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Thread: Indian?

  1. #1
    Eway is offline Senior Member
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    Default Indian?

    "In many Indian, South American, and African societies, food is seen as being either hot or cold."

    How can I tell if this Indian here refers to the Asian one or the American one?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Indian?

    Mostly from the context. Most usually, the term "Native American" is preferred for the Native North American tribes. However, in many cases "Indian" is used to describe the natives of the entire American continent (North, Central and South).

    In this specific text, I'd suspect that it refers to Native Americans

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    Default Re: Indian?

    I think we need a wider context, actually. If African societies hadn't been mentioned, I would also have understood Native Americans. However, with Africa being mentioned, the context seems to be more of a global one.

    How old is this text? If it's relatively modern, I would definitely assume it was talking about native of the Indian sub-continent, as Native Americans would these days normally be referred to as "Native Americans" or perhaps "Amerinds", or at least "American Indians".

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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Indian?

    In the text you gave, I'd automatically presume they were referring to the people of India, just from the context. It is discussing Indian food, which in North America refers to dishes native to India, such as Tandoori chicken.

    Some trivia: According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, recent surveys have shown that 49% of Natives prefer the term "American Indian" while 37% prefer "Native American." Most American Indians stated that they actually preferred to be described by their tribal affiliation (Cherokee, Lakota, etc.). In any case, I'm finding that many style guides in recent years are recommending the use of "American Indian" instead of "Native American." Just to add to the confusion, in Canada indigenous people are usually referred to as "First Nations."

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    Default Re: Indian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway View Post
    "In many Indian, South American, and African societies, food is seen as being either hot or cold."

    How can I tell if this Indian here refers to the Asian one or the American one?
    I read that as referring to Asian Indians.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Indian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    In the text you gave, I'd automatically presume they were referring to the people of India, just from the context. It is discussing Indian food, which in North America refers to dishes native to India, such as Tandoori chicken.

    Some trivia: According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, recent surveys have shown that 49% of Natives prefer the term "American Indian" while 37% prefer "Native American." Most American Indians stated that they actually preferred to be described by their tribal affiliation (Cherokee, Lakota, etc.). In any case, I'm finding that many style guides in recent years are recommending the use of "American Indian" instead of "Native American." Just to add to the confusion, in Canada indigenous people are usually referred to as "First Nations."
    You bring up an interesting point. In many cases a people or group is renamed by people who don't bother to ask the subjects. I was once severely chastised by a Canadian woman for using the word "Eskimo" on a forum. She told me that "Eskimo" was insulting and that the people refer to themselves as "Inuits". I just as sternly informed her that American Eskimos don't like being called "Inuits" simply because they aren't "Inuits".

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