Glossary: East Indian

East Indian

This extremely irritating (to Indians) term was in common use in Canada and in North America as recently as 1996.
It has fallen into relative disuse but still pops up disconcertingly, from time to time in newspapers or government documents. Its connections to the East India Company's bloody sojourn in India and its direct descent from the world's greatest case of mistaken identity (Columbus declaring his discovery of the Indies) make it unpalatable to the Indian tongue.
Acceptable alternatives are Indo-Canadian or Canadian of Indian origin - if the person or persons described originated from India. The term South Asian is also acceptable though it does not denote Indians exclusively.

Article: Creative Commons License 2008 Gavin Barrett

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