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contemporary London and Britain. In Cantle’s words, “the key

feature of interculturality, and what differentiates it from

multiculturality, is its sense of openness, dialogue and interaction

between cultures” (2012: 157). The first step of interculturalism as

a new model is to regard “culture” as “a dynamic concept” that is

“constantly being made and remade” and to understand that “the

way individuals see their identity and the way particular groups

and communities represent themselves will change over time”

(2012: 173). Although Malkani’s desi characters live in an ethnic

enclave and, as Cantle maintains, “it is not surprising that people

seek to congregate with others who share the same idea of

themselves and have a common bound of personal and collective

identity” (2012: 60),


manifests that this common

bound is not to be “regarded as primordial and ‘natural,’” and to

be “preserved at all costs” (2012: 60). Rather than having singular

identities, the desis in the novel are shown to establish connections

and bounds with others in a way that demonstrates their

differences in, for example, class, age, and gender and that reflects

the impact of diaspora, capitalism, popular culture, and


Indeed, it is true that, in the novel’s depiction of the desi

enclave, for the first generation, like Amit’s parents, the desi

lifestyles and values are represented by their customary foods,

wedding traditions, and religions. In Amit’s living room, for

example, Jas has watched “all the aunties in their pashmina shawls,

sittin on the floor, sayin all the usual prayers, singin all the usual

bhajans an singin prayers in the form a bhajans” (Malkani, 2006a:

78). Amit’s mother is also “a won-der-ful hostess” who serves her

desi guests customary Indian foods, “putting just the right amount

a masala in the teapot, serving just enough pakoras” (2006a: 79).

Most importantly, she takes an uncompromising stand for a

traditional wedding when her elder son, Arun, gets engaged to a

Hindu girl, Reena. She feels disrespected when Reena’s family

“ain’t doin all da work n stuff dat da Girl’s Side’s s’posed to do,”