Monday, March 2, 2015

75. DEAR NON-INDIANS..(and some Indians too..)

Over the past couple of years that I have been outside India, I have come across many people from different countries and cultures. It was great to find out how people across the globe know Shah Rukh Khan, and Modi and the 3 Idiots movie. All izz well…. It was indeed heartening to know that I come from a famous country, but it was also disheartening to find that there are a lot of preconceived (and mostly untrue)  notions about India and Indians.  Some of them are ‘harmless’, but some of them are quite annoying. So here goes the list of common myths about India.

#Dark skin doesn’t imply you are from the South, and fair skin doesn’t imply you are from the North. There are fair skinned people all over India, and the same goes for dark skinned people. 
I have had countless people ask me if I am from the South and if my roomie who is also a Mallu(Malayali), is from the North. But the worst came from a Gujju(Gujarati) friend who commented on my neighbor that she was way too good looking to be a Mallu! :-|

#Not all Indian men are rapists. Yes, from the insane number of rape incidents that make headlines everyday, rape seems to be a favorite pastime for Indian men, but decent and respectable men still exist in the country. 
I have friends who have been asked how come they haven’t been raped after staying in India for so long!

#This one is especially to Singaporeans and Malaysians: Tamil is not the national language of India. I know that majority of the Indian population in Singapore is Tamil, but in India, Tamil is spoken by less than 6% of the population. We do not have a national language, probably because of the hundreds of native languages we have in different parts of the country.

#Hindi is the language. Hindu(ism) is the religion.
Please don’t ask an Indian if he/she speaks Hindu.

#Speaking of Hinduism, not all Indians are Hindus. There are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Zoroastrians, Jews and Free Thinkers.

#Not all Malayalis get drunk everyday. 
(Interestingly, one of the most disciplined and lengthy queuing systems in India can be found in front of liquour shops in Kerala:P)