She adds spice to the group,” said Karen. “It’s really making us more worldly!”
Although becoming discouraged, Priya has not given up, yet.
“I bluntly told them I am not Latina and I cannot help them practice their Spanish,” says Priya. “I barely know Bengali, I only speak it with my parents. I even brought out a globe to show them exactly where my family is from. I think they’re maybe starting to get it?”
Sources confirm they are not.
“Oh, wait, so you’re like Persian?” asked Ella.