Desi People | Is It Offensive Or Right Way To Call South Asian Or Bangladeshi People

Last Updated on January 24, 2021 by

The word desi is derived from Sanskrit. This word is mostly used to describe a person of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi origin. There are quite a few meanings of the word “desi.” For example, desi means “one from our country”; people, cultures, and products of the subcontinent, etc. The trace of origin for this word comes from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

The Etymology Of The Word “Desi”

The ethnonym of the word desi belongs in the antonymic category. This word is borrowed from the Hindustani desi and ultimately from the Sanskrit desia. Desi is derived from the word desa meaning region, province, country, etc. This word is first used in the Natya Shastra, where it defines the regional varieties of folk performing arts. South Asian people who live abroad use this word to refer to anything South Asian.

Is “Desi” An Offensive Word In South Asian Ancestry?    

No, the word desi is not considered an offensive word in South Asia. In fact, the word desi reached a level of broad acceptance among the south Asian people. The original meaning of desi is not homeland/home country. The actual meaning of desi is “the countryside” or “connotation of being rural.” Moreover, the word desi is applied to goods imported from south Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, etc.

However, sometimes the word desi can be offensive depending on which area you are from. For example people from Chittagong,, Bangladesh don’t like the term desi. They think desi is not related to their culture. It seems like desi is solely referred to the Hindi speaking population of South Asia. So, using the term often accompanies strengthened cultural sentiments.

FAQs About Desi People

1. What Is The Difference Between Desi And Indian?

There is a significant difference between desi and Indian. Indian means you are a resident of India; on the other hand, desi means “from the same country.” 

2. What Is Considered Desi?  

People, culture, and products from subcontinent countries like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are considered as desi.

3. What Does Desi American Mean?

The term “Desi American” is used to refer to people who are South Asian Americans born or raised in America.

4. What Is Desi Music?

The young Indian-Americans use the term desi music to describe South Asians and South Asian music.

5. What Does Gora Mean?

Gora is a Hindi and Indo-Aryan word and it is used to describe Europeans or a light-skinned person.

6. What Does It Mean By The Indian Subcontinent?

The Indian subcontinent consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as well as the Maldives. Geographically, the Indian subcontinent is the peninsular region in south-central Asia.

7. What Is Urban Desi?

Urban desi refers to the blends of South Asian pop culture with American hip-hop. It is originated in the U.K but now this style of music is spreading in the U.S. and India.

8. What Are The Geomorphic Provinces Of The Indian Subcontinent?

Here are three geomorphic provinces in the Indian Subcontinent. They are:

1. The Indian Peninsula
2. The Himalayas
3. The Indo-Gangetic Alluvial Plains

9. Is Myanmar Part Of The Indian Subcontinent?

The British colonial administrative areas are now called the Indian subcontinent. Till 1936; Myanmar was also part of British India but now they are not considered as a part of the subcontinent.