The Asian Observation

Have you noticed?

Going away to begin your life as an adult at university serves as a milestone in anyone’s life.

The freedom, the independence, the self-determination of the next three years builds you up and prepares you to re-join society as a human ready to live life and make contributions. Though almost everyone shares the same general experiences at university, it’s safe to say that the Asian experience at is always slightly different.

Before I headed off to University, countless members of my family and friends descended upon me offering warnings, observations and advice. I’ve decided to share some of these general observations I’ve made since going to uni- enjoy!

“Join the Hindu Society so you make friends”

The burden. The tendency for every Hindu person to try and band together and create a squad. This squad will tend to include at least three Patels, a Shah or two and that one member with a longer name, that everyone makes “Are you sure you’re not Tamil?!” jokes about. I fell into this last category and I can attest it NEVER has been funny and never will be.

When I started at Luff, I was armed with the knowledge that I should join the Hindu Society to meet other brown people. What really struck me about the Loughborough Asian Squad was that it was tiny compared to say, Birmingham’s or Nottingham’s. In spite of this it wasn’t long until I found my peoples and have been stuck with them ever since. Low-key love all around for the A-Squad.

At my first Asian/Indian event, I remember distinctly feeling like I had entered some sort of Hunger Games-esque arena, whereby I was immediately assessed by other Asians to see whether I was worthy enough to join the A-Squad. For people that know about life at this uni, they’ll know that the boy-girl ratio is severely off, and has even impacted the dynamics of the A-Squad.

The Asian boys were distinctly friendlier towards the freshers than the girls, who seemed to emit an impenetrable aura of “You can’t sit with us” attitudes. One thing that often gets said about some of Luff’s Asian boys is that they can be rather keen. The odds are, that the boys have most likely begun the wifey hunt. So if you fall under the category of “Wifey Material,” be prepared. My advice would be that if you can make roti and curry, keep it to yourself.

“If you’re an international student you are probably minted”

Yes folks, this is the automatic assumption that is made about any Asian international student. Rumour has it, that back in India, they live in palaces, are chauffeur-driven and have dads that are best mates with the Indian Prime Minister. Other British Asians assume that because India is a developing country, with a lot of people living beneath the poverty line, these international students MUST be filthy, stinkin’ rich to be able to afford education abroad. But still, we never see that much of them as they tend to stick together and fall into the covert, exclusive squad, which is very hard to gain entry into. Basically if you’re not booked on a direct flight to India every holiday, are you even in the covert A-Squad?


“The Asian society is better than the Hindu society”

This debate sparks outrage amongst the committees involved.

The Asian society can host alcohol related socials, so clubbing with your fellow friends is always fun. Who doesn’t lose their shit when Punjabi MC comes on in the club? (Even if he did get me kicked out of an A-Soc social for fighting him in 2014.)

The Hindu society however is religious, and so must be non-alcoholic and vegetarian. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE BORING OK? Who doesn’t enjoy going to Central Zone Garba, where you can check out the other Hindu Societies from universities across the midlands, and more importantly assess the qualities of their members in the hunt for your husband/wife?

But seriously guys, they’re just societies. It isn’t real life, so who cares?

“There’s always one area where all the Indians congregate”

Err, hell yes.  Asians are notorious congregators. I mean, have you been to Wembley/Birmingham/Southall? I reckon that this habit to congregate in larger community settings definitely has had a knock-on effect for the Asians that go to university. In Loughborough, I know that when I’m on a night-out, I’ll never be drunk and alone.

Why, you ask? Because of Cogs Corner, which people have called ‘Brown Corner,’ and more recently ‘Curry Corner.’ Cogs Corner can be found in the room Cognito, in the Student’s Union; the room that plays RnB and the occasional Bhangra track, so obviously we love it.

You’re guaranteed to find a brown person you know in the corner of cogs, by the disability ramp. I’ll admit, when drunk, I like to wander around/run away from my friends, and inevitably I always end up in cogs. In the corner. Doing my thang. On that ramp.

An accurate representation of the Ramp

“Non-Asians that wear chappals to lectures”

For all you Indians/Asians out there, flip-flops (chappals) are only to be worn as house shoes or at garba- if they’re not being used on you as weapons by your parents of course. I think we are all equally horrified when we see them being worn to lectures as actual shoe-shoes.

I mean seriously guys, it’s raining outside and you’ve walked fifteen minutes from halls to lectures in flip-flops? It’s snowing, you’re toes have turned blue and icy, yet you still insist on this particular attire. Why?

I don’t care if they’re Havianas, don’t wear them as shoe-shoes. It’s really stressful for Indians.

And finally…

“Marriage proposals begin once the degree ends”

Does she have a good degree? Is she pretty? Is her family rich? Does she have a job lined up? If “she” checks all of the above, you can be sure as hell that as soon as you hit your twenties, grannies, aunties and that one person who’s always at every function but you have no clue who they are, will be assessing you and preparing to try and hook you up with their friend’s son.

True story: I had someone’s mum try and hook me up with her son and she even said she’d “support my education” because I was still in university… It’s a tough life we live, where love is no longer the only quota.

My advice to all Asian girls is to long out your university experience for as long as possible. Pretend you’re doing a masters and a PHD because that’ll buy you an extra five years… SAVE YOURSELVES.



Loughborough University