Loudoun County’s 20 Percent : Short and Stereotyped

Loudoun+Countys+20+Percent+%3A+Short+and+Stereotyped

Aliza Ahmad and Misha Salman

According to the US Census Bureau, Asians only make up 20% of Loudoun County. It is currently unknown how many of the people classified as Asians are part of the South Asian group though. However, what we do know about South Asians is that we are a fun and loving community.  Broad Run has a very inclusive South Asian Community.  “I don’t feel left out, there’s a bunch of other South Asians. I don’t feel singled out, like I have a group of people here at Broad Run,” said sophomore Yashwanth Kantheti.

 

Despite the inclusive community, several students feel stereotyped.

“Everyone’s like ‘can I copy off your homework?’, ‘Can I get the answers to this?’, because I’m Indian and they assume that there’s nothing else to me and that I’m just smart. Here’s the thing, I suck at math, I suck at science, I’m really passionate about mental health, I’m really passionate about feminism like there’s more to me than that. So, I do feel really stereotyped,” said sophomore Shivani Row. Furthermore, freshman Shreya Sharma states, “A lot of people are stereotypical and think I’m gonna be really smart.”

 

Other than stereotypes, another struggle of the South Asian community is height. The average height for a North American male is 5’8 and for a South Asian male, it’s 5’5. The average height for a North American female is 5’5 and for a South Asian female, it’s 5 ft. “ I hate how Indians, like the average height, is a lot shorter than Americans.

Row states that her mom will be like, “That girls like the normal height’ obviously I’m a bit short, they’re like ‘she’s 5’2 that’s the normal height’, and then here she’s like ‘oh my god they’re so tall!’ It’s so annoying.”

“I dislike the fact that most of us are short, cause I’m a basketball player and I wanna be tall,” said sophomore Andrew Gopal.

When it comes to embracing your culture, some want to be loud and seen while others want to keep it private.

Kantheti says, “I don’t really like to show my culture in school, cause I don’t feel it’s gonna do anything. I keep that private.”

Some would disagree like senior Gopal Kurakula. “To be honest, I’m actually proud to be a part of the South Asian community, we’re seen as smart, and it’s a good group,” he said, “pretty much, me and my family, we celebrate every Indian holiday there is, by making Indian foods, going to temple, giving food.”

 

Regardless of what part of South Asia you’re from, the community we have built at Broad Run is inclusive and welcoming to everyone!