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Indians Are Asians! Ronny Chieng's Joke Erased Half Asian Countries' Identity

Ronny Chieng has demonstrated that people of colour may be racist toward other people of colour.

Featured Image via @TheDailyShow

Since Diwali, people on Desi Twitter have been enjoying the joyous event as well as Rishi Sunak's election to the presidency of the United Kingdom. On the other hand, just a few days later, the Desi Twitter community has been incensed at a comedian's sketch.

No, it is not about Rishi Sunak, despite the fact that the sketch was intended to be about Rishi Sunak, and despite the fact that it has caused more than half of Asian people to be upset at comic Ronny Chieng. Ronny Chieng made these comments in the stand-up routine he performed on The Daily Show: "Indians are not considered to be Asians. I just adore how people of Indian descent attempt to have it both ways, such as being both Indian and Asian. Pick a lane, good."

The joke was also posted to the official account of The Daily Show, which shared it with their audience. The text of the tweet was as follows: "Don't call Rishi Sunak the UK's first Asian Prime Minister in front of @ronnychieng." The comedian in the video went on to claim that he does not feel represented by Rishi Sunak since Indians are not Asians and he does not see himself in Rishi Sunak.

Even if we share the same sentiments when Hollywood asserts that Simu Liu is the Asian Marvel Superhero, we didn't remark that gazing at him doesn't make us feel represented in any way. Ronny went on to say that he would feel out of place if he were to appear in a Bollywood film; however, Twitter was quick to remind him that the Indian entertainment business is filled with numerous performers that typically look like Ronny Chieng.

Ronny Chieng went above the acceptable limits. Because of a joke that was designed to make fun of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the identities of more than half of Asia's countries have been completely misrepresented. To be more specific, there are 48 nations in Asia, some of which include Ronny Chieng's home country of Malaysia, the country where he spent the majority of his life, Singapore, and India. Actually, it's a very recent misconception that people of Asian descent are the ones that watch Easy Asians.

Everyone, especially Generation Z, has come to associate the term "Asians" with descriptors like "brown people." Big Bang Theory's Raj, The Simpsons' Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Dev Patel are among others featured (which truth be told is also inaccurate and racist). According to one user of Twitter, the idea is not fresh at all. This begs the question, where did it originate? Many people in East Asia do not recognise Indians as being part of the Asian continent.

Over the course of the last few years, performers from East Asia have emerged as the most prominent examples of Asian representation. The majority of the blame lies with Hollywood and Google. If you use a search engine to hunt up Asian characters, you will most likely only discover East Asian characters in the search results, with the possible exception of Mindy Kailing.

In the meanwhile, if you check your Netflix recommendations (even if you're in India), you'll see that the items listed under the Asian category are, unsurprisingly, all East Asian movies and shows. This includes movies and episodes from China, Korea, Japan, and Thailand. Because of Hollywood's monopoly on the depiction of Asians on the world stage, South Asians (also known as Indians) and West Asians are virtually ever regarded to be Asians today.

There are people of Asian descent who have skin as white as that of a Caucasian, eyes as large as saucers, who adhere to a wide range of faiths and religions, and who in no way feel the need to justify their ethnicity to a comic.

Because South Asians make up such a major portion of Britain's Asian community, the term "Asian" is most often used to refer to people from South Asia. This includes people from countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

In a separate piece, the presenter of "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah, came under fire for suggesting that Rishi Sunak faced "racist reaction" after becoming the first British Asian prime minister of the United Kingdom. The fact that Noah used an Indian accent to resemble Sunak, who was born in England, further enraged many.

Chieng and "The Daily Show" have not provided a response to the criticisms that have been levelled.

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