Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing people refer to the characters in The Henna Wars and me as "Indian."

I know when people see the term "Bengali," they want to default to Indian Bengali. Most people don't know very much about Bangladesh at all.
That's part of the reason I'm here, and why I've written Nishat's story. South Asia is very, very diverse and I know that current South Asian authors are doing a brilliant job of showing the diversity of our cultures.
That also means that readers, both South Asian and non-South Asian have to receptive to the work that we're doing.

I especially speak about this because I grew up with people asking, "So Bangladesh is just India, right?" from non-Bangladeshis.
But from my family I heard the stories of our war of independence, our language movement, famine, devastation...we fought for our right to be Bangladesh, an independent country, and we're still fighting for it.
I know most readers don't mean harm when they refer to Nishat or me as Indian...but we're not Indian. I take every opportunity to speak about our Bangladeshi heritage. I am deliberate in it. Please, be deliberate in recognising our heritage too.
And here are some Bangladeshi books and authors you can support:
You can follow @adiba_j.
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