I think Indians are by far the WORST when it comes to assimilating. The Chinese and other Asians are far better at this. Look, if we're so bloody attached to our culture, we should stay put and live in India. If we move to a different society in search of a better life, assimilating will be massively helpful.
The US is a melting pot, but eventually all the various ethnic groups join the American mainstream - that's how the country was built. If the Germans were still calling themselves Hermann and the Italians Guiseppe and the Russians Vladimir and the Chinese YangYang and the Jews Moishe, there would be no common American culture. But what you find is that pretty much all of these groups Anglicise their first names. Whilst some retain their ancestral surnames, others Anglicise that too. But the thing is, at some level, these people have a certain degree of commonality.
Indians are also the least likely to marry out. If we're going to self-segregate, then we're going to have to be content with remaining on the fringe. To succeed, you need to be able to connect with people. Why do you think Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley don't use their given names anymore? Some might call this self-loathing or trying to act white or some nonsense like that, but personally, I see it as trying to assimilate. It's a mark of respect to the society which you or your ancestors voluntarily emigrated to.
I work in California and nobody calls me by my Indian name here. My colleagues are for the most part American (and assorted Asian like Chinese, Vietnamese and so forth), and they just find it easier to use an Americanised name rather than grapple with my Indian first name(and mine isn't a very easy Indian name either like Priya or something). Frankly, I just find it easier all round. It's easier at work, at Starbucks, at restaurants, at stores, in bars and so forth. If I ever have children in the States, I'll give them Anglo-Saxon first names for sure. That isn't self-loathing or insecurity. The choice to emigrate in search of a better life was mine. I'm not going to expect the host society to bend over backwards to accommodate my cultural idiosyncrasies. Doing so would reek of a massively misplaced sense of entitlement.
Edited by joie de vivre - 26 October 2013 at 9:44pm