Forschungsprojekt: Die virtuelle zweite Generation

Wednesday, 13th December 2006, 11.30 am - 1.00 pm
Conference: The borderpolitics of Whiteness, Sydney, 11.-13.12.06.

Partying in a Sari
The dilemma of 'white' presence at 'Indian' dance parties in 'Germany'

Dr. Urmila Goel, Visiting Scholar at the Asia Centre
Department for Cultural and Social Anthropology, European University Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder, Germany 

An ‘Indian’ party in Berlin: Hundreds of people have come to dance to Bhangra Music and to listen to the special guest Punjabi MC. The dance floor is packed. There are roughly two styles of dress: those smartly dressed on the one side and those colourfully dressed in Saris and shawls on the other. Most of the ‘Desis’ belong to the first group, the second is made up almost entirely of ‘White’ women.

The paper will analyse the appropriation by ‘White’ people of things considered ‘Indian’ and their intrusion into ‘Indian’ spaces in Germany as well as the consequences this has on ‘Indians of the second generation’. It will discuss how in their fascination for ‘India’ ‘White’ people other and exclude those marked as ‘Indians’. It will show how the ‘Indians of the second generation’ are forced to deal with these ‘White’ constructions and transgressions of borders of ‘Whiteness’ and ‘Indianness’ as well as the dilemmas caused by these.
The analysis is founded on field research done in the course of the research project “The virtual second generation” on the internet portal, an own ‘space of the second generation’ which is closely linked to the ‘Indian’ parties. Theoretically it is based on theories of racism and multiple natio-ethno-cultural belongingness formulated in particular by the German theorist Paul Mecheril as well as on the emerging Critical Whiteness Studies in Germany.

Presentation as pdf


© Urmila Goel, 2006