In new mexico especially since asian was synonymous

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in New Mexico, especially since "Asian" was synonymous with "East Asian": the "South" always fell out. Thus, while I could share some experiences with Latinas and Native American women, for instance, the experience of being an "alien" -an outsider within, a woman outside the purview of normalized U.S. citizenship-my South Asian genealogy also set me apart. Shifting the color line by crossing the geography and history of the American West and Southwest thus foregrounded questions about being South Asian in a space where, first, my brownness was not read against blackness, and second, Asian was already definitively cast as East Asian. In this context, what is the rela- tion of South Asian to Asian American (read: East Asian American)? And why does it continue to feel more appropriate, experientially and strategically, to call myself a woman of color orThird World woman? Geographies have never coincided with the politics of race. And claiming racial identities based on history, social location, and experience is always a matter of collective analy- sis and politics. Thus, while geographical spaces provide historical and cul- tural anchors (Marathi, Mumbai, and India are fundamental to my sense of myself), it is the deeper values and strategic approach to questions of eco- nomic and social justice and collective anticapitalist struggle that constitute my feminism. Perhaps this is why journeys across the borders of regions and nations always provoke reflections of home, identity, and politics for me: there is no clear or obvious fit between geography, race, and politics for some- one like me. I am always called on to define and redefine these relationships - "race," "Asianness," and "brownness" are not embedded in me, whereas his- tories of colonialism, racism, sexism, and nationalism, as well as of privilege (class and status) are involved in my relation to white people and people of color in the United States. Let me now circle back to the place I began: defining genealogies as a cru- cial aspect of crafting critical multicultural feminist practice and the mean- ings I have come to give to home, community, and identity. By exploring the relationship between being a South Asian immigrant in America and an ex- patriate Indian citizen (NRI) in India, I have tried, however partially and anec- dotally, to clarify the complexities of home and community for this particular 135 Community, Home, and Nation
feminist of color/South Asian in North America. The genealogy I have created for myself here is partial and deliberate. It is a genealogy that I find emo- tionally and politically enabling-it is part of the genealogy that underlies my self-identification as an educator involved in a pedagogy of liberation. Of course, my history and experiences are in fact messier and not at all as linear as this narrative makes them sound. But then the very process of construct- ing a narrative for oneself-of telling a story- imposes a certain linearity and coherence that is never entirely there. That is the lesson, perhaps, especially

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