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What if South Asian American parents wrote the messages on those little Valentine’s candy hearts? Soni Satpathy-Singh of Sketchy Desi thinks she knows: “Study, Beti,” “Bcome Dr.,” “Mary Indn Dr.,” “Call Us Daily.”
For Valentine’s Day, Satpathy-Singh has created a new collection of greeting cards celebrating desi or South Asian American love. They feature bright pop-art style graphics and bold humor ranging from food puns like “Naan-Stop Love” to cultural miscommunications like the difference between "Tiffany's" and "tiffin."
“I'm a card-giver,” Satpathy-Singh told NBC News, “I'm one of those people who loves going to stationary stores or drug stores and peruse the aisle for THE perfect card with equal measure wit and cheesiness. But god forbid there ever be cards that speak to desis.”
Although she noted that Hallmark briefly sold Diwali cards, she found them very traditional, with “blinged out diyas” — clay oil lamps — and faux-Sanskrit-inspired lettering. She longed for cards with modern imagery and humor that appealed to people of her generation and not just for Diwali.
“I wanted brown people on cards for ALL occasions!” said Satpathy-Singh. “As far as the Valentine's Day cards, brown people love, too!”