I am sick and tired of the misconceptions that foreigners in foreign lands have about India and Indians. It is all the more appalling in today’s day and age of information at your fingertips (pun intended!!).
Otherwise educated, mature people often say some of the most bizarre things.
So I decided to compile a list of the most ludicrous misconceptions I have heard. Please feel free to add to the list. If we get a lot of them going, we could have a wikipedia entry on it !!
1) All Indian food is hot and spicy.
No its not. It’s the fucking stupid Indian restaurant run by a Bangladeshi dude, that has created this problem. Most cheap “Indian” restaurants in NYC are run by Bangladeshis. They cant cook Indian food if their life depended on it. I think we should petition the Indian Consulate here to file a defamation lawsuit against such restaurants for sullying the good name of Indian cuisine.
2) All Indians are Hindus
No we are not. A majority are, but there are enough Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Jews to make India a melting pot of religions. The only reason we are all holding together, and not exploding like Yugoslavia, is because we have been through it once.
3) People do sometimes travel by elephants on a daily basis in India
Yes we do, when our regular SUV’s are in the garage. We also have the new 2007 Hybrid version, and another one that will work on biodiesel, and in the future on human crap, (especially American). Seriously, why would anyone think we still travel by elephants. If we can Indians can do your taxes and solve your dumbass computer problems sitting 8000 miles away, do u think we could do all that if we commuted by elephant?? Do you Americans commute on bisons ??
4) Why are we so good at English. Do they teach that in school in India ?
No, they don’t. We just picked it up on the long 22 hour flight that we took to come here. And for those who are still there and are answering your tech support and customer service calls, well what to say. They were injected with stem cells, that your President is so reluctant to research. These stem cells, once injected into the system, within 12
hours, turn a mumbling Tamil or Gulti man/woman into a fine English speaking machine.
OK jokes apart, we learn English from pre-primary school. Why ?? Because when the British ruled us, they dumped their language on us. Of course we were smart enough to embrace it whole heartedly and therefore we are so good at some of the tasks discussed in (2) and (3) above. I wish the guys in Kentucky and Alabama had done the same. It’s a whole different language out there.
5) All brown people are Indians….
NO !! we are not !! There is a big difference between Indians, and other brownies…aka Bangladeshis, Pakis and SriLankans. We come from the same geographic area labeled the Indian Sub-Continent, and hence I can understand your misconception. But no we are totally different. Try asking a Canadian if he is American and see his reaction. And you will know what I mean.
6) Are all Indians taxi drivers ??
Hell fucking NO !! Didn’t I just say above that we do all the work that you Americans are too dumb, lazy, or stuck up to do. In reality the whole cab driver ploy is a government plot hatched by Nehru in the early 60’s in compliance with the Soviets. We sent a whole bunch of our worst drivers to the US to drive cabs. It lulled the US into thinking that this is all we can do, and hence started the Brown Revolution, now spearheaded on the web by Sepia Mutiny. Of course, they haven’t taken point (5) seriously.
Have you faced similar or other such misconceptions in everyday life living here in the US or in other parts of the world ??
I would love to hear from you.