The Dilemma of Being Gulf-born NRIs: An Analysis of Cases in Kuwait
This paper attempts to elucidate the dilemma of being Gulf-born NRIs (Non-Resident Indians), focusing especially on cases in Kuwait. As the Arab Gulf States (AGS) rarely offer citizenship to expatriate residents, the second-generation Indians who are born in the AGS continue to be foreigners, even though they have a feeling that the AGS are their home. For expatriate residents in the AGS, community networks are important. Indians maintain relationship which they bring from India, with people who have common language or religion. Gulf-born NRI children come to identify that they are Indians. They eat Indian thali at Udipi restaurants, watch Bollywood films, attend Indian cultural events and go to Indian schools. However, they start to recognize the dilemma of being Gulf-born NRIs after they finish the 12th grade and go to India for higher education. For many Indian families, sending their children back to India is the best choice; financially it is less costly and they can rely on relatives. In the course of spending three or more years in India, Gulf-born NRIs discover their differences from "India-born Indians". This paper tries to capture how the experiences influence to form their sense of being "Indians" and their choice of citizenship.