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The word "Desi" comes from the Sanskrit word "Desh" meaning "country". The word "Desi" is used to refer to something "from the country" and with time its usage shifted more towards referring to people, cultures, and products of a specific region; for example, desi food, desi calendars, and desi dress.[5]


Desi contrasts with the Hindustani language word vilāyati (Anglicised as "Blighty"),[6] which originally referred to Afghanistan and Central Asia, over time it came to refer to Britain (during the British rule vilāyat, an Arabic-origin word meaning 'state', signified Britain) but may also refer more generally to anything that is European or Western. People from the subcontinent living in vilāyat (Britain) or in other Western countries refer to themselves and their ethnic culture as desi. The desi/vilāyati pair of antonyms is widely used in subcontinent languages (Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, etc.).[citation needed]

After the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the United States dramatically increased immigration from the subcontinent. As increasing numbers of students from the subcontinent arrived in the US and UK, their countries of origin were colloquially referred to as deś. For example, all things Indian including Indian expatriates were referred to as "desi".

In the U.S., as in other countries, some diaspora desis are creating a "fusion" culture, in which foods, fashions, music, and the like from many areas of South Asia are "fused" both with each other and with elements from Western culture.[8][non-primary source needed] For example, urban desi is a genre of music formed by the fusion of traditional Indian and Western urban music.[9] The growing demand of popular programming for South Asians caused MTV to launch the desi-targeted television channel MTV Desi.

In the UK, desi communities have continued the fusion culture which first emerged during the rule of the British Raj, influencing music, art, fashion and food. There are now dedicated radio stations catering to British-South Asians such as the BBC Asian Network.

The Natya Shastra refers to the regional varieties of folk dance and music elements as desi, and states that these are meant as pure entertainment for common people, while the pan-Indian margi elements are to spiritually enlighten the audience. The medieval developments of the classical Indian dance and music led to the introduction of desi gharanas, in addition to the classical gharanas codified in Natya Shastra. The desi gharanas further developed into the present-day adavus. There is raga in Indian classical music known as "Desi".

In regions of South Asia, desi in the context of food, implies "native" or "traditional". Common examples are "desi ghee", which is the traditional clarified butter used in South Asia as opposed to more processed fats such as vegetable oils. "Desi chicken" may mean a native breed of chicken. This word is also usually restricted to Sanskrit-derived (Indo-Aryan) languages.

Heritage varieties of vegetables and other produce can also be qualified as "desi". "Desi diet" refers to a diet and food choices followed by Indians around the world. Desi daru refers to "country liquor", such as fenny, toddy and arrack. It is differentiated from Indian-made foreign liquor such as Indian-made whisky, rum, or vodka.

Currently, DDN Inc. is working to develop various programs and partnerships across the United States. We are also working to design and fund workshop and dance class series across throughout the nation. For more information, please contact us.

DDN Inc. exists to combat cultural erasure and challenge the mainstream notions of identity by providing a platform that promotes narratives through desi dance, music, and arts. We envision a continuum of work-based learning and artistic development opportunities that allows our youth and young adults to create global movements shifting perceptions of art, community, and identity.

These informal drop-in group is designed to talk about topics relevant to Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American (APIMEDA) students at UCSD in a supportive and problem-solving atmosphere. It is an open and safe space to discuss identity-based topics as well as any other topics students may have in mind.

Repeat the process with the second half of the mixture. Place desi omelette on plates. Roughly chop reserved sprigs of cilantro and sprinkle on top. Enjoy morsels of it, eaten by hand, with a paratha, or white buttered toast with a slick of Maggi Chili Garlic Sauce on the side. When I am home in Lahore, I like to fold it up and enjoy it between two slices of soft white bread, with a slather of Shezan ketchup. 041b061a72


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