The ethnonym belongs in the endonymic category i. While the original Sanskrit word meant 'country', 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. After the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of , the United States dramatically increased immigration from the subcontinent. As increasing numbers of students from the subcontinent arrived in the U. For example, all things Indian including Indian expatriates were referred to as "desi".
It includes the stories of men and women who can trace their heritages back to nations besides India, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Nepal. With South Asian-Americans like Ms. The word comes from Hindi, with roots in ancient Sanskrit. At best, this analysis is purely clinical — an idea that might work in a vacuum, but that may not be the most accurate representation of how the word has evolved, along with those communities it might be used to describe:. To make things more complicated, another divide occurs between those who have stayed in their homelands and members of the diaspora community — those South Asians who have moved abroad to U. By adopting new homelands, many adopt two sets of cultures and customs.