I am Indian – am I “Asian”?

Ok. I know I am from Asia. But the problem is Americans refer to Chinese/Japanese/Koreans as “Asians” for some reason. So, if/when I refer to myself as an “Asian” on job application forms, I feel like I am doing something wrong.These days*, many job applications have a small section at the end, termed something like “Voluntary Self-Identification”. And it has two drop-down boxes where you can identify your race and sex. The Race/Ethnicity box is what I am interested in now. I am using Google’s list as an example. The list goes like

1. American Indian/ Alaskan native

2. Asian or Pacific Islander

3. African-American

4. Hispanic

5. Caucasian

6. Other

So, because of this tendency of Americans to term certain groups of people as “Asian”, I am not sure what I am supposed to term myself in these job applications. I can imagine a scenario where I walk into an interview and the interviewer is expecting an “Asian” and an Indian walks in. Of course, he/she might notice based on names, but maybe not. Should I go with “Other”? What does fall under “Other”? Am I misrepresenting myself by not saying Indian? If I understood the purpose of this question better, I might know which way to go, but I dont know why this question is asked.

I have decided to go with “Asian” on all my applications because I am asian. And coz I can, I wrote on my blog about it.

* – Maybe it has been this way for a long time. I noticed it recently because I have been looking at job posts only recently


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