Colourism in Asia | Sadia Ahmed

The Rose

Throughout history, human beings have always been fairly tribal creatures, focusing on physical, linguistic, and geographical differences to delineate themselves from their others. The social construct of race is something that runs deep in the fabric of our world, separating ethnic groups from one another. Colourism, however, is a little more complex than this. It typically exists within individual racial groups, thus further contributing to the erstwhile concept of tribalism, and generating tribes within tribes, within tribes. Although no country in the world is fully immune to having some of its citizens possessing such views, the concept of colourism is one that is particularly prevalent in Asia. From the plentiful tea gardens of Bangladesh, to the bustling cities of China, right through to the mountainous regions of Saudi Arabia, the term fair is usually interchangeable with the term beautiful.

According to the OED, the term racism refers to:


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