South Asian Teen Health
Many South Asian teenagers feel as if they are brought up differently from the “average” American teenager.
"It’s been different in large part due to the culture," said Mira, 16, a South Asian-American teen. "Lots of things that I enjoy are either Indian or have Indian influence—for example, with food, movies, and songs."
South Asians growing up in America may enter school with different clothing, food, and customs. This can make them feel alone and isolated from others, which can lead to the constant struggle of trying to “fit in” as they grow older. Many factors can make South Asian teenagers feel alone and different, especially if they are the only South Asians in the community.
The purpose of this website is two-fold: to provide health information to South Asian teenagers, and also to show that South Asian teens growing up in the United States are in a unique and often exhilarating position. South Asian teenagers may struggle to balance different cultural traditions and beliefs, but they also have the opportunity to “take the best of both worlds” and redefine what it means to be “South Asian,” and what it means to be “American.”
This website contains many stories about South Asian teenage girls’ experiences, because girls are often brought up to be extremely aware of how they look, how they behave, and what is “proper.” Thus, South Asian teenage girls may feel added pressure and confusion when it comes to balancing parents’ expectations with different, and rapidly changing, norms in American society.
Last reviewed: 2012